How to be a Smart Gamer 101

I’ve been a gamer since I was at least 5 years old when my father brought us our first family console the Nintendo NES. On that system, we played games like Metroid, Mario, Mega-Man and Rad Racer.

Those were the days I would play games until the break of dawn, and you had too because there was no saving your progress. Once that power went off, that’s it you start over from the beginning.

Then we moved on to the next generation of consoles, I wanted the Super Nintendo for Christmas one year in the early 90’s but I ended up getting a Sega Genesis second generation. There I started playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2, along with other Sega titles. I continued to play my Genesis until my brother and I got a Sony PlayStation around holiday time in 1996. From there we would start playing games like Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider.

Moving on to another gaming revolution when Microsoft came out with the XBOX, and my father got me and my brother our first XBOX system. From there came the XBOX 360 and now the XBOX One.

As a working-class adult, I can afford my own consoles and games. I currently have an Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and a Nintendo Switch.

You would think that this is an expensive habit, especially how much games cost these days. However, if you think about it it’s not all that expensive if you’re a smart game shopper.

I typically shop for games at GameStop because of their variety of new and used games accessories, their pre-order system and their rewards program.

Some people may say the GameStop rewards and trade-in program is a ripoff but you have to be a serious gamer to benefit from it, meaning you have to be shopping there enough to accrue enough points to get your membership for free. Plus you have to be buying games that you would want to keep for years to come, so you don’t end up going back to the store to trade in a game you didn’t like.

Plus along with the membership, you do get coupons that you wouldn’t normally get if you weren’t a member. Some are BOGO coupons, some give you $20 dollars off any one item. You get a one-year subscription to GameInformer magazine. Plus with the rewards program, you can use your points to purchase digital items from their rewards store. Things like currency for your Xbox or PlayStation, or other novelty items they sell in the store.

You can make the rewards system work for you if you are a serious gamer, and understand the costs of keeping the annual membership. The membership option is not for casual gamers or someone’s grandmother who is getting a Gameboy-Box-Station for their 10-year-old grandson.

The best way to get new games is to pre-order in store. If you see something you think you might like coming out soon its best to go to the store and reserve your copy for $5 or $10 bucks. Then come back frequently to continue to add money to your reserved game until it’s paid off, and once it comes out you will be one of the first to have it. This way your not kicking out $60 dollars all at once. I find this method most beneficial to me personally and it seems it works for others as well. Plus you can view your pre-orders on your account using the app or online and see how much you owe before release day.

Everyone knows the GameStop trade system is the worst, you think your game is worth at least $20 bucks but you only get $2 dollars. The trade system looks at the value of the game, if it’s a wanted game, the replay value, the game’s performance in sales, and if the game had good reviews. All these things factor into the overall value of the game for trade in. The company wants to spend the least amount of money in the trade and charge the most that they can in resale. Its the same with cars, you’re going to spend more money on the car than what its worth.

It’s important to do your research when choosing games. Know your genre and stick to that. People that try and start playing a genre of games they never played before are the ones who will waste money on a game they definitely won’t like. Now if you have hundreds of dollars to spare and splurge on games knock your self out.

The best thing about games is that they can help you cope with life. People will argue that some of the violent games lead to more real-life violence. However, statistics show that this theory is not entirely true. Video games help to fine tune motor skills, enhance reflexes and is known to keep the brain sharp at an older age.

The moral of this story is that you don’t have to give up on your childhood, just be smart about it.