Not a Penny in 2011

I have a goal for 2011 that should benefit a few areas of my life. Simply, I will not purchase a single video game or downloadable content (DLC) for a video game in 2011. This means pay-what-you-want sales/bundles are off limits, as is pirating said bundles (or any games for that matter). This isn’t a decision I’ve made on a whim, either. I’ve had a few months to let this sink in and to work out the details. Note: I’d have linked to twitter rather than identica except Ping.fm was misbehaving the day I initially announced my idea.

On to the details, the only allowable ‘new’ games that I can add to my collection are:

  • Gifts — but I am not allowed to prompt the purchase with, “Hey, I’m not purchasing any games in 2011 but if you buy me X then I’ll buy you Y in 2012,” because that is cheating.
  • Board and card games — they are not video games.
  • Game demos, trials, and ‘free’ games — XBoxLive Indie Game trials, Steam demos (and mods and free games), etc, so long as they are freely available for download by the developer/publisher.
  • Code giveaways — kinda sorta the same thing as ‘free’ games
  • Borrowed games

If the game doesn’t fit the criteria above, I can’t add it to my collection.

Why? Well, this is where the benefits come in. See, I went kind of crazy with game purchases starting at the end of 2009. My Steam collection ballooned to a crazy size over the course of the last year. I don’t think I could possibly complete all the un-played games in my Steam games list if I try all next year, and an un-played game is an unappreciated game.

Why else? I’ve got a note taped to my monitor that says, “Why are you sitting here? Spend some time with your wife.” I put it there, and it’s pretty self explanatory.

I expect to enrich my personal life by putting less emphasis on video games and more time with family and friends (non-gamers). I expect my wallet to thank me. I expect my productivity to increase as I will cease to compulsively check Steam Game Sales and Cheap Ass Gamer throughout the day. I expect to spend more time reading through my neglected bookshelf. I’ll never make it as a game designer & developer if I spend more time playing games than making them.

Wish me luck in 2011. I have no doubt this is going to be a hard habit to break. I’ll post throughout the year under the tag #stateofthepenny here on the blog and twitter.

One Response to “Not a Penny in 2011”

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