The Minimalist Guide to Gaming: Less is More

Do you love video games? I’m sure if you’ve grown up in the 1980s and beyond, video games have become a part of your childhood. They’re probably still a part of your life to this very day. You play them, follow the stories religiously, and even go to events where gaming is front and center. There is nothing wrong with that since now gaming has become a successful business in and of itself.

Unfortunately, there is one huge problem with video game and geek culture in general. Nerd culture is extremely expensive. Video games are almost $100 dollars per game, not to mention all the downloadable content that will have to require more of your hard-earned cash. Don’t even get me started on all the clutter that is created by having a bunch of discs & machines you will most likely never touch after you’re done with the games. The consoles themselves are another issue. There’s too many of them and they’re all more than 200 dollars each. Most of the aforementioned devices aren’t even backwards compatible for gamers who want to play games from previous generations, so the average gamer is required to buy a new console every few years. What happens to those among the gaming community who decide to live a more minimalistic lifestyle where the goal is to have less material possessions and possibly save more money? When having less physical possessions clashes with the materialistic world of hobbies, what does one do in order to get their game on with less stuff? While there is no perfect solution or method to become a minimalist gamer, here are a few steps one can take if they wish to at least get themselves started on the path to minimalism while maintaining their hobbies. I’ll even list pros and cons for some of the points listed.

Go Digital

Tired of having a bunch of discs, many of which you’ll never touch after you’re done with the game? You could always go to your local Gamestop and trade them in for points, but do you honestly want to do that repeatedly? It might snow randomly, and you may not even be able to return the game, so the disc just sits on your shelf collecting dust. You might live a semi nomadic lifestyle where you won’t be able to keep a lot of your possessions since you travel often. Before the internet, you were honestly out of luck if you lived a nomadic lifestyle but still liked gaming. Your best bet was a hand held and those weren’t nearly as good as the consoles on your tv screen. As far as buying games goes, you may want to consider just buying everything digital. A digital library of games can surpass your old library of physical discs without having to take up space in your room.

Pros

  • Takes up less space in your room
  • Less items to carry
  • You can delete them with the push of a button
  • If you want to play the game again, you can always re-download if you have an account

Cons

  • May cost more money
  • Download times may vary
  • If you have no internet access, you may not get the full experience the game offers

Do your research

Marketers will tend to bombard you with advertisements about whatever new game is coming out. They hype it up, pay their employees to play it so the audiences can get a feel for what the game is like, and advertise it to the point where one would feel compelled to buy it because EA keeps telling you it will improve your sex life. The question one must ask themselves before making that purchase is whether the game was worth it or not? The worst thing someone can do is pre-order the deluxe edition to a game they were wanting for months only to find out that the game derives less excitement from the consumer than watching the laundry spin. The game ends up being absolute garbage and no one will touch it with a ten-foot pole after the hype is over. The new game you paid over 80 bucks for is treated like that creepy guy or girl you wish you could forget you dated in high school. How do you avoid losing so much money on a game you wish you never bought? I’ve always found that doing your research on the game whether you play a demo, read/watch reviews, or try to find out what games are like the game you’re about to buy to see if you’d like this one would save me a ton of money and headaches in the long run.

Pros

  • You get a feel for the game before purchasing it
  • You save money

Cons

  • You may miss out on pre-order exclusive content
  • Demos often don’t have certain features from the full game
  • Reviews are not a perfect determination of one’s game experience

Put money in the digital wallet

You think pre-ordering a game might be a good idea? Buying a game at full price sounds tempting to you because you have a lucky week where you have the money to buy a game. Every once in a blue moon, I’ll cut you some slack. Normally, if you’re buying games, especially from a digital market like Steam, Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo Store, there is no reason not to put a couple of bucks every paycheck away and let it pile up until you come up with enough cash to get your favorite titles. Good habits like that come in handy when there’s a sale. The general public is programmed to believe that when a sale or a new title pops up, you have to get a game immediately or be left behind. People then throw all their cash into a game, losing money they could’ve saved in the long run had they just patiently put a little bit of money into the digital wallets regularly and waited. The uncomfortable truth is no one cares if you get the Digital Deluxe Sex Toy Sparkle Unicorn Edition of whatever new game is out because you most likely don’t hang out with gamers regularly. Your job, family, and other social networks probably take up so much of your time that you barely have time for gaming anyway, so you’re going to have to deprogram yourself from the materialistic mindset that tells you that you NEED this game RIGHT NOW!!! This is made even more apparent if you’re an adult since responsibilities and chores will likely take up large portions of your life anyway.

