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For the Gamer on a Budget: Tips for Survival

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Walking through the mall, I cringe when passing by GameStop. There was a time when I would be stuck in that place for an hour debating on what game to buy. I remember that exciting feeling of taking a new game home and playing it. Steady income meant steady games to purchase. If I was a little low on cash, why not trade in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for another game that I wanted? Or saving up for Gears 3 just because I wanted it. Since my teenage years, I’ve always been able to purchase games I wanted, but lately I “play” games vicariously through watching YouTube commentaries.

I know it’s probably discouraging watching your friends play that new game everyone has been talking about or hearing about the next installment from your favorite series. This isn’t a lesson on how to save money from someone with minimal income. This article was created specifically for the “I’m-as-broke-as-a-joke-and-can’t-afford-ANY-game” gamer on a budget. The kind that gets excited when free games come to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network because that’s as recent as gaming gets for them. Speaking from experience, I may not always have the latest games, but I still have a good time with what I have. This isn’t a guide per se; it’s some friendly advice for those going through a hard time financially. 

1. Consider selling some games that you already have to get that new game you want. You may want to look into getting games for cheap online. Craigslist, Ebay, and Amazon will become your best friends if you decide to go this route. If you decide to go to a place that accepts store credit, a place like GameStop is also an option depending on what deals they have at that time.

2. Go back to the basics. Whip out the old games and earn your retro gamer badge.

3. Ask to borrow or swap games with friends and family that don’t mind lending you a hand. Just don’t forget to return their stuff back! Remember, they are trusting their possessions in your care. Be mindful of keeping games in the same condition you received them.

4. Live vicariously through “let’s players” on YouTube or Twitch. Come on now, it’s pretty comical if you tune in on one with a comedic commentary and even more entertaining when if they react accordingly to horror games.

5. Sell one of your consoles and focus on building a collection for one system. I know that sounds a little harsh, but do this only if you can do without that system and you feel it’s absolutely necessary.

6. Don’t forget to just have fun and appreciate what you do have. I was playing Illusions of Gaia the other night and it reminded me of why I love the game so much.                                                                                                                 7. For the meantime,check out the games on the app store or the Play Store to pass the time. I am just now beating my Flappy Bird addiction.

8. If you’re on a college campus, check out the student centers and resources available to you. Some student lounges have the latest games and systems. I remember during my college years, there was a gaming room in our student union.

9. Look for sales and deals. Every now and then, GameStop has its buy 2 get 1 free deals. Take advantage of these if a little cash floats your way.

Get out of those budget gamer blues and do what you can to enjoy the ride even if you’re not the pilot and someone on YouTube is flying the plane. We may not be playing the game, but at least we still get to enjoy it! Have fun and don’t stress about being unable to finance your hobby.

What have you done to finance your habit during financial straits? What advice would you give to any gamer on a budget?

Share your comments below!

Growing up with her big brother being a hardcore gamer, Emerald has been playing games as long as she could remember. She enjoys RPG’s and discovered the love for them after playing Chrono Trigger on the SNES. During her high school years, she looked forward to gaming on her PlayStation after finishing homework rather than hanging out with friends. Hence, this is when she discovered her true love for gaming and the gaming community. She’s a comical gamer, with a touch of randomness, who has a passion for media and writing. Overall, she enjoys the thrill of playing a game that captivates her attention and drives her to keep playing it until the end. Give her a game with an amazing story and awesome soundtrack, she’s content.
  • Drin_chan

    Don’t forget about free MMO games that often offer the same amount of gameplay and options as a bought game, Blacklight Retribution, Warframe, and TERA are all examples of games that are free to play but with great graphics and gameplay. (provided you have the rig to play some of them, I’m on a laptop and they run it hot but that’s about it…)