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fudjud avatar 3:26 AM on 05.01.2014  (server time)
The Burden of Cheap

My last two pieces were about multiplayer, so I think it’s high time I talk about something different. Let’s have a look in the basket: “Board games vs video games”... “How much story impacts a game”... “How many chickens I can fit into an average car”... Here we go; My Stingy Self.

Here in Australia games have always been expensive (I’m sure they are everywhere else as well). Fairly recently, big console releases have dropped from their $120 opening price to about $90. This is great news. But for me, in the time it took for that shift I have bought a gaming PC. That $90 is now being compared to indie games that are less than $10, so I am finding it harder and harder to indulge in the AAA market like I used to. I still buy things that look interesting, but in all honesty I have regretted most big budget game purchases as of late. Open the door and take a journey into my mind...

Titanfall, $80 and LUFTRAUSERS, $10 (it’s meant to be in all caps, don’t get mad at me). Looking at the superficial face value I have spent about 6 hours in the arcade shoot’em up, and upwards of 10 hours in LUFTRAUSERS. I’m aware this a dreadful comparison because they both are in leagues of their own, but this is pretty well where my brain is anchoring itself; on the shallow virtue that is “Time spent vs. Money spent”

I’ve come to terms with this and this is great; my wallet is screaming “Yay! Cheap things!” (Until I buy ten indie games, costing more than the alternative.) The issue fought now with all these cheap games is time. The epitome of first world problems: “I have wonderful games seeping out my arsehole”. Back when Mama and Papa bought my games I delved into every single type of possibility a game could offer to make the most of the one game I had per year. I have the greatest memories of creating bollocks houses in the Green Greens level in Smash Bros. Melee. Replaying the jetpack levels in Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire sooo many times because Jetpacks = Amaze-Balls.

It was super fun moments like these defined my love for this beautiful medium. I go out of my way to find crazy things of the same nature in more recent titles because I know how awesome the feeling of infatuation for games can be. So when I’m buying LUFTRAUSERS I plan to spend hours upon hours in it, understanding the exact mechanics, appreciating the coding, artwork, sound design and animation that’s behind it. Doing that nowadays on one game alone is a large undertaking, fitting time in between work, friends, reading, tv shows. Juggle that, with the time I feel I need to spend in other indie titles, and that’s something to tickle your Improbability Drive.

So, this is my current, fairly lame, dilemma. I want to appreciate games, but I don’t want to spend $13,000 on a couple games. If there was just a simple way I could switch off this portion of my brain that marks the greatness of art with its price...

Does anyone else have my issue? Or am I just insane?
(Most likely the latter)

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