Pros

  • You save up money in the long run and having money already in your wallet means you can spend less on titles you really want
  • If a sale comes up and you kept adding to your digital wallet as opposed to just dumping all your money on a game as soon as you get a check, you may already have enough in the wallet without having to lose any additional funds

Cons

  • Sales are random and there’s no guarantee the game you want will ever see a reduction in price.
  • The seller can remove the game you want out of the digital market altogether.

Wait for the Sales

You want the game and you want it NOW!!! The real question is not if you can get the game you want immediately. As a minimalist, you probably already know the value of a dollar and know well enough to prioritize needs over wants. Therefore, the real question is WHY do you need the game now? You might want to consider a few things before you think you need to even buy a game in the first place like do you have your living situation all sorted out? If all of that is sorted out, then the next question is, who cares if you don’t get a game immediately? If a game is any good, it will stand the test of time and will still be played long after its release (The Witcher 3, Dark Souls, and Counter Strike Global Offensive are examples of games that stood the test of time). While you might miss out on pre order content in the beginning, most games eventually get a deluxe edition at half the cost of the original standard edition. For example, the average gamers probably bought Metal Gear Solid the Phantom Pain or the Witcher 3 when they were initally released and had to constantly buy a new update every few months. I didn’t touch the games for years even though I knew I wanted them. Lo and behold, luck came my way and the full editions of both games were out for half the price of the standard copies due to just being lucky enough to come up on the right sale through the PSN store. I guess good things DO come to those who wait because last time I checked, the Witcher 3 still gets streamed regularly on Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube as though it were brand new.

Pros

  • Games are often sold in bundles or complete editions for much cheaper than regular price or free if certain conditions are met

Cons

  • There is no guarantee the game you want will ever be on sale and there is a possibility that it may be removed from the digital market altogether

Just Say No to Console gaming

Don’t get me wrong. I love console gaming. I grew up on consoles starting from Atari and the NES, but if we’re going to try to be minimalistic and save as much money as possible, your best bet is PC gaming. While a computer may sound more complicated and expensive initially, it is actually cheaper in the long run. If you’re looking to play games on the move, there are plenty of gaming laptops available. You can always upgrade a PC, so you don’t have to buy a new console every few years. I’ve had my PC since the beginning of the Obama administration and all I needed to be able to play new games was a better video card. The video card cost me only around 250 dollars, but was an investment because in the long run, I’d rather pay for parts for something I already possess as opposed to having to get even more stuff in my room. It is a pain in the butt to constantly have to buy a new console every few years and then have to pay an extra fee to play online. PC gaming is already online if you pay your internet bill on time. When the console no longer becomes relevant, even game stores won’t buy them off you. If you have anything older than a Playstation 3, you may not even be able to use your old consoles since newer televisions don’t support them. The advantage of a PC is that you can still play those old games if you have an emulator. You will still be able to use the discs you have, download the games, or play older games on a website if the game is old enough. League of Legends, for example, is the most popular game streamed on Twitch and the game itself is completely free. Most console games are sold on the PC and PC also has exclusives that Playstation and Xbox are only NOW starting to get in their stores. If you want to game as a minimalist, a PC may be your best bet because last time I checked, computers do more than just play video games. They also game at superior quality.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is all I have for today. If you like this content, feel free to follow this blog and all my social media listed on the top of this website. Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful rest of the weekend. May you all find peace in your Solitary Pathway in life.

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