December 12, 1985
You’ll never guess what I got for my birthday! I woke up this morning, walked into the living room, and saw Dad playing Nintendo in front of the TV! He was having trouble with the first level of Mario, so I sat down and helped him jump over the pits until we got to the flagpole at the end. After that, we brought out the Zapper and played Duck Hunt until dinner time. Mom got kinda mad at Dad for buying something so expensive, but he told her that my birthday only comes once a year.
February 25, 1990
I had to get a paper route during this winter in order to save up enough money to buy Super Mario Bros. 3. I had to spend a lot of cold mornings slowly making my way up and down the streets of our neighborhood, but I finally saved up enough to buy the game. It felt kind of strange to hand over so much money at the store for something so small, but that all those bad feelings melted away as soon as I stuck the cartridge inside of my NES. The game just looks so amazing. Still though, I beat the thing in a single afternoon. I know that I’m going to play it again and again, but I won’t be able to save up money for another game for quite a long time. What if I ended up spending my money on a game that wasn’t so great?
September 28, 1995
It’s a bit strange being at school with my friends and talking about video games, because none of us are playing the same things at the same time. Games have gotten so expensive that we can only afford to buy one or two a year, so we’ve decided to each buy different games and swap them with one-another once we’ve finished. So far this year, the only game I’ve been able to buy was Chrono Trigger, but through swapping with my buddies I’ve been able to play through Yoshi’s Island and Earthbound. While having friends to trade games with is great, I do have to say that it’s certainly weird to not be able to go back and play those games whenever I get an inkling. Imagine if games were cheap enough to be able to build up an actual collection, instead of just having to trade them off for another one as soon as you’re finished?
March 5, 2000
There’s no way that a college kid could afford both; I had come to terms with that. That being said, I don’t even know anyone who’s been able to buy last year’s Dreamcast, let alone the newly released PlayStation 2. I mean, come on, just take a look at those price tags — each one costs almost as much as an entire semester’s worth of tuition. Do they honestly except college kids to be able to afford these new systems? I just got around to buying a used Nintendo 64 last year, and even that cost so much that I had immediate buyer’s remorse. Don’t get me wrong, playing Goldeneye and Mario Kart with my buddies is great, but a simple hobby like video games shouldn’t have such an astronomical cost.
November 22, 2005
When I look back on my own personal history with video games, I feel like I’ve been suffocated by the continually rising cost of hardware and software. I’ve been forced to gravitate towards genres that offer substantial adventures or encourage multiple playthroughs. Worst of all, my gaming has been all-but relegated to the still-wildly-expensive-but-better-than-the-alternatives Game Boy Advance. Don’t get me wrong; I love my little portable that could. But having completely missed out on owning a Gamecube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 because of their insane price tags has caused me to really lose touch with that entire chunk of gaming in general. Hell, with the impending release of the Xbox 360 and its five digit price tag, it’ll be years before I’m able to afford anything more than my GBA. I’m now starting to understand why my parents got in a fight so many years ago when my Dad got me an NES and Super Mario Bros. for my birthday.
June 15, 2010
I have no idea why I still watch feeds of the various press conferences at E3. It’s like watching one of those reality shows where you peer inside the lives of a bunch of rich, entitled coasties who have literally nothing in common with me. The games I’m seeing may look great, but what does it matter? I have about as much of a chance of playing them as I do of buying a penthouse high above Abu Dhabi. It’s a bit masochistic of me to ogle over something that I no chance of ever getting my hands on, and yet I still do it. Why couldn’t the price of games have just risen at the same rate as a movie ticket? I saw Iron Man 2 a few weeks ago, and paid $30 for a pair of tickets on a Saturday night. That’s about three times as much as it cost to go see the original Batman back in ’89. If only games were three times as expensive as they were when I was a kid — being able to buy a new 360 game for $150 sounds like something out of a dream. Too bad this is reality.
May 22, 2015
I’ve sadly come to terms with the fact that video games are a luxury that I simply cannot afford. Like private jets and top shelf liquor, video games are a commodity that distinguish yourself as a certain type of person, and as a lowly writer, I will never be that cut of man. Gaming is something that I look back fondly on, but am well aware that I can never go back and become the type of gamer I was when I was a kid. But I still can’t help but ask myself, “what if?” What if there was a world out there where games cost the same as they did back when I was a kid? A world where I could buy the latest Zelda game for $50 instead of the joke of a price it costs now? Wouldn’t that be something?
Associate Editor Marty Sliva is glad that the cost of video games haven’t steadily risen over the course of his life time. That gives him more money to spend on his gnarly pog collection.
Yes, I used a fair dose of hyperbole with the trajectory of the cost, but that was just to highlight how fortunate we are to live a in a time where games are so easy to purchase. Unless you want to buy some sort of wacky collector’s edition, very few games over the past decade have run you over $60. That is a price that I’ll gladly pay to play my favorite games.
“It’s a bit masochistic of me to ogle over something that I no chance of ever getting my hands on, and yet I still do it.”