The crushing cost of gaming

Photo via Reddit user dont_make_cents

Photo via Reddit user dont_make_cents

By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief

 

Yeah, I’m doing a Lettitor on video games.

It’s about time, if you ask me, given that a modest slice of the pie that is my free time (it’s not as big of a pie as I would like) is put towards playing video games, and a paper with a feature on loot boxes seemed like the perfect place to finally write it.

My grand adventure into the world of video games began at, what I’m going to guess was, the ripe age of six-ish, when my uncle gifted me and my older brother a Gameboy Colour, along with Pokémon Blue for me, and Pokémon Red for him.

The idea was that we would share the handheld console while playing our own designated games; and what would become a steady theme in the years to come found me reading the instruction manual while my big brother got the first turn.

Then came the Nintendo 64, with its fantastic four-controller jacks, and games like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart that not only allowed for, but actively encouraged multiplayer.

I packed my old GameCube away with me when I moved out of my parents’ house and took off to college, and occasionally visited old favourites like Luigi’s Mansion and Pikmin when I was really procrastinating my school work, but it wasn’t until I’d graduated and found myself working consistent hours (along with receiving those sweet, sweet salary paycheques) that I finally decided to invest in a modern system.

And hot damn is it ever expensive nowadays.

With brand new titles coming in at nearly $100 after tax, it’s a miracle that people are still putting out the cash for the newest games and not just retreating to their childhood favourites instead.

I get it, though. Games are bigger, bolder, and better than ever nowadays, and the cost has to reflect that—along with inflation and all that fun stuff.

But when you’re already shelling out nearly $100 for a game, I think we can all agree that you should get the game in its entirety, right?

Well, apparently not anymore, as I’ve so tragically discovered in the past few months.

My main reason for buying a PlayStation 4 was so I could play Overwatch—it looked like a great, fun, well-developed game, and it totally is. I happy bought it alongside my new PlayStation, and headed home a little lighter in the pockets, but happy.

But then I had to pay another $70 or so just to access online, which is, by the way, the only way the game can be played. A bummer, but whatever.

I received Call of Duty: WWII for Christmas, and was having a grand old time on multiplayer until I was asked if I’d like to spend the $70 to purchase the additional map pack included in the Season Pass.

Which, when coupled with the annual payment to even play online, means that to shoot strangers online in Call of Duty: WWII’s Carentan map, you need to spend a total of $220 (Game: $80, PS Plus: $70, Season Pass map pack: $70).

That’s kind of… ridiculous, right?

Couple in the presence of loot boxes for most big-name games (see our feature in the centre spread) and a nice, relaxing hobby can turn into a money-suck before you know it.

Maybe I should just go back to playing Pikmin… until they release a new one for the Nintendo Switch, which I’ll obviously have to buy.

Ugh.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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