The Price of Games

This is a battle known well by her.  One that comes from deep within each moment upon which my eyes perceive to themselves a gem that is worth desiring.  A lesson from long ago, forever buried in my conscience.  How does one justify paying so much for a game?

Video gaming is an expensive hobby, depending on how you go about it.  For any real collector, you're bound to be spending quite a bit of money each year.  Significantly more than a subscription to Netflix, The Grocery Game, and probably even your data plan for that snazzy phone you bought (not realizing how the evil corporations that control the air waves are slowly bleeding you dry of your precious capital savings).  Honestly, it's quite hard to find any justification for buying a game which, after playing for approximately 10 hours, you'll probably finish, put on the shelf, and forget about by the time the "new hot thing" has arrived that you "simply must own."  The other problem with gaming is that the medium is not prone toward legacy value, unless you have something particularly iconic.  While years from now, people may still be playing (and even bidding on ebay for) the original Super Mario Bros., you're less than likely to find someone who will want to be playing Call of Duty 3 when they'll have moved on to better, faster, newer versions of the series (for those keeping track, the eighth iteration will be retailing in November).  With some exceptions, books are by and far, in comparison, much more likely to continue on into existence (either as they become completely free or as the electronic reading continues to advance in market share).

Arguably, this sort of metric can be expanded to criticize any pleasure spending.  My key weakness is food, as I enjoy food immensely.  I will pay for food.  I will pay people to make food for me.  I will pay people to make bad food for me.  If you feed me, I will pay.  For others, their weakness may be coffee, cigarettes, caffeine, CrossFit... the list goes on, creatively speaking.

Luckily, as far as gamers are concerned, there is a system much like Netflix for the distribution of games across the country to the various households of subscribers.  It's still quite expensive (though less than a data plan for your phone), but it helps ease the burden of buying games and selling them back for minimal return value.  In fact, such a glorified rental service provides the necessary venue to trying out games that you know you would like to play but would never buy (as they are too short, you're unsure if you would enjoy it, etc.).  For someone like myself, a recognized gaming aficionado, having a fairly inexpensive opportunity to keep abreast of the goings on in the video game world... this is certainly a cost that can be justified (if only vainly).

So without further ado, I signed up for the service and will be chronicling my experiences with it.  Hopefully, it will gain good remarks, but I will not hold back any biting criticisms if I believe they are relevant, necessary, and true.  Meanwhile, if you yourself would care to tread new ground alongside myself, I happen to be the holder of a "Buy 1 month, get 1 month free" web coupon (new buyers only).  For one game out a month, the price is a grumbling $16.95+tax.  The 2 or 3 game out plans increase by a grueling six dollars.

Much like Netflix, you set up a queue and get what is available (presumably in the order you've designated).  So what is available depends largely on your interests, but I was surprised at the number of readily available Wii titles that I have always had the intention of picking up but never did.  I signed up for the service, thinking I would put at most five games in my queue.  After looking through their wares, mine is now up to twenty-four games.

And only two of those were "low" in availability.

Upcoming Wizardry

So the latest Harry Potter movie will be gracing theaters this weekend, and it seems like every cable channel known to man is running movie marathons of the mightily magical miscreant himself (had to fit in a few more "m"s in that last sentence).  An exciting time for sure, that is if you enjoy crowded rooms with loud, annoying, obnoxious fans that hem, haw, laugh, cry, and comment on anything and everything that appears on screen.  I'm sorry, but I'm here to see a movie... not to hear some delirious person scream "It's HARRY POTTER!!!" every time Daniel Radcliffe comes on screen.

I used to treasure my midnight showings of opening releases.  Now, I treasure my crotchety old self who enjoys the visual and auditory exclusion of others as I experience a media exposure in mental isolation.  Besides, there are people who "dress up" for these movies (much like some do for Star Wars) with the least bit of actual creative inspiration.  Anyone can throw on a cloak and be a wizard, or a jedi, or a vampire.  Please keep your wands to yourself while we're waiting in line, thank you.  This is a public area and there are children present (or at least people who think they're children).  So I avoid these showings and prefer for the more "adult" ones.

Yes, I go to the movies at 10AM on Saturday morning because it's cheaper ($6 at AMC) and because this weeds out the much louder crowd (and crowds in general for that matter).  Which is a breath of fresh air considering that time I went to see Twilight with her.  Some people forget that this is a shared viewing experience, and I don't want your cowl blocking my view of sexy boy wizards.


I know it's probably cliché of me to keep philosophizing on this blog, but you all will have to indulge me for one more metaphysical memoir.

In each and every moment, whether breathing, sleeping, dreaming, or eating... I am uncontrollably moving through time.  No matter what I do, these moments are irrevocable save for a distant memory or tour of nostalgia.  Arguably, I consider this the world's most precious resource... time.

When pondering my chronological travels, it makes me reflect further on what I make of these precious materials.  It is impossible for anyone to feasibly make good intentioned use out of each second, yet how many countless minutes have I thrown away on insignificant endeavors.  When I could clean house, I watch television.  When I could design my game, I instead surf the web.  When I could blog, I fill my time with flash games.

Eventually, I think on all the time I allot for Him and for her, probably less than I should.  Probably less than I say I would.  Definitely, less than I could.  Yet no amount of self-centered reflection accounts for any recovering of lost moments.

I intend to make better use of mine.  While intentions will not slow my journey forward, they may better guide me toward the paths I would rather travel.  Cause eventually I will be out of time entirely.