Well I want to break up my series about mythology to bring up something that has kind of become a background noise in our lives: renting games. Maybe a decent number of you still do it and I’m misinformed – even though blockbuster is kind of gone these days; I recognize that things like redbox present some opportunities for renting games. But my big thing is: Is ownership everything?
For me it used to be enough to rent a Super Nintendo for the weekend from blockbuster and my family and I would go crazy, but it didn’t really hit me until recently – so after about 12-15 years of never renting another game that buying games seemed like the only option – besides the occasional friend borrowing , anyway.
But notice steam doesn’t do something like this – renting, that is. You just acquire more and more games with each sale and humble bundle. You can trade stuff, but not after it being played. So what’s changed about us?
It still seems to me though, that the general mindset these days is to own your own games, which is why people throw so many fits about the prices of games, and then, the price of the special bundles and pre-releases on top of that. So I ask why?
I feel the question is important because the industry now wants to DESTROY the resale market by making these delicious codes that you need to buy to use certain features of a game, and so clearly they are also expecting people to buy these games – and to keep them.
But really, when did gaming go from being about playing and enjoying the experience to having a big bundle of games to sit on? Who cares if I own, when what really matters is if I pwn? (If you don’t watch pure pwnage, I just said the same thing twice)
Now, I need to stop myself here to point out that I’m wrong. Well really, Dan, who invited you anyway? But, NO. The major counterpoint to my theme is Gamefly. It’s the Netflix of VG (I think it preceded it, in fact) founded in 2002 and still going strong – and viewed quite positively here.Business blogs seem to think it does well for itself, and it boasts a catalog of 8k plus games. Now that is nice.
So maybe there is a separatist faction that still likes the old style of just renting a game, enjoying the experience, and sending it back; They’re quite happy to save themselves the 60 buck pop and to just enjoy the bang for a buck (or roughly 2.5 bucks by the aforementioned articles’ reckoning)
My thoughts: props! What do I end up with but a bunch of titles that are either glues to my steam account that I can’t share (while steam reads this article anyway) or collecting dust on my shelf until I drag them to Gamestop with tears in my eyes as they give me 8 dollars for something that cost me 120 when I bought it… and then I mourn humanity or Manatees or something possibly tea-like.
So, if we all start saving blockbuster and keeping Gamefly in business, not only will we have 45+ dollars left in our pocket each month, but we also can protest greedy companies that try to limit our fun and ruin our right to a second market. Not that I want to make this article some political tirade/rant or turn your hand one way or the other, but if you were on that side of the fence, here’s an option! That is if you’re not sitting on your large pile of games with your scepter and are too high to come down. Either way.