Why Good Old Games’s Insomnia Sale Was More Fun Than I Expected

Participating in Good Old Games' Spring Insomnia Sale while simultaneously communicating in a thread with other users on Neogaf has been one of my greatest experiences as a PC gamer so far.

I haven’t been a PC gamer for very long, less than a year in fact. Growing up I was always a console kid without enough money for a decent gaming PC, and though I was happy with my N64 and Playstation 2, the world of PC gaming still seemed amazing. They had access to games nobody else did with amazing graphics, and their community seemed more mature and they had these crazy sales every once in a while.

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Last summer I needed to get a laptop for school. While buying a Lenovo Y410P laptop on sale last July, I noticed the specs and realized I could actually play some decent PC games. Since then I’ve taken advantage of every Humble Bundle and Steam sale I could in order to catch up on titles I missed over the years. It made sense then for me to take part in Good Old Games’ Spring Insomnia Sale. It’s called the Insomnia Sale because people lose sleep waiting for the games they want to buy. For two days I kept two tabs open, one for GOG’s homepage and the other for a thread on Neogaf for anyone watching the sale.

I Missed “Papers, Please” Twice Before Finally Nabbing It

Image from n4g.com

The way the sale works is that games are put up on the front page but they only have a limited amount of units available. You can watch in real-time as a bar indicating the amount of units left winds down and then they move on to the next game. The sale included 100 games and three rounds, just in case you missed the chance to buy a title when it first showed up. Some titles are gone in an instant and others sit there for hours, frustrating gamers and embarrassing developers.

Insomnia Sales are a Shared Experience, With Inside Jokes as Part of the Madness

Image from neogaf.com

That first round where nobody knew what titles would appear was really exciting. It was fun waiting to see what would show up. Reactions varied from ecstatic to disgusted, with users on Neogaf sharing details on more obscure titles for those considering purchase. GOG seems to have done a good job selecting games this time though. Even titles that people on Neogaf expected to stall the sale flew off the virtual shelf. In the first round I don’t remember any game lasting more than five to ten minutes.

After seeing what games were on sale in the first round, the next two rounds were all about waiting for whatever title you missed the first time. Two nights in a row I stayed up long into the morning, switching to the GOG homepage every minute or two for a quick look. When all was said and done I came away with 18 great games and a fun experience for about $40. There were a few hiccups this year that made things pretty memorable. In the second round Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut and Entomorph: Plague of the Darkfall experienced some pricing errors that led to two absurdly good deals for anyone that bought those titles.

Deadly Premonition, which usually sells for $24.99, was accidentally posted at $1.49. In contrast, Entomorph was sold for more than intended, about $3.74, but anyone who payed that price was then given $6 of GOG credit. The GOG staff also had their fun by putting Jack Keane 2, the game that infamously stalled the last Insomnia sale for over two hours with only 100 units, at the tail end of the first round with 18,000 units to sell.

Entomorph Became This Year’s Sale Stopping Meme, Partially Due to its Higher Than Intended Price

Image from neogaf.com

All in all I had a pretty good time. The Spring Insomnia Sale had tension, excitement and the usual feeling of satisfaction associated with shopping. Experiencing it along with other people on Neogaf felt like watching the newest episode of your favorite tv show with a bunch of other fans. This is why being a PC gamer is awesome. I’m not talking about the whole technological “master race” argument. The community is just more active and expansive, which leads to developers and websites capitalizing on that in fun ways.


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