2015 is almost done and it’s that time of year where I both start to reflect on the past and try to visualize the future.
I bought a lot of games this year, and particularly this fall. I really didn’t play most of them very much (and I have a good number that I haven’t even touched). That needs to change, and rather than me playing more, I think it’s time to buy less, and there’re several reasons for that.
First is financial. As I mentioned, my freelance writing gig ended in October which means my annual income in 2016 will be reduced significantly. At the same time our expenses are going up; Angela’s ACA health insurance tripled in price (though to be fair it’s still a lot cheaper than what I pay through work). The result is that we’re going to have to pay a lot more attention to money going forward. I haven’t really ‘felt’ this yet since my last freelance check came in November and December was one of those months where I got an ‘extra’ paycheck between rent payments (I get paid bi-weekly so twice a year there’s an extra check).
Second is lack of interest. Over the past few months more and more often when I sit down on the couch during my usual ‘gaming hours’ I find myself turning on some music and reading the paper, a magazine or a book instead of playing games. Maybe it’s just a phase; I was playing Destiny a real lot for a while there and maybe this is just a kind of ‘rest period.’ Or maybe its just part of getting older. I wrote recently about pretty much giving up on platformers and lately I’ve found myself feeling frustrated by any kind of fast moving genre. I tried going back to Infamous: Second Son a couple weeks ago and found it now made me really motion sick! Or maybe it’s just too much of a good thing. Some times I struggle so much with trying to decide what to play that I just decide to play nothing.
So between a lack of $$ and a lack of interest, I’ve decided to put a strict budget on my gaming. Starting in January I’m going to set aside just $15/month to spend on games. While that sounds pretty strict, there are some loopholes. First I get free games through Xbox Live, Playstation Plus and EA Access (though of course I can’t pick what I get). Second, my credit card ‘reward’ program gives me Sony Reward points that I can turn into Playstation Network $$ cards every few months. Third, I have a ginormous backlog. Fourth, Uncharted 4 is already pre-ordered and paid for. 🙂
The overall goal is to save money, make smarter purchasing decisions (I’m particularly annoyed with myself for buying some expensive “deluxe” versions of games that I wound up barely playing at all: Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5 but come to mind), and ease the vague sense of guilt I feel when I look at my collection of unfinished or barely-touched games.
It should be fairly easy to keep this resolution for the first 2/3rds of the year, but it’ll be much more challenging when the 2016 holiday launch season kicks in around August. I guess I’ll see how it goes.