Posts tagged: stateofthepenny

No games in January

So it has been one month since I committed to not purchase any video games in 2011. So far, the toughest moments were when I had to pass on Game Dev Story on Android, and this weekend’s Steam deal on The Rainslick Precipice of Darkness episodes 1 & 2 pack for $2.99. I’ve been able to stop and reflect on just what appeals to me most when I want to make a purchase, and I think it’s the price-point. I have the first episode of Rainslick already. I haven’t even played it yet. How do I know I’ll even want to play episode 2? But $2.99? Not that seems like a good deal. And I want to jump all over that.

But it’s a good feeling knowing that I’m passing it by. Other good feelings? Not obsessively checking Steam on Tuesday or Wednesday to see if the midweek madness has been posted yet. Or Steam’s weekend deal.

On a similar note, a couple weeks ago I completed Just Cause 2 (on the PC) and I have yet to fill that gap with another game in my huge list of unplayed games. I have options, but I find since I’m putting less focus on acquiring new ‘stuff’ I’m putting that focus toward learning and doing other things. Plus, I’ve got that free mmo, LOTRO, to play 🙂

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 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.

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