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Topic: "People who can't afford to play video games shouldn't be gaming"

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Severian

So as I was reading over at Nintendo Everything a joint statement about Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft unhappy with tariffs on China [https://nintendoeverything.com/nintendo-microsoft-and-sony-issue-join-statement-against-us-tariffs-on-china/], I am reminded of a recent moron who unambiguously stated his opinion that video games are only for people who can afford it in response to me saying that a game was higher than what I was willing to pay.

Some quotes from the individual:

"Gaming is not a necessity it's an expensive fun hobby"

"People need to stop giving video game systems to people who financially can't afford the hobby."

Now I prefer politics to be left out of games because it's a place where those of different ages, nationalities, genders, and religions can come together and do something fun. Hell, at the arcades growing up, we shared quarters with people who wanted to play and I've seen people become professional gamers because they were sponsored or had friends who supported them, much like people share toys on the playground with each other because friends and fun are more important than saying that because someone is poor, they don't deserve to have fun.

I've also read in the comments before how people were gifted Switches by friends when they were unemployed or disabled, and when people just assume gaming is an expensive hobby and that those who can't afford it shouldn't play, it rubs me the wrong way. Yes, there aren't too many arcades nowadays for someone to enjoy a few rounds during a break, but that doesn't mean you can't lend someone a console or gift it to someone. I've known people who had one or two games and in the 90s used to just rent games from Blockbuster or Hollywood Video for their fun since they couldn't buy games, or borrowed from other friends. They grew up to be developers. If we apply that logic of saying people who can't afford to buy overpriced games don't deserve to play games, then we basically lock out people from becoming potential developers later on or competitive professionals in the fighting scene.

Yes, gaming is a hobby, but it shouldn't lock people out because of funds, politics, or disabilities. Shall I refer to two disabled people who use their faces or feet to play fighting games competitively? They've been featured on Eventhubs. Shall I mention "arcades" (makeshift cafes in rural areas) where I've seen in Tanzania and the Philippines where they play old PlayStation 2 and it's a place where youth play virtual basketball or football (soccer for Americans) and stay out of trouble while having a wholesome outlet instead of going to join gangs?

I do not believe gaming is a privileged hobby for those who can afford it. It is not cheap, yes, and it has changed since the days of the arcade, but this does not stop people from sharing games or consoles being gifted to each other. It also does not mean that high prices automatically mean that we have to lock out those who can't afford video games and look down on them as "being too poor and should get another job to afford them" (another quote from the earlier moron), because indie or major developer, some games are not priced ideally.

And looking at the tariff issue, this is no longer about "poor" people not deserving to play games because they can't afford it, it's several issues:

1) prices aren't always fair when Crapcom overcharges for Devil May Cry on Switch compared to the DMC trilogy on other consoles, so complaining about prices is not about one's lack of funds, but the audacity to charge for something like that is insulting and it's growing as a common practice.

2) When it isn't a publisher overcharging, the market and world events affecting things (however they could potentially) creates a bigger barrier for people to play games--for example, the tariff issue could lead to a hypothetical situation where it's harder to get the components for a bigger game card file size and then we have to download the rest of the game online, which means buying more memory cards and having a good internet connection--all increasing costs and making it harder for people who could afford to game to really need to be careful about things. Even staff at Nintendo Life mentioned in a recent article about what they're playing over the weekend that they needed to save some money and decide on which game to buy or amiibo, hence why they were playing older games.

3) Gaming is hard to view as just a hobby when it's now e-sports, an art medium, and a means of connecting people who otherwise would not normally connect--I often tell friends to stop arguing about Trump and Brexit, religion and relationships, and all sorts of controversial issues and just play Mario Kart together or Street Fighter, and yet we have issues like the tariffs potentially causing problems, but the real problem here is that some people believe gaming is only a privileged hobby for those who can afford it and these situations like current events make these people complete jerks by oversimplifying it into "poor or not" and creating a false dichotomy. The tariff issue could potentially affect us all and these idiots who buy into the poor or not dichotomy still wouldn't understand that it's not that simple.

In short: gaming is NOT something that is just for those who can afford it, it's something that brings us together, especially if we decide to say to hell with politics, we're gamers. When politics do affect us and could like with the tariff issue and costs, it shouldn't cause a superficial divide, it should instead reminds us that we are more aware of potential impacts of world events because we have friends directly affected by external forces, such as how the tariffs could potentially make publishers less likely to pay for a larger file size game card and instead make us download most of the game and still shoulder more costs for an Internet connection and memory cards.

Severian

CanisWolfred

I mean, if you're buying something you can't afford, that's a problem in and of itself. That doesn't mean you can't play games in ways that's more within your means.

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ThanosReXXX

True, you shouldn't buy stuff you can afford, obviously, but most of us got their first video game console or handheld, and some games from either our parents, or some other family member, so I think that there's nothing wrong or weird about that, regardless of who is doing the giving.

And besides: even if you only have the funds to say, buy only one game a year, then you'd still be able to play a lot of free to play games and demos, so even for people who are on such a tight budget as that, it would still be possible to have gaming as a nice hobby and/or pass time. And it might also help alleviate some stress they might experience in their private lives, because of that financially challenging situation that they're in.

In short: I would like to say boo to all the naysayers, but it really isn't that black and white either way, so people should perhaps first look at the actual situation, instead of throwing all people that can't afford a gaming system into one single boat...

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ForgottenArctic

@Severian Um, are you sure you want to talk about this on a forum? If you don't mind me saying, you could make a YouTube video out of this.

