I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Confessions of a Bargainholic

I have a confession to make. I like finding deals on games more than I actually like playing games.

I realized this discovery a few days ago after a purchase from one of my favorite used game stores. I had stopped by after a doctor's appointment and was perusing the old PS2 games when I saw a copy of Beyond Good and Evil for 5 bucks. I remembered seeing another used copy at a local Best Buy for 20, so without hesitation I bought it. Unfortunately since buying it I've only played about an hour into it. And this is very common for the games I end up buying.

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Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE playing video games. Playing games remain one of my favorite hobbies and when I'm in a bad mood, stressed, or don't feel like working games help me relax, refocus and become inspired, but like a lot of adults I don't always have the kind of time to enjoy it like I would ideally want. And the fact of the matter is I don't get as much of a high beating the final boss or getting a new high score as I do finding a game I want for an amazing price.

Going to garage sales, scouring used game stores, memorizing prices on Amazon. I plan out Black Friday like a full-scale military invasion, haggle like a used car salesman and meticulously compare item descriptions and shipping prices all to find the very best price on the games I want. Coupons, discounts, the clearance section in Target, Toys R Us and Walmart. Big Lots, Craigslist, dollar stores, all are my territory when it comes to the deals I crave and dream of.

For you see, for me, getting the deal is *part* of the game. While some people brag about waiting in a line all night and getting to play a game first, I take pride in being able to say I got a game for less than half of the original price. I achieve my glee from knowing I got a game for a fraction of what the game is really worth. I chuckle when I come home and see that Amazon or eBay has the game I just bought for three or four times what I paid for it and I remember the deals I get like they just happened yesterday.

I stalked a new copy of Radiant Historia for a year and a half, having missed the first time it went on sale for 20 dollars during Black Friday on Amazon, I checked the prices religiously every day, my gut clenched in stress as I saw the prices for copies go up and up and up. Then Atlus rereleased the game back at its original price of 34.99. Did I buy it then? Of course not. I wagered the price would go down again, and once again I pursued my bargain like a hunter pursuing his prey. I waited, and I watched, and then the game dropped to 16 dollars for a new copy, plus free shipping. The game is still part of my backlog. But it's mine, and I got it for an unbelievable price.

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I have many more stories like this. Haggling and arguing over the price of Pokemon Conquest and Kingdom Hearts RE:Coded inside retail stores, finding PSX games for a dollar at garage sales. I hide the glimmer in my eyes when I run into 'that mom' who is getting rid of her kid's games since they went to college or something. While many may not have the patience, I know anything worth having is worth waiting for.

I don't actually collect games. All the games I play and own are ones I actively play. And even if I end up with a huge backlog, I do eventually play all the titles I own (hey, every streak has its lulls, even when it comes to bargain finding.) But to me, the games are that much more fun when I know I got them for the best price possible.

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So my fellow bargain hunters, what glorious spoils of war have you attained in the quest for cheaper games?

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