Steam Sales and Co. — or why they don’t make us happy at all

SALE

Every gamer knows them, every gamer loves them: Steam Sales, ‘Buy 3, Pay 2’ offers and other bargains. Current games, normally costing 50 to 70€ (50 to 60$), at only a fraction of their normal price. Seeing these high-rated games, everybody’s talking about, for such prices, one must buy them. One must buy them all, muhahaha! Oh yes, look at me, having bought all these cool games for just a fistful of Dollars. Oh, I can’t wait to play them, but wait…(*looking at the long list of unplayed Steam games from earlier sales and/or the full PS3 hard drive*)…guess I have to finish these first. *sigh*

Of course, having the ability to buy new games with little money is great! But there also some questions you should ask yourself before spending your money or else you won’t get lucky.

First, it is really important to consider if you really want this game in particular. Lately, I often made the mistake to buy games thinking something like ‘yeah, that sounds quite interesting and it’s only 5€, so it’s not a big deal if it’s not that good’. The trouble is that I’m a person who wants to finish everything that I have started. So, even if it’s a game that’s not my taste ( it still can be a great game; happened to me with Borderlands 2), I still feel the urgency to play this game and to not play any other games until this one is finished. Since having other games lying around that I’d love to play, that is awful. It’s even getting worse sometimes: because I don’t like the game I’m currently playing, I don’t feel like playing video games in general and I need even more time till I can play the game I wanted to.

This situation gets a deal worse when you have bought more games than you are able to play in a certain time frame. I; and I’m certain some of you, too; tend to squirrel video games away thinking that one day I will have enough spare time to play each one of them. That is wrong! Since I always buy new ones, they are not getting less. Status quo: about 40 games; abandoned ca. 15 of them.

One disadvantage of this behaviour is that on the whole you do not save any money. Regarding each game individually you save money, but buying too many games to play leads to the fact that you spend money for nothing.

It also have an effect on the games you adore. Because you think about all those games you still need to play while you are playing an extraordinary game, you feel the tendency to finish this game as fast as possible. Even if you want to spend more time on this one game (in my case GTA V) and e.g. do some more optional missions or play the online mode , you won’t because you’ll always think about the other games being still unplayed. That ruins the fun and so the purpose of playing video games.

I also made the experience that these problems have increased since I own a PS3 in addition to my PC, my 3DS and my WiiU. So a solution for the future might be to concentrate on one system, although you would still witness the games on other consoles, thus the temptation to buy these consoles. Maybe in a sale?

Because of these reasons, I sometimes miss the good old days when I was a child and only had a N64 and a GBC and no Internet informing me about other great games. I saved enough money to buy me approximately one game a month and it was perfect. Being at my friends’, of course, meant to see other games, but I always perceived these games as games I would play at my friends’ and didn’t feel the urge to own them on my own. Except it was a great game. Then I would save enough money to buy it no matter what the exact price was, because I didn’t know Steam Sales back then and I was happy.

P.S. I’m happy about every comment and remember to vote for my next 3DS game 🙂

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