Entertainment for Rent

It’s become increasingly apparent that I’m a colossal money waster. Riding the torrent of new releases, I’ll drop 30 to 40 bones on the latest game with no consideration for how far those precious pound coins will take me.

As a card-carrying Oceanic 815 fanatic I secretly liked the official Lost game, I grabbed Medal of