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Funding Your Gaming Hobby


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OK, so I am really in to video games and have been gaming since the days of my Atari and Colecovision. With the current generation of game consoles, however, things have gotten *really* expensive. The consoles are pretty darn expensive -- so expensive that I haven't been able to afford any of the new consoles -- and the games aren't cheap either. I'm a public school teacher with three kids and a wife so I don't really have much of a budget for gaming. I know you can save money by buying used games and renting (especially from GameFly), but I was wondering if anyone out there had any ideas on creative ways that I could fund my gaming hobby. Any ideas?

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Buying used is a huge part of my success. EB/GS has buy 2 get 1 sales often that I take advantage of. Might cost $100 (2x $55) but you get 3 games for about $35 each, less if you don't select new items. Other stores offer discounts and sales you need to keep an eye out for. Like when Toys R Us had a buy 2 get 1 on NEW games, I got 6 the first sale and 3 the second. eBay is another option if you want classic games or if you feel lucky.

As for the funds, well I don't do much besides work and playing games. I also play paintball occasionally but since I work there too (second job) I play cheap. The rest of my free time is spent here so all the money I'm not spending on fast food, movies, gas, friends/dates, shopping, vacations, cell phones, etc, gets saved until I find some deals. If you don't collect them you could trade them in or sell them online to make your money back. You just need to sell them while they're popular.

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OK, so I am really in to video games and have been gaming since the days of my Atari and Colecovision. With the current generation of game consoles, however, things have gotten *really* expensive. The consoles are pretty darn expensive -- so expensive that I haven't been able to afford any of the new consoles -- and the games aren't cheap either. I'm a public school teacher with three kids and a wife so I don't really have much of a budget for gaming. I know you can save money by buying used games and renting (especially from GameFly), but I was wondering if anyone out there had any ideas on creative ways that I could fund my gaming hobby. Any ideas?

Abuse sales like no tomorrow.

I got my PS3, an extra controller, and HDMI cable, and a game for $250.00 a few months after the thing came out. It was a long complicated process of Best Buy sales, price matching, and coupons.

I had a friend just buy a used Xbox360, cables, 2 controllers, and 2 games for $150.00.

Check places like eBay and Craigs List for cheap second hand consoles.

I have been there since Colecovision as well..I feel the pain. I cry whenver Gamespot tells me what my game/system library is worth.

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One thing I should add is that used games are fine. Used hardware is another story. You don't know what the previous owner did or if they took care of it. I try to buy hardware and controllers new and save the money on the games. Pays off in the long run I think.

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OK, so I am really in to video games and have been gaming since the days of my Atari and Colecovision. With the current generation of game consoles, however, things have gotten *really* expensive. The consoles are pretty darn expensive -- so expensive that I haven't been able to afford any of the new consoles -- and the games aren't cheap either. I'm a public school teacher with three kids and a wife so I don't really have much of a budget for gaming. I know you can save money by buying used games and renting (especially from GameFly), but I was wondering if anyone out there had any ideas on creative ways that I could fund my gaming hobby. Any ideas?

The thing is you can spend a lot of time effort trying to save like $5 buying new hardware or something. But if you spent that same time and effort working etc, you could make that money back easily. There are still some things worth trying to save money on, gamefly as mentioned and some other more obscure stuff. My advice would be to get the gamefly, do their free trial so you don't waste any more money instructions on how to get the gamefly free trial are here. Then if you already have a job spend an extra hour or so a week at that to pay for your gaming habit. If you don't have a job get one anywhere and before you know it you will have plenty of $$$ to blow on games. Hope that helped.

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Abuse sales like no tomorrow.

This is a really good point.

Right now over here in Europe, lots of web shops are having a new years sale, so instead of paying €60 for most games in the local stores, I tend to buy almost everything from UK web stores now. The low Pound also is a big plus right now.

