I'm a 20 year old college student in Missouri, whose love for video games is regularly hindered by a lack of disposable income.
The next paragraphs are a recounting of my personal video game history. Verbose and, I imagine, boring for anyone but me.
My first memories of gaming are when my grandmother bought an old NES at a garage sale. She undoubtedly used it to keep my older sister and me entertained while we spent time at her house. It came in a brown paper Kroger bag, which produced incredible games, many FAR too challenging for a 7(?) year old. I have faint memories of what I now know were classic games like "Super Mario Bros./ Duck Hunt", "Skate or Die!", "Marble Madness", "Mega Man", and "Kirby's Adventure" and some more obscure games like "The Adventures of Bayou Billy", "Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode", and "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers". I never remember beating, or even being good at any of these games.
Santa brought my sister a SNES one year, and my days were filled with Mario (of the Super World and Kart variety), Bubsy (of the 'Who?' variety), and Simba (of the 'My favorite SNES game, better respect, beat that shit as an 8 year old' variety). As I remember we didn't buy many video games: we rented. I think it's because of that 5 day deadline I was always given that I took to sitting in front of screens for hours on end. I have no clue what happened to that console.
I used my Gameboy Pocket to enjoy the Pokemon games, but never any past the original 150.
My best friend had a Sega Genesis, and I was jealous. So my parents spoiled me with a Playstation in front of all my friends at a birthday party. I played that gray brick of awesome into the ground. I never got an N64, and for some reason always thought it was superior. I'd watch friends play Zelda, Rogue Squadron, and Goldeneye and feel way let down when I returned to my Jet Moto, Vigilante 8, and the Oddworld series. I really should have appreciated that console more, because I ruined practically every disk I owned. My best friend and I first played Final Fantasy VII as fourth graders, and we could never get past the first boss so we put the game down. Something intellectually had developed once we got to the sixth grade, though, and we progressed into what became a truly great series of gaming memories.
I had an ongoing affair with PC gaming. RTS games like Starcraft, Age of Empires, and Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far brought me in, and games like Jedi Knight always kept me interested. I had a stint in MMOs (Star Wars Galaxy before Jump to Lightspeed came out, WoW from open beta to BC) but devoting so much time and money to one video game was a disservice to me and the dozens of other video games I could have been enjoying. I still love whatever deals come across Steam (most recently Civ III and the old Oddworlds.)
I bought a Dreamcast, and I really had fun with it. I still keep it under my bed, along with mismatched jewel cases containing NFL2K, Power Stone, Slave Zero, et al. I also bought a PS2, XBOX, and Gamecube, thus cementing myself as a gamer (in my own mind) by owning all the consoles of a generation.
I currently own all 3 major consoles (although the Wii is desperately hurting for some love) and still PC game on my Macbook, which has a number of downsides.
What a gallant motherfucker! He uses his iPhone to refresh his memory of Shakespeare. Picard doesn't play video games because he's afraid he'd become one of us. Maybe that's why I don't act?
But onto my post,
As an all-too-stereotypical college student, I have very little disposable income. I eat skimpy meals, wear dirty clothes, and even walk to try and save money on a daily basis. To scrounge up moolah for a new game is a rare occurrence; Mass Effect 2 was my major expense for this month.
But with a handful of interesting (if not good) games being released every month, costing $60 a pop, what's a modern gamer to do?
I first realized the intricacies of my predicament when I bought, played, and got bored with Modern Warfare 2. I sold it to Gamestop the other day to help pay for upcoming new games I'm looking to buy. I received $24. This was exactly the price I expected, but it got me thinking: Did I get $35 worth out of this game in just three months? Should I have played it more and sold it later, or even not at all, just to pay more for new titles? What's the value of it to my collection?
Which led me to the most bothersome question: Should I even be buying new games?
I know there's dozens of really good, some even incredible games that I haven't played and are relatively cheap. If this is accurate I can get Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, and Resident Evil 4 all for about the same price as FFXIII.
That's my choice?! Should I buy lots of old titles or a single new one? Do I want gamer cred or hot and flashy? Shall I feel bad when people refer to great games I never played or when the newest games draw all the media attention?
This would be the part of the blog where I have a revelatory remark that makes the decision very easy. Guess what. I got nothing.
Instead, I put forth: What do you when the coffers run dry?
P.S. Sorry for not having played Shadow of the Colossus...