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Psychology of spending money on video games vs other things

CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,205
Hi guys, 

I don't think I am alone in this but I always find myself kind of laughing at myself when I am looking for new games on steam, I want to try a new game and I want to use the $$$ I got from constantineMars thread, but if something is $20, I hesitate. 

Then, when my work stopped stocking free Red Bull for me (I drink like 16-24 oz a day), I go out and spend $6 bucks on it for the past few days. That adds up quickly. If I didn't get free food from work, I'd probably skip lunch or not spend more than $5. 

If I go to a movie with my wife that's like $25 + popcorn. I did spend about $30 + $50 + $40 on path of exile but that's my main game. I also was a bit more generous than i'd usually be because they have a cosmetic cash shop only and a free game and they are a good small company (GGG). 

Like, I hemmed and hawed when I bought the stuff I wanted for my worse-than-mediocre man cave. A gaming desk, a new monitor, a good mouse, a metallic keyboard and a good gaming chair. That stuff probably cost, in total, $680. 

I usually don't go out to eat of my own volition, it's usually because my wife wants to go, but you go to any semi-decent restaurant for 2 people and the bill is gonna be like $50 plus.

I write this all to make a contrast of how i'm such a cheap prick when it comes to my main hobby. Mind you, I work about 12 hours a day almost every day (i'm on call at nights too). I'm currently on a day 24 in a row out 70 probably. So I pretty much go to work and play games. But when it comes down to spending money on games, I hesitate but it is funny how many other things you won't hesitate to pay tons of money on. Like red bull, random crap, i bought a too expensive car and i have a huge loans and interest. But I never think about those, just if I want to slick the submit button for a game. 

My brother who plays games is the same. My oldest brother will buy a game but will never never ever pay anything more except for expansions. He won't play a free game and spend money on a game no matter what. 

Is it the same for you guys? It seems very common that there is always some sort of block there. 

Cryomatrix 


Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
ConstantineMerus
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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,837
    edited September 2017

    Is it the same for you guys? It seems very common that there is always some sort of block there. 

    Cryomatrix 


    um no I guess not. And here it's 100 - 130+ for a decent restaurant for 2. And more depending on what you order, additional wine, etc.

    Not sure what to tell you. I get paid twice per month. One paycheck is for a few bills such as phone, if I put something on the credit card, etc and one is rent.

    Of the remaining money in either paycheck I put some aside for savings (this is besides what it automatically taken out for the 401k) and the rest is there for me to do whatever I want. Games, restaurants, tickets for things, etc.

    So I suppose in the end it's all about the budget you are working with. I don't feel guilty spending money because I pay my bills first, my savings 2nd and then I can have fun.
    tzervo
  • ForgrimmForgrimm Member EpicPosts: 3,021
    I'm the same way, I'll spend money on various things from week to week without giving it a second thought, but when it comes to buying a video game I hesitate. I think a big part of it is because of free to play games. For example, I downloaded Secret World Legends, played to max level and got 50-something hours out of it without spending a dime. So then if I'm checking out a single player game that I know may only give 15 to 20 hours or so of gameplay, I have a tough time justifying the cost. It's like, "Hmmm, $30 to $50 for 20 hours of gameplay, or $0 for 50+ hours of gameplay..."
    Theocritus
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,205
    Forgrimm said:
    I'm the same way, I'll spend money on various things from week to week without giving it a second thought, but when it comes to buying a video game I hesitate. I think a big part of it is because of free to play games. For example, I downloaded Secret World Legends, played to max level and got 50-something hours out of it without spending a dime. So then if I'm checking out a single player game that I know may only give 15 to 20 hours or so of gameplay, I have a tough time justifying the cost. It's like, "Hmmm, $30 to $50 for 20 hours of gameplay, or $0 for 50+ hours of gameplay..."
    Yes, people will pay $15 for a ticket to a 2 hour movie that may or may not suck. 

    To Sovrath

    Since, I don't drink alcohol, a decent restaurant is usually in the $50-60's also, considering I've lived in cambridge, MA for 5 years, now I live in CA (don't know how to change it). The restaurants are definitely more expensive in Boston area. 

    You do the smart thing with your bills, I think, even if my bills were squared away which they aren't (I 95% blame my wife for this) then I'd still be a bit cheap on it. 

    Cryomatrix
    Sovrath
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,837
    I've lived in cambridge, MA for 5 years, now I live in CA (don't know how to change it).

    Yes you do ... come back, come back to Mordo ... I mean "Cambridge" we will take you ...