I have in these last couple of weeks bought The Blob for €21, Shaun White Wii for €26, Trauma Center New Blood for €22, Okami Wii for €16, Soul Bubbles DS for €12 and so on. Where normally these games would cost around €36-46 online or if I were to buy them in the local Belgium game shops €50-60 which is pure theft in my eyes.

What I have also done is look at the things I tend to enjoy most and focus on that.

I used to buy every single console and portable that got released, up till the PSP. But there are just too many games out there to play if you actually have to work for a living during the week. So instead of buying huge amounts of games that I only spent a couple hours tops on, I just got myself a Wii and a DS since they fit my personal gaming needs best. (Nintendo Games+Nice collection of Sega support as well as a wealth of quirky arcade style games which used to end up on Sega systems in the past).

And if I ever end up getting a 360 or PS3 down the line, I will be able to pick up the system for less than half the launch price and the games for €10-15 instead of the ridiculous price of €60-80 they dare to ask for them over here. <_<

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This is a really good point.

Right now over here in Europe, lots of web shops are having a new years sale, so instead of paying €60 for most games in the local stores, I tend to buy almost everything from UK web stores now. The low Pound also is a big plus right now.

I have in these last couple of weeks bought The Blob for €21, Shaun White Wii for €26, Trauma Center New Blood for €22, Okami Wii for €16, Soul Bubbles DS for €12 and so on. Where normally these games would cost around €36-46 online or if I were to buy them in the local Belgium game shops €50-60 which is pure theft in my eyes.

What I have also done is look at the things I tend to enjoy most and focus on that.

I used to buy every single console and portable that got released, up till the PSP. But there are just too many games out there to play if you actually have to work for a living during the week. So instead of buying huge amounts of games that I only spent a couple hours tops on, I just got myself a Wii and a DS since they fit my personal gaming needs best. (Nintendo Games+Nice collection of Sega support as well as a wealth of quirky arcade style games which used to end up on Sega systems in the past).

And if I ever end up getting a 360 or PS3 down the line, I will be able to pick up the system for less than half the launch price and the games for €10-15 instead of the ridiculous price of €60-80 they dare to ask for them over here. <_<

I keep my eyes on Cheapassgamer and Slickdeals.....thats how I just got Eternal Sonata for $13 total......and how I got Battlefield Bad Company for $24 total

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Be a patient gamer. If your like me, its not an absolute necessity to have all the latest games the day the come out. Mainly because you probably don't have the time anyways. It seems like Amazon will always have new games for half retail a couple weeks after they are released.

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Be a patient gamer. If your like me, its not an absolute necessity to have all the latest games the day the come out. Mainly because you probably don't have the time anyways. It seems like Amazon will always have new games for half retail a couple weeks after they are released.

A bingo right there. Amazon has great deals if you wait a while, and the items are new. Rarely do I buy a game around its release as I'm so backed up I wouldn't get to it in time before finding it discounted. Right now I just played Mario Galaxy and likely won't get to 08's games for a few months yet. GTA4, MGS4, and so on.

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My collection has grown because of patience and determination. I don't have the money either, but $20-50 a month gets me plenty of titles I want to play that I hadn't experienced before. First I check Craigslist, then everything else including Amazon, then local stores, then eBay. I don't buy games, even collectors items, that cost more than $30. So far it has worked out.

I've learned through many disappointing experiences to stay away from online auction sites when purchasing console, computer, or handheld hardware. I have wasted thousands of dollars over the years buying crap hardware online. These days I only get hardware locally or from a trusted online source, not an auction site, that offers a warranty.

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My collection has grown because of patience and determination. I don't have the money either, but $20-50 a month gets me plenty of titles I want to play that I hadn't experienced before. First I check Craigslist, then everything else including Amazon, then local stores, then eBay. I don't buy games, even collectors items, that cost more than $30. So far it has worked out.

I've learned through many disappointing experiences to stay away from online auction sites when purchasing console, computer, or handheld hardware. I have wasted thousands of dollars over the years buying crap hardware online. These days I only get hardware locally or from a trusted online source, not an auction site, that offers a warranty.

