Friday, August 3, 2012


Tonight, I'm lost in thought about all of the things I feel like I've thrown away over the years and I feel bad about it; like I'm wasting both my own money and the money that other people have invested into me and the things I enjoy.

It's a commonly known fact that I get rid of games, consoles and other various things when I feel like I need a change. Whether I've played a game into the ground, don't like it or even just feel like playing around with something new, I trade around. It's just kind of what I've always done, even as a little kid.

What I didn't realize as a kid, which ultimately led to a habit that's difficult to break even when I have money, is that everyone rips you off if you let them. In particular, GameStop/EBGames have ripped me off more than anyone else I know and it was all by choice, even down to recent transactions when I felt the need to have different games and video game consoles.

Now, I'm kind of stuck on the idea of trading things around. I could save up and buy a new game, or Mom and Dad could give me a $500 gaming console for Christmas and eventually, I'll likely get rid of it in favor of having something different, even if that means I end up losing out a lot in the trade.

I've grown much smarter about this over the years, only trading big ticket items when it's fair or heavily in my favor, depending on how attached I am to any specific object. I still don't really think about it when I trade games around, though and I tend to go nuts, getting rid of $300-400 worth of games just to get $80-120 worth of store credit somewhere for another set of games that I'll end up getting rid of for jack shit when I'm done with them.

Some of you may think this is just silly, but this is a habit that's difficult to break because I feel like it's so necessary to my lifestyle as a serious gamer. Until I find a job that makes enough money to fund my gaming habits without any sort of stress, I'll still be trading to get the games I want.

Still, I feel terrible about a few things. As an example, let me share a brief story.

I had $1,000 when my birth father passed away, and what happened? I spent all of it right away on video games; every last penny. I had every game console, a ton of good games, accessories; the works. It was awesome, but also sort of a waste because I turned around and got rid of most of it relatively fast for a very small fraction of what I paid. I was pretty damn stupid.

I've owned several of each gaming console, only to get rid of them and eventually get many of them back, which I then turn around and get rid of yet again. PSP, DS, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, DreamCast, PS2, Wii; you name it, I've had it, and likely traded it away again at some point. And in most cases, picked it up yet again at another point.

Why do I do this, even when I'm attached to things? I can't answer that question directly; not without a full explanation. The short answer, though, is change; I like it.

I enjoy nostalgia as much as the next person, but I absolutely love change. Even when I'm sometimes getting ripped off, the thrill of something different rushes through me like a drug; it's intense and I can't really explain it, but it's freakin' awesome.

Some of you likely think this is crazy and have no understanding of such a concept, but I assure you, it feels worth it in my mind. At least, during the period of change. It does eventually fade and I want something different again, but that's okay; there's always something different out there.

Despite how awesome it feels, and the fact that I'm at least smart about maximizing my trades/values in various places, I do feel bad about "wasting" the money. Many people say it's not a big deal; you do what you want with your stuff, so long as you're having fun. But I just feel like it's a kick in the face if someone gets you a gift and you just get rid of it eventually for something different.

It's probably true; it IS a kick in the face and I'd likely feel bad if someone did that with something that I gave them, too. But I can't really fault them for it, either. They were not happy enough with it at the time and just wanted something different; it's their choice. I can see it from both points of view.

I just feel like I'm being wasteful, is all. And I guess I am; I can't help it. It's crazy.

And honestly, that's a major part of why I like digital delivery, such as Xbox Live Arcade/Games On Demand, or even better, Steam. I can't go getting rid of games or throwing money away; I get games, they're mine forever and I can play them at a moment's notice without going to a store, waiting for shipping, or anything else. It helps me avoid being as wasteful, plus I get the added bonus of being lazy. What's not to love about digital distribution?

But really, I don't know. I feel bad about a lot of things tonight; just the mood I'm in. Maybe I'll be okay as the night goes on, but I feel like I'm being shaken up again. There's a lot of stuff going on in this crazy mind of mine lately. I just hope there's not another panic attack tonight.

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