I swear (I almost typed “I sweat”), some days I’m convinced that video gaming has forever left our planet and is firmly residing in some other universe where common sense that applies to everything else ceases to apply to games.
Case in point, today’s big internet discussion on buying used games, via Penny Arcade and others. The discussion revolves around how it’s just not right to buy used games because it doesn’t support the game companies/developers directly, and how we’re all filthy almost-pirates for doing so. Okay, that’s mushing a lot of arguments together without proper context, but that’s the tone I’m certainly getting.
I think this is silly beyond belief. Really? We shouldn’t buy used games on principle? Listen, what you do with your money is your business. Give it to directly to the game company, buy a used game, whatever.
People who are railing against buying used games — have you never purchased a used DVD? A used car? Used books? Second-hand clothing? A used anything? Do you do drive-by spittings against garage sales? Do you picket Salvation Army?
So why the heck is this a big deal?
And in our mass-consumption culture, isn’t it the smart thing to do to buy used, to stop buying everything brand new?
I don’t owe a company allegiance; I look out for my family and our household budget first and foremost. My parents taught me to be frugal when I was growing up, not to refuse to buy used products because it wasn’t directly benefiting the company that made it. But hey, I guess my mom was just a thief for buying us toys at garage sales because we couldn’t afford to get them off the shelves. Shame on her. And shame on my wife and I, since about 85% of everything we own we purchased used or second-hand.
If it’s important to you to buy directly from the company, then do so. But don’t be telling me how I should be spending my money, or trying to levy a guilt trip because I don’t see the world as you do. Video games aren’t so special that they should be put aside in a different category than everything else in this regard.
This all is silly, and Sam the Eagle does not approve.