    ConstantineMerus
  • angerbeaverangerbeaver Member UncommonPosts: 1,136
    I don't go out. I don't enjoy groups, or most of the people I know. So I spend money on video games and rationalize.

    I spent 15$/mo for FFXIV:ARR. A normal person most likely spends more than 15/mo to go out and socialize. So it comes out to the same. The more I spent, the more I find ways to rationalize. New games are 79$ but normal people go out drinking which adds up quickly over a months time. Probably to more than what I spent.
  • JakdstripperJakdstripper Member RarePosts: 2,410
    edited September 2017
    the biggest thing that always holds me back from purchasing new games is the fact that i don't know if i will like it. with games it can be very hit and miss. 

    if i spend 20$ on a game and i play it for an hour and hate it, i'll feel sorry that i've wasted that money. i simply expect games to give me at least 20 or 30 hours of entertainment..... minimum. 
    if i spend 20$ to hang out with friends at the movies or at a bar (ok more like 50 or 100$ at the bar) i don't mind because i got to socialize. can i socialize for less? of course, but i chose to socialize in that way knowing full well what it would cost. 


    i am also very aware that there is a very large quantity of games that are free or almost free, and many of them are very entertaining. i have more than 1000 hours on Dota 2, totally free. Smite, LoL, PoE, Eve.....lots of great free games.  i think most PC gamers are aware of this, hence why we always wince when we see that price tag. 


    i think  in the end is just expectations. we have been brought up on games that give you hundreds of hours of fun for around 20 or 30$, and that's what we expect. anything less feels like a waste. 



    now you want to talk about outrageous rip offs... let me introduce you to 80$ per console games :D 






  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member EpicPosts: 1,913
    I don't go out. I don't enjoy groups, or most of the people I know. So I spend money on video games and rationalize.

    I spent 15$/mo for FFXIV:ARR. A normal person most likely spends more than 15/mo to go out and socialize. So it comes out to the same. The more I spent, the more I find ways to rationalize. New games are 79$ but normal people go out drinking which adds up quickly over a months time. Probably to more than what I spent.
    It comes out the same if you only play FFXIV a few hours a month. MMORPG subscriptions are extremely cheap in terms of cost per hour of entertainment.
    tzervo
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,670
    edited September 2017
    Honestly, I've noticed myself becoming cheaper when I dont have a "main" mmorpg. When I used to play FFXI for around 10 years, I kept up the sub without thinking and maybe only let it lapse probably 4-5 times out of that period of sticking to it. On top of that, I was actually buying a lot of titles on release, because at endgame I was waiting around a lot (I dont miss HNMs anymore at least). But when I stopped playing, I stopped buying titles on release almost immediately and then ended up only buying maybe 2-3 titles out of the year only when on sale for the most part. I guess I was buying games more too back then because people in my linkshell (guild) would be talking about different kind of games they found cool etc so I'd try them out. They were actually the ones that got me caught up in wow for a bit because we all decided to take a break from XI's events for a bit because of burn out. So maybe it deeps on how close you are with others or something as well since I no longer have a solid group like that anymore, mainly because most of the games I play I dont really get too invested in to find solid groups in. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those types that can play a game because of people alone.
  • Flyte27Flyte27 Member RarePosts: 4,574
    Good food is more important than good games.  Your body will thank you for not drinking red bull or eating fast food for a few dollars down the road.  You might even be healthy enough you will never need to have surgery like many people seem to these days.

    WIth that said it depends on what you like in life.  I don't do much outside of playing games, watching movies, exercising, and taking walks.  Many people in the modern times think that traveling in some end all be all that expands your horizons and creates memories.  To each their own.  It costs money to travel. 

    I used to pay 40 to 50 dollars for Nintendo games.  20 dollars doesn't seem like much to me.  The biggest downside is I end up not playing a lot of the games as I can't seem to get into them.  Instead I end up repeating a lot of old games where I enjoy the story more.
  • jdnewelljdnewell Member UncommonPosts: 2,237
    I used to budget to buy a new game once a month. Now I buy one maybe once every 3-4 months if that. The last game I spent any money on was POE and that was like $25.

    I am a bit more picky now that I have less time to play. If I am going to spend the money on something then I want it to be something good.

    I am done with preorders, Destiny 1 and the Division taught me a lesson, so I wait and see what the reviews are.

