Gaming for the Chronically Cash-Challenged

One need not be a millionaire to indulge in video gaming today. In fact, it can be quite inexpensive with a bit of research and flexibility. Steam and Desura star in this edition of Gaming for the Chronically Cash-Challenged.
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As I find myself constantly unable to justify spending $50 or more to purchase each new video game that gets released, I have made it my mission to find ways to indulge my passion in a more affordable way.

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The more I talk to other gamers, I have realized that I am not the only one, so I’ve decided to share the gems that I have found. Look at these suggestions as a way to supplement your gaming needs without having to give up eating lunch for a week.

After all, there is more to life than just gaming (kidding- just wanted to get your attention).

 The Best Well-Known Secret that No One Knows About

 Steam is a game portal run by the geniuses at Valve. Yes, the Half-Life people. Here you can find hundreds of PC titles that are frequently on sale for obnoxiously low prices. I have used them for years, and it amazes me how many people have never heard of this site. Every game type is represented, and I mean major releases as well as indie games and free to play MMOs. This is the sort of site that has to be checked often, as the sales happen rapidly and often. We’re talking discounts of up to (and sometimes exceeding) 80%! Be sure to check out their bundles as well- the savings with those are just staggering. How can you overlook purchasing and entire game series for a lower price than just one of the titles included costs from a standard retailer?

 A Change is as Good as a Vacation

 Recently, I was reminded of my earlier gaming days when modding a video game was almost as fun as playing it in the first place. In fact, I recall I spent so much time modding Morrowind that I don’t remember actually completing the story line. Back then, scouring the internet for mods was a bit of a chore, but I have recently been shown a service that puts it all in one place. Desura has loads of mods to change your existing games into new experiences saving you loads of money. It is also a great place to check out or even disseminate brand new indie games. Many of the offerings here are completely free, so there is absolutely no guilt required here. Just download a small app to get started remaking your PC games into something completely new.

 Used Games – Get Em While You Can!

 I have heard rumblings that game publishers are working to end the used gaming market, as well as rentals. While I feel that they are shooting themselves in the collective foot, I do have to say I understand why (don’t hate me). That being said, my goal is to continue to acquire used games for my consoles as long as I can. A little patience usually means savings of over 50%. This also gives the opportunity to back up and catch games I overlooked or just plain skipped. Borderlands, for instance, was that title for me. When it came out, I passed it over because it was cell shaded and silly looking. When I finally decided to give it a try, I was shocked. I fell in love, and for way less than half the price I would have paid had I bought it brand new. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Gaming today does require a financial investment, but smart shoppers can keep the investment manageable with a bit of research and patience. As I find new opportunities to save, I will be sure to share and review them. Please feel free to share your tips with us as well in the comments. After all – gaming is always better with friends. So is saving!


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Adrienne Brown
Gaming since PacMan was high tech and AOL was only available on floppy disks.