Nine Months of Not Spending Money on Games

Nine months ago was new year’s eve and we all make new year’s resolutions. Upon seeing that there were so many gamer resolutions to complete this game or that game, entertainment should never be a resolution. Its just too easy. So I resolved to not spend money on games this entire calendar year. Here it is three quarters later and I still haven’t spent anything.

Somehow it all backfired though, because I play more games than ever, but games that I already own. Things that I would have never played. I can still sink hundreds of hours into Team Fortress 2 and nothing else, but lucky for me after spending probably two thousand dollars on a free game, i still have yet to spend anything this year. I even consider spending my steam wallet money to be cheating. It was money at some point I suppose.

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I never make new year’s resolutions. The entire thing is silly. If you vow to do something, just do it rather than waiting for a day. I’ve read other articles about how people purge social media for a month, avoid Twitter and Facebook, but in their articles they mention how they fail or slip up for a day. For me it was always the addiction of buying more since bundles are always so dirt cheap and even waiting for a full year means they’ll be even cheaper.

Humble Bundle now has a monthly bundle that you pre purchase without knowing what games will be offered. They say it’ll be new games never before in bundles. yeah, but the problem with that is they’ll be in normal bundles soon enough. Once a game is in one bundle, its in all bundles shortly after.

I feel bad for new games, because they’re competing with older, better games that have been out longer, so they’re cheaper. Why buy something new for the same price that you can buy three or ten of that are older? Old games can get played out, but if its new to you its still fun. That’s why I think fresh concepts sell more. Experiences people haven’t played before. Well as long as they involve crafting and a lot of down time. Those seem to sell the best.

Switching gears here, for around four months from may until August, I just never played games. I realized that this whole blog thing was a lot of effort. Then getting review copies meant more time having to be entertained with an hour or so to write a 1,400 word review. It felt like too much cake and exercise, so I just quit for a while. I got a lot done, but here I am again. Its still effort, but at least I have not spent anything on games this year. I’ve been granted dozens of review copies and reviewed most of them that weren’t so awful I’d feel bad for giving them a bad review.

When I would get an itch to play a game, I’d go for FTL, Prison Architect or a city builder. Those are true time sinks for me and I can spend three or four hours invested and engaged in them. They’re fun to me to build from nothing to something. Its the starting over fresh rather than balancing something that gets out of control. Its a different game each time.

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Certain Steam friends would even buy me games on sale because they wanted me in the game with them. That’s a good incentive for anyone to make multiplayer games, because then you sell more copies. Sometimes I’d get single player games, just because my Steam friends are so kind and I’ve been generous to them in the past as well. It was wise of Steam to include gifting to sell more copies.

Well I have three more months to go. I’m well over the hill and I’ve been thinking if I can continue beyond twelve months. I’ve missed out on some fantastic bundles, but with 1,100+ games on Steam, I shouldn’t need anything for a while.

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7 thoughts on “Nine Months of Not Spending Money on Games

  1. You mentioned that you’ve been playing games you never would have tried. I’m kind of curious; has not spending money on games changed the way you look at the stuff already in your collection, or has that been more of a means of filling the need for new content that you normally would have just done through new games?

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  2. I have had similar experience lately. After last years winter sale, I realized I had so many games that I had yet to play that I should play those first before buying new ones. I typically don’t buy new games at release, but I had slowly accumulated a big backlog of the major titles. I decided that if I just play what I have already paid for, I can then buy the major (slightly older by this point) releases for the discounts.

    I also held off on playing too much Prison Architect until the full release. Have you played the completed version and do you like it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always loved Prison architect and since its “finished” it has a campaign and an escape your own prison mode when you fail as a warden. The campaign seems to breeze by and its an advanced tutorial that I needed 2 years, but now its too late. It still has a story and interesting scenes that I always end up skipping because they take too long. I’ve got around 10 hours in the completed game. Its still a great game, that manages to get stale about once a month after I’ve sank 20 hours in.

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  3. I have a similar goal in place that I write about, but instead of not spending money on new games I’m holding off on the eighth generation of consoles until I can beat 50 games on the others. There used to be a lot of waste involved with my gaming experiences, but not so much anymore. I used to buy games, stack them up, and play very few of them.

    I guess I would disagree with you some about entertainment goals being easy to reach (although I do understand what you mean when you say that), and would like to add that entertainment goals can be very difficult depending on the specific goal. Becoming sidetracked is a huge challenge for me, so sticking with older games while the flashy new consoles are pumping out AAA blockbusters becomes difficult.

    Going back to the theme of your post, I have saved a LOT of money by putting a goal in place. I buy bargain games, try games I might not have played, and I always manage to find some classics that are next to free. I would recommend that everyone at least consider some kind of technology restriction, because there might be something to be learned from the experience.

    Then again, maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard about video games or technology. If that’s the case, you should totally go out and buy some stuff, because technology is AMAZING!

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