    I dont feel guilt when I drop something on entertainment. It just seems there is less and less that I deem entertaining in the gaming world.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,681
    The psychology of spending money on anything that is not essential is all about your ability to fool yourself into believing your rationalizations are logical.
    tzervo
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,385
    you spend money where your interests are and you refuse to spend cash where you have little interest.  I had a friend that would not eat a place with waiters cause he thought it was too expensive but would do signature loans for $6k to buy a part for his drag racing car.  He did not love food, but he loved going fast.
    Sovrathtzervo
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,205
    Horusra said:
    you spend money where your interests are and you refuse to spend cash where you have little interest.  I had a friend that would not eat a place with waiters cause he thought it was too expensive but would do signature loans for $6k to buy a part for his drag racing car.  He did not love food, but he loved going fast.
    That's me. I was at a fancy bar last night with the wife and kid and I didn't want to spend the money on crappy overpriced food. Thankfully, I got bailed out by having to come into work, but then again i bought a Tesla car ;(. Car payment comes out to like $40 per day. 

    Cryomatrix
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • LeonardValenciaLeonardValencia Member CommonPosts: 13
    As long as i'm enjoying i will spend my money on it
  • DauzqulDauzqul Member RarePosts: 1,982
    I miss the old days ;/     You buy the game, you pay the monthly fee, and then you go and earn your rewards etc.

    Since "FREE" to play has taken over, people are going broke.
  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 7,889
                 Mehh i dont hesitiate to drop money on games , but i have disposable income , and  i am basically retired at 53 ..............
    Sovrathtzervo
  • exile01exile01 Member RarePosts: 1,089
    i think games a re pure luxury- the biggest of all- you pay with your lifetime and get so less for it. You dont really advance in life while playing games. On the other hand socializing, eating good have a real purpose.
    tzervo
  • Flyte27Flyte27 Member RarePosts: 4,574
    exile01 said:
    i think games a re pure luxury- the biggest of all- you pay with your lifetime and get so less for it. You dont really advance in life while playing games. On the other hand socializing, eating good have a real purpose.
    That is arguable since we don't know the purpose of life or if there is one.  Eating healthy is a luxury that will lead to less problems for you, but it's likely the human race would still procreate just fine even if everyone was unhealthy and conditions were bad.  In the middle ages people were unhealthy and didn't socialize much, but humans survived just fine as they procreated more to compensate.  The same is true of great wars where many people died.  Some people spend their lives in relative isolation and are OK.  It's just a different way of life.  None the less there is no book on how live should be lived and what is and ins't worthwhile to do.  For one person the rush they get from certain things in a game may be worthwhile as it makes them feel alive.  It is a replica of what they might feel in a dangerous situation in real life that kicks in your adrenaline helping you to survive.
  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,902
    Games are so devalued right now, that I have 5 free games on my steam wish list that I can't be bothered to install.    Probably have 15 games where I'm waiting for a 60% to 80% discount, because I know that it's coming.

    And while I'm waiting to play those games,  I still have a bunch of DVDs that I want to eventually get around to watching.   I play board games at a club every Saturday which takes away one day of the weekend.   Then you also need to consider that more and more games are trying to be "Grind as a Service", to keep players in their own ecosystem for "monetization" rather than moving on  (So even my gaming free time, is spent on fewer games).
    tzervo

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,630
    When you are married, money is regarded somewhat differently.

    If, for example, my wife sees a charge for a movie and some popcorn on my credit card statement, she's cool with that.

    But if she sees I have bought another video game it's my ass.

    Yes, yes, I can make valid counter arguments. And, when I am finished making them, it's still my ass. 
    tzervoUngood

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,205
    Amathe said:
    When you are married, money is regarded somewhat differently.

    If, for example, my wife sees a charge for a movie and some popcorn on my credit card statement, she's cool with that.

    But if she sees I have bought another video game it's my ass.

    Yes, yes, I can make valid counter arguments. And, when I am finished making them, it's still my ass. 
    my wife tries to do that bullshit with me. But when I make 100% of the money and still spend thousands on her she has no leg to stand on. Then again, she still busts my ass for buying my expensive car but oh well, I  don't want anything else in life  . . . so it feels good not to have any materialistic needs. 

    p.s. 
    This was true up until I saw the best man caves . . . OMG . . . I love #29 . . .mainly cuz of the porsche

    https://homebnc.com/best-man-cave-ideas-and-designs/
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus Member EpicPosts: 2,708
    First of all, kudos on calling me as constantineMars. That is going to be my nickname in the next Sci-Fi game I play. <3

    I guess maybe couple-y expenses make more sense when you're in priso... Sorry, you're married. 
    Constantine, The Console Poster