The hardware is just so fragile now. It is so easy for someone to ruin the cd tray on a X-box360...or blow out the GPU on a Dreamcast. I would never buy hardware without getting to try it out first. Just a basic rule of thumb. But then again I am really sceptical about buying CD based games used as I know how easy it is to put a surface scratch on one. It might look all right but if that scratch got just far enough it could ruin the game about halfway into it. I really haven't had any problems buying cartridge games online though. Saved a bunch of money on it.

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The potential exists but rarely do I have a problem buying a game used. Actually, wait there was one time and of all places at EB.com. Someone gave them a demo CD with the words 'demo' colored in and guess they got full credit. So when I buy the game I end up with the demo. Luckliy they knew me at the local shop and they gave me a refund (rather than send it back and go through that process). Of course sometimes there's a snafu, a cracked case, a UPS error (which took 2 months to sort out), or something. For the most part my purchases have been trouble free. Ya just gotta check the pics and ask questions before buying/bidding.

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I buy used when I can, and buy new games after they've been out for a while and the price has gone down, and for some new games I just rent them - particularly ones that won't take very long to beat (Path of Neo for instance). For new games I really want, I pre-order several months in advance and put a moderate amount down, so I can spread the damage to my budget out over time, rather than one large whack.

Oh, and for old consoles where I've got a newer version with backwards compatibility (like my 60GB PS3) I trade the old console in. Now, I'm still hanging on to my Genesis and everything, but I don't need the PS2 taking up space in my entertainment center if I've got a PS3 that will play PS2 games, so why not get the PS2 to someplace where it will get a good home - rather than filling up a landfill.

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The PS3 isn't compatible with every single thing. I know I used mine a while ago to finish up the PS2 versions of GH since that guitar won't work with the PS3. Plus god forbid your PS3 go down you'll have a backup. My main reason is it's MY console and I'll never get back what I paid for it so I rather let it retire and look nice in my collection rather than wonder if a dog is chewing the wires or some brat is hitting it with a hammer.

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The PS3 isn't compatible with every single thing. I know I used mine a while ago to finish up the PS2 versions of GH since that guitar won't work with the PS3. Plus god forbid your PS3 go down you'll have a backup. My main reason is it's MY console and I'll never get back what I paid for it so I rather let it retire and look nice in my collection rather than wonder if a dog is chewing the wires or some brat is hitting it with a hammer.

Well, a little before I got the PS3, I got a slimline PS2 for the family, so I do have a backup (besides, my old PS2 was one of the larger models which didn't handle older PS1 games that well anyway.

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You could always live off KD and spend the savings on Consoles and games.

I bought every single console myself (Elite 360, 80GB MGS PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, iPod Touch 2nd Gen). I bought them all over the course of 1.5-2 years, but it was affordable. However, having kids is an impact, me and the wife don't have kids, so I can afford my "toys" as she calls them.

I will say this though. If you have kids, save up and buy at least one console, that way your kids can enjoy it, and you have an excuse to buy an occasional game that you may like.

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Well, a little before I got the PS3, I got a slimline PS2 for the family, so I do have a backup (besides, my old PS2 was one of the larger models which didn't handle older PS1 games that well anyway.

Ah. I still got my original launch day PS2 and it works fine. I simply had to clean the dust out once or twice to rid of a DRE. Did it myself and read everything I threw at it.

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Ah. I still got my original launch day PS2 and it works fine. I simply had to clean the dust out once or twice to rid of a DRE. Did it myself and read everything I threw at it.

Mine wasn't reading some of my Final Fantasy collections, and it stopped reading my copy of Growlancer Generations entirely.

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Mine wasn't reading some of my Final Fantasy collections, and it stopped reading my copy of Growlancer Generations entirely.

A PS1 game? Because I think there was a compatibility issue with one of those FF discs. Had it happen to me but I don't recall which game.

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