Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Game Buying

At this stage I probably have about 200 PC games in my collection. Of that 200 perhaps I have played perhaps half seriously getting some way into the game and perhaps finishing it. The other half have received only cursory attention - perhaps one attempt at playing. In a significant number of cases (maybe up to 1/4 of the games I own) I have ever even opened the box to install the game. Another time I will explain the history of my collection but for now I want to discuss my game buying policy, particulalry in light of the fact that I own so many games I have never played.

Let me say first off that I don't pirate games - all the games in my collection are genuine copies that I have paid for or have been given to me. I will however buy a game second hand - some game licenses allow this but some (Doom 3 comes to mind) forbid it. I don't nessecarily agree with all the stuff that software licenses try to enforce but I generaly try to play fair and stay within the rules.

Next let me say that I like owning something physical - a dvd case with a disc and manual inside it. I have bought a few games for online download but only where they were unavailable elsewhere or where there was a big price difference. I know that I am probably old fashioned in this and perhaps even one day it will be impossible to buy games in physical packaging but I like the box. Even if I never play the game I have the box on my shelf. I also like special editions with maps and coins and stuff but not if I have to pay a whole lot extra for it.

I generally don't buy budget re-releases. I like the original game in colourful box with a manual. I do have some budget games in my collection picked at times when I was bored and didn't want to spend a lot. If I like a game however I will always try to get the original version. I kind of have a rule that I will only buy a budget re-release if it is a game I think I will play straight away. If a game is for my colection proper it needs to be the real thing.

I am mean when it comes to buying games. I almost never pay full price. This is probably the single most important characteristic in my game buying. I will by a game at a bargain price even if I amn't interested in playing it. That explains why I havee so many unplayed games on my shelf. Where do I get cheap games? If you wait 6 months or so most games will fall to half price or less in game shops. Even brand new games can be bought online for less than shop prices. I also buy a lot of second hand games from internet buy/sell forums. I actualy get a lot of pleasure from bargain hunting for games. I can stil recall the time I snagged recently released Half Life2 for €30 when it was still €50 in most shops. I have also managed to pick up a few rare gems on the second hand market: System shock 2 and Planescape Torment come to mind.

Reading all of the above you might ask but what about the games - do I not choose games I like to play? Well I do like certain genres: First person Shooter, Real Time Strategy and Role Playing Games and I try to buy and play the most important releases in these genres. I have also managed to pad out my collection with many significant titles from earlier years.

I am actually buying far fewer games this year than in the last few years. I got stuck into World of Warcraft for four months at the beginnning of the year so I didn't have head space to think about other. One of my best sources of second hand game has also dried up. I may also be getting a little tired of buying games and trying to keep up.

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