    • "One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves." - Carl Jung
    • Currently Playing: Lords of the Fallen
  • SiveriaSiveria Member UncommonPosts: 1,414
    edited October 2017
    Forgrimm said:
    I'm the same way, I'll spend money on various things from week to week without giving it a second thought, but when it comes to buying a video game I hesitate. I think a big part of it is because of free to play games. For example, I downloaded Secret World Legends, played to max level and got 50-something hours out of it without spending a dime. So then if I'm checking out a single player game that I know may only give 15 to 20 hours or so of gameplay, I have a tough time justifying the cost. It's like, "Hmmm, $30 to $50 for 20 hours of gameplay, or $0 for 50+ hours of gameplay..."
    This is why I don't really buy AAA games anymore, they want 80 canadian for them and most of them aren't even 5-10 hours of gameplay. Why pay that when I could get a indie game for $10-20 that lasts much longer? or .hack gu last recode when it comes out which on ps4 is 64.99 and has 3 40-60 hour rpgs(thats before stuff like top arena rank, and doing post game stuff) and a bonus brand new 4th volume of unknown length (As no one has played it yet). I plan to get the pc version but it doesn't have a price listed on steam yet, but it'll probally be the same or less than the ps4 one. As for mmorpg's I mostly stick to free ones, as most mmo's are just biliant wow-clones today, I refuse to pay retail box price for something thats essentally a mmorpg i've already played and got sick of. As for free to play spending, I don't spend much at all for a simple reason: they want way to much money for most of the stuff in there. If a costume was 5-7 bucks insted of 20-30 i'd be more inclined to buy one. Its even worse when the game and its 20-30 dollar costume is locked to 1 char. Don't even get me started on like Aeriagames with its gacha gambling thing that infests pretty much every game on their site. Overall though, yeah, if cash shop prices were set better i'd probally spend alot more on them.

    Being a pessimist is a win-win pattern of thinking. If you're a pessimist (I'll admit that I am!) you're either:

    A. Proven right (if something bad happens)

    or

    B. Pleasantly surprised (if something good happens)

    Either way, you can't lose! Try it out sometime!

  • laxielaxie Member RarePosts: 1,101
    edited October 2017
    It's not the same for me.

    I am fairly silly when it comes to spending money - I'm pretty impulsive and don't hesitate to buy things if the purchase makes me happy. I'm 25, still at university, living a nomadic lifestyle of moving houses almost every year. I'll most certainly be moving again next year, possibly to a completely different country.

    I have a decent income from scholarships and usually spend all of it each month. Some months I save up for moving, which I then spend on the move.

    Gaming is an incredibly cheap hobby. The more I play, the more money I have left over. When I was playing League of Legends competitively, I'd go for my classes, get home, play for a couple of hours, order a cheap $5 takeaway and then play some more. I didn't do much besides that and my living expenses were minuscule.

    Playing a "main" MMO passionately had the same effect - I remember having a similar lifestyle when raiding in EQ2. I went home for Christmas, bought my father a game console, a suitcase full of designer clothes for my sister and jewelry for my mum. This was the first time in my life I could do that - on a fairly low income. Just because I wasn't spending anything at all on a day to day basis.

    My lifestyle has changed a lot since then. I cook, eat nice food when I go out, moved to a comfier apartment. I travel to university for meetings a lot more often, spend money on making my video game (or other academic projects). I force myself to leave the house every day, even if I don't feel like it. I prefer this lifestyle change and have a much more diverse life, but it's also a lot more expensive. I buy a lot more games than I used to, but they still are a fraction of my total expenses today - eating proper food is incredibly expensive as it turns out.

    That said, I rarely purchase microtransactions. Even though I enjoy impulsive purchases, I've studied psychology and focused on online payment models for a year. It's similar to hearing stories of people working at McDonald's and never eating another burger in their lives. I think as long as you avoid this side of gaming, it's a very cheap hobby. Once you succumb to the microtransaction craze, it has the potential to be the most expensive hobby you've ever had.
    Ungood
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 29,837
    Amathe said:
    When you are married, money is regarded somewhat differently.

    If, for example, my wife sees a charge for a movie and some popcorn on my credit card statement, she's cool with that.

    But if she sees I have bought another video game it's my ass.

    Yes, yes, I can make valid counter arguments. And, when I am finished making them, it's still my ass. 
    hmmm, it's important to note that's with a more traditional marriage. I know marriages that work exactly how my relationship worked with a girlfriend I lived with. We paid our bills, saved and the rest of the money was ours to do with what we wanted.

    In fact, I don't date women who have any other outlook as that would just not work.

    Though your post did make me laugh out loud (in a good way!)
    laxieUngood
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