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If you’re new to Victoria this year you are going to learn a harsh lesson that will dictate how you live for the next few years—you cannot spend every dollar you have on things you don’t need. I understand it’s tough to live on the dregs of a student allowance, often relying on external help to pay for food. When you’re a nerd and you want to maintain a hobby, sometimes you have to save your cash for something down the line.
But when it comes to video games, I have found that penny-pinching can yield decent returns. Games can be expensive in New Zealand and no-one wants to waste a hundred dollars on crap. If you follow my tips, you won’t have to.
Chances are you actually like video games and already own a console or PC (this is not the place to debate which is better, by the way). Hell, even if you just own a laptop, you can play video games. Although your laptop may not have the grunt of a desktop battle-station, it can usually hold its own and run some big budget games at lower settings. There are also plenty of great games that don’t need much processing power anyway.
The key to gaming on a budget is to not treat games as individual products. You have to treat the gaming experience, from purchase to endgame, as an investment.You may not expect much from a game that costs five dollars, but all games have the potential to surprise.
Here are some general tips to maximise your gaming investment:
- Steam’s annual sales are legendary. If there’s a game you really want and it’s just out of reach of your budget, wait for a sale—you’re likely to get a huge discount. For consoles, sales are less common and usually not as good, but you may find something you like.
- If you prefer games on discs, check out the pre-owned section of stores like JB Hi-Fi or EB Games. You can often find awesome games for less than thirty dollars, and they’re guaranteed to not have deep scratches (if they did, they wouldn’t bother selling them).
- Take time to look at the reviews of games before purchasing them. If the majority are negative you probably shouldn’t bother, unless its issues are more entertaining than the game itself.
Finally, share your games with your friends, and let them share their games with you. Gaming is for everyone—share the love!