What’s in a Game

Joystiq has finished their top 10 games of the year list and for the first time, I know what they are talking about. One of the site’s strong suits is that it covers all games, from the smallest to the largest and does it with blogging flair. Any given day can have 10-20 articles go up. Compare that to the big guns like Gamespot or IGN who can barely put out half that amount, plus fill your screen with more ads than content. The second good thing that comes from their format is the personal opinion pieces. While most sites will video chats (which is good) they have next to no text about their opinions. The Best of the Rest gives us an inside peek to writer’s minds, especially those we tend to align with.

There’s a saying that people go to the internet to find people that agree with them and while on the whole this is true, I like to read dissenting ideas. It makes me appreciate the medium as a whole rather than the specific flavours I am accustomed to. It’s like going to a restaurant and only every ordering the club sandwhich when there is a whole world that can be on your plate.

 Which brings me to the main topic for today, buying games. I’ll buy just about any game as long as the perceived value is there. I won’t pay full price for a game that I’m hesitant on but I will buy it if it comes on sale. The Secret World is a great example of this. I’ll dump money onto Torchlight 2 in a jiffy but Halo 4 needs to be on sale before I’ll touch it.

 This sort of puts a tiered structure for fun. I am willing to pay 1$ per hour of fun for a game I’m not so sure about but willing to spend 5$ per hour on a game I am very sure I’ll have fun with (Batman comes to mind). Other than multiplayer, which I don’t consider “fun” in terms of value, how many games pass the 10 hour mark, let alone the 20? FTL, a game I adore, already has over 20 hours into it and I got it on sale for under 10$. WoW has provided hundreds of hours of entertainment but also cost me hundreds of dollars. I stopped playing – and paying – when the fun value no longer matched the price value.

 In today’s day of Steam and Used game sales, we are all being taught to better value our entertainment dollars. While there will always be a mad rush to the door for CoD on launch day, other than 2-3 games a year, every other game needs to find the right balance and every gamer needs to do the same.

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