Gaming with a Mortgage/Debt… To Trade or Not To Trade…

One thing I love about being an adult is that I no longer have to wait for special occassions such as Birthdays or Xmas to unbox the latest and best video game console and games. I remember going to a friends house to play Super Mario 64 a few days after the Nintendo 64 was released and being totally blown away. I also remember going back several times over to play other games in the 4 months leading up to Christmas before I finally got my own N64.  That wait made Diddy Kong racing seem like the best game ever made.

Skip fowared to 2005, I am now 19 years old living out of home with a fulltime job. The Xbox 360 has just come out and I am in a friends living room watching him play Perfect Dark Zero. Oh I had my 360 paid for, but the store I purchased it from messed up the midnight release date and wasnt open when I went to pick it up with my brother. I got it the next day which was significantly better than waiting 4 months to get it. This is the standard cycle of my life now and a comfort as a Gamer to know that when a new console or a new game is released I will be able to afford it. 

Today I am 25 years old engaged and have the banks with my nuts in a clamp in the form of a mortgage so compared to where I was when I was 19 the belt is getting tigheter and tighter.  And its not just me either, times are tight and one of the first things to go are usually hobbies and well Parents dont really see videogaming as important so it naturally suffers immediatly when the fanancial state of the world looks grim. But there is a way to continue to play your favorite games as your wallet and bank account begin to get hungry.

Am I still  gathering Gamerpoints you ask? Why yes I am.  Thanks to the magic of trading games with retailers once I am done with them. Something that was hard to adjust to at first because well like most others I enjoyed building up an army of games to surround my console. Hoever over the past few years of heavy debt I have still managed to purchase, play and finish over 60 games and I owe it all to a strict maticulously thought out videogame budget and trading system. Read on while I get all Martha Stewart up in here.

Honestly it feels like I am the owner of a Sports franchise. I sit down at the beginning of each gaming Quarter and work out what the big Superstar purchases are going to be – Your Grand Theft Auto’s, Portals, Fifas, Modern Warfare’s etc. I know when they are coming out and I know that I will be purchasing them no matter what whether it be a full price purchase (Free Agency) or trading in and paying the rest (Sign and Trade).

Obviously between the release of the major Free Agents I will need to keep playing so this is where I bring in the role players. These are the games that I am or was interested in but are usually around the 6-7 our of 10 reviewed games. Good but with flaws and they play their role accordingly. Games like Shadows of the Damned filled this role for me and is now waiting to be involved in an upcoming trade.

There are also Vetran contracts I can pick up – games that have been and gone that I never had a chance to play. Games like Vanquish, Prey, Far Cry 2 – they are cheap to buy, provide some entertainment and their trade in value is low BUT put 3 of them together and you will notice their impact on a trade.

Usually if handled correctly I have been able to save at least $60 to $100 a month on videogame purchasing with no new release I have purchased coming to over $30.00 and usually less. While  I am lucky enough to have a better half who also happens to be a gamer, money is always an issue however with this trading system I honestly cannot recall a single fight being over me purchasing video games.

Its also something that can work well for Parents who want to purchase games for their children but cant afford their constant demands.  Personally I am not against the whole collector mentallity when it comes to videogames – most of them will not gain any kind of worth as the years go by but they do still have a level of worthyness after you have completed them and that is how much trade in value you can get towards your next Superstar purchase.

The days of the trade in system may be coming to an end however with the rise of Digital Distribution. That being said I am 100% behind even if it does mean I have to slow down and reconfigure a new games budget in my household. Its crisp, its fast and best of all it caters to something that all gamers know about full well – its lazy.  And with the talk about how Apple will be entering the console wars and OnLive,  quick and easy access to videogaming with cheaper development costs without the need for the external boxing and packaging will more than likely drop the overall cost of games anyway.

However it will never replace that special feeling you get when you get a call that your Pre Order has come in early or that there will be a midnight release. Something about recieving an email telling you a game is out wont be as exciting. Perhaps somekind of a countdown on your smartphone would ramp up the excitment.

So I will wrap up this little Martha Stewartesq article about Gaming big with a paupers budget but saying take advantage of being able to trade in your old games now before it does become obsolete and prepare for the glorious world of home videogame shopping in your sloppiest clothes on a lounge thats falling to bits.

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