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Zero Dosh 24: One Story Among The 10.1%


Iím an unemployed gamer.

I currently live in Miami.

The unemployment rate in Miami is 10.1%. I used to work at a hospital in Miami, before that I worked in a heating company that serviced fancy hotels in south beach. Right now, I've been unemployed for about two years now. When I had a steady paycheck, I first paid rent, food, and set aside money for gas and a saving account. Anything left over was mine to spend, which I spent mostly on games.

Let me start from the start.

Since I was young, video games have always been my escape from living in a lower class family. From the age of 10 and up, Iíd help my grandfather pick cardboard from behind old factories for extra money for the family. Every day, after school, every weekend. When I was home, I was collect coins in Mario 64, dodging raptors in Jurassic park for the snes and trying master Scorpion in Mortal Kombat on my genesis. I didn't have a lot of games but I made the most of what I had.

Years later, I find myself in the same spot.

Since Iíve been ďlet goĒ at my old job, the impact on my life was slow but apparent after about a month. My friends have been seeing less and less of me due to just not having the money nor (most cruelly) time to see movies or partake in social events, my family hounds at me to find another job on a daily basis (mostly due to my Grand-Dads recent illness), and (perhaps among many other more serious problems) anything gaming related has taken a major brutal blow.

My gaming was PC, at one time a great gaming ďrigĒ. But since the release of Battlefield 3, itís been showing its age like those fine gray hairs you might spot on hot 30-something woman. Release after release (actually more demo after demo) has shown me that my poor machine is on its last legs. Even with P2P games like Planeside 2, I simply cannot get the solid 60 frames Iím used to. Speaking of, while Steam has amazing, absolutely stunning sales (not even talking about the seasonal events); itís no fun to see an awesome game like Far Cry 3 or Tall Tales Walking Dead at 30-45 percent off and canít even afford it even if it were a 90 percent sale.

A side note here is that I used to collect Team Fortress 2 Genuine quality Hats. Currently I have one of most of the genuine item until Hit man: Absolution preorder items. At this time my spare money from odd jobs and such had ran out and it just was not feasible to keep up. I could grind tf2 for items to smelt and barter from there. BUT, that would take hours of grinding/idling and bartering. Hours I should be using to phone mangers, fill out applications, and request interviews. I need to put food on the table, canít do that if I finally buy a (real, non-duped, clean) maxes head.

The first season pass I bought was Saintís Row the Third. At the time, I was still working with a small budget thanks to unemployment (most of that went to gas, rent and food). Two weeks after I got Saintís Row the Third, I bought the season pass.

Fast forward the release of Halo 4.

I love the Halo series, love the universe and the lore, read the books in middle school, and since Halo 2 Iíve always gotten the best edition I could afford. That is until Halo 4. I received Halo 4 as a very very late birthday gift from a good natured uncle. It wasn't the legendary edition, but I made due. The season pass was a real kick to the gut for me.

Iím a completionist, not in to sense of getting all 200 birds in GTA IV but in the sense of having a complete Mass Effect 2 run with all the DLCs (including all the preorder items).
This too shall pass. Among the DLC I've missed out on is: DragonBorne, Knife of Dunwall, Slingshot Pack (X-Com) and Gods and kings (Civ V) and many more.
Preorder items are also out of the question. If I canít afford Bioshock infinite, I definitely canít afford to preorder it from any retailer for Comstockís various weapons.


I wonít pirate games. I want to play my games guilt free and as little hassle as possible. Unfortunately, paying the bare minimum on services like internet means having a connection like its 1999. 250 KB/s? 50 KB/s up? Only if the Comcast god of Oligopoly sees its own shadow on a blue moon during the shrimp season.

Lately, just to keep up with video game stories, I've been watching ďLetís PlaysĒ. I recently watched a ďLetís PlayĒ of Bioshock infinite on YouTube. The player kept shooting civilians and disrupting the pleasant scenery with and missing cues for story related events. Itís not how the game was meant to be played. Before that, I watched a ďLetís PlayĒ of Aliens: Colonial Marines. While not wasting money on such a poor looking game, I would have liked to play it for myself.

As the New consoles arrive, I fear I wonít be there to experience the new graphical fidelity or the rich stories that will be told. In fact, soon I might have the sell my hard copy of my console games and auction off my TF2 genuine hats.

Now, I have to go back to filling out more forms online and see if I can receive financial aid for community college.
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About SnakeDude4Lifeone of us since 3:10 PM on 09.07.2007

I like video games that are fun.

The end.
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