Forgotten Arctic

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Severian

@ForgottenArctic

There’s actually an article being written about this (as well as a podcast discussion being prepared) but I was seeing how people might respond first. So far it seems some have not even bothered reading this and don’t realize the title of the topic is what I’m writing against.

Anyway, gaming is not some elitist hobby only for those who can afford it and overpricing games is an issue everyone can be upset about too regardless of whether they can afford the price.

Severian

CanisWolfred

Severian wrote:

So far it seems some have not even bothered reading this and don’t realize the title of the topic is what I’m writing against.

Yeah, that's kind of what happens when you open with a giant wall of text, trust me. It pays to be succinct, especially if you want to have a discussion.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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Severian

CanisWolfred wrote:

Severian wrote:

So far it seems some have not even bothered reading this and don’t realize the title of the topic is what I’m writing against.

Yeah, that's kind of what happens when you open with a giant wall of text, trust me. It pays to be succinct, especially if you want to have a discussion.

I agree. On another forum I post on, people tend to use big blocks of text, but this was also a test of the audience in gaming, and likely if it’s an article and a discussion or video (possibly even all three), people might actually really think about this serious issue.

Unfortunately, even in major gaming publications or videos, many people comment without going through the whole thing or even watching the video, as some just like to comment based on title and description or summary, or just reply to other comments.

Severian

Heavyarms55

In the end gaming is a hobby. And like all hobbies, it is a luxury. Taking care of necessities must always come first. Be it gaming, sewing, sports, reading, whatever, you shouldn't spend money you don't have on things you don't need. Things like credit cards can tempt people into buying things they cannot really afford, and having gone through the 2008 recession in one of the harder hit parts of the US, I saw a lot of people lose their homes - despite having plenty of luxury items inside - and heard of countless people who had bought things on credit that they really shouldn't have. Or even taken out loans for even bigger purchases that was even more risky.

But the idea you shouldn't give gifts to people because it is encouraging a hobby they cannot afford... doesn't make much sense to me. You're never under an obligation to buy new games. When I was younger and less financially stable, I played the same games for months and even years. When I bought a new game, it was always very carefully considered because I knew I'd not be able to buy another one for a long long time. That is really not so different than getting a game console as a gift with one or two games and just enjoying those games for a long time until you can potentially afford to buy a new one, or get a new one as a gift.

In regards to fair prices, companies can charge whatever they like. It is up to the consumer to decide whether they think it is reasonable or fair. What is reasonable for me might be absurd for the next guy, boardline for the guy after him and pocket change for the guy after that. We're all at different financial states.

And prices pushed up by tariffs or other government instituted fees... well that is a whole different can of worms with a lot of other strings attached.

Edited on by Heavyarms55

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kkslider5552000

Even ignoring that whoever said that quote is an ***hole, does this person not realize free to play games exist? Or free games in general? Or I dunno, Steam sales?

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Severian

@kkslider5552000

He probably doesn't care because he has no brains. I already put him on ignore but recent news compelled me to see how it's an issue that can't be ignored even if the jerks can be ignored.

Severian

ogo79

people who cant afford to buy beer shouldnt be drunk

the_shpydar wrote:
As @ogo79 said, the SNS-RZ-USA is a prime giveaway that it's not a legit retail cart.
And yes, he is (usually) always right, and he is (almost) the sexiest gamer out there (not counting me) ;)

Manah

What does "can't afford the hobby" even mean? Those complaints seem to be based on the assumption that you have to continually buy new games, when in reality you could be perfectly happy with your gifted console and the one or two games per year you can realistically save up for. Seems like they either got tricked into believing they have to buy the newest and shiniest toy in existence all the time, or it's a poor attempt at keeping people out that they don't want to play for other reasons. Can't have evil poor folk in our pure and good hobby after all, right?

I'm poor myself, but I managed to buy a large portion of my 3DS collection and a Switch plus a bunch of games over the past 1.5 years (hint: ebay exists), and I fully intend to help my even poorer friend get a Switch before Animal Crossing comes out.

skywake

It's a stupid sentiment anyway because gaming is cheaper than ever. Case an point when I was a kid I remember getting two to three games a year. Usually for the Gameboy. The bulk of my SNES collection was from when they were basically giving them away as ex-rentals. From memory the average SNES game new was ~$80AU, the average Gameboy game was ~$60AU. So a SNES game and a couple of Gameboy games would have been ~$200AU in the mid 90s, ~$350AU today accounting for inflation.

In comparison I just downloaded Baba is You & Overcooked for $13AU each. I got Mario Maker 2 which literally has an endless mode for $70AU. I also pay $60AU/year for Online, Tetris 99 and a growing collection of NES games shared between my Niece, Sister & myself. If that was all I was getting this year I'd be well ahead. But I could buy Astral Chain, Link's Awakening and Luigi's Mansion 3 and still be ahead of what my parents used to spend on my games in the mid 90s.....

Edited on by skywake

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Darknyht

If you want to play the "Latest Thing" that media says you must play then it is definitely not a poor man's hobby. Likewise if you buy into the hype that you "must" own whatever overpriced piece of digital skin for your character, then you might want to have funds to waste.

However, if you are willing to play older titles or a select few new releases, you can generally manage. There are a lot of fun games out there that the only cost is time invested, and if you are willing to wait you can get a lot of good games cheap as they go on sale. Ironically, I have enjoyed the F2P and cheap stuff on Switch more than I have the full price stuff I have purchased.

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BacklogBlues

If you have good credit or have someone willing to cosign for you, you can do what i do. I buy a New gaming system at launch with a 3 year extended warranty and 2 games with a 24 month bank loan. With interest, taxes and everything my monthly payment is only $35. Pluss this builds good credit and will lower your interest with each new loan as long as you pay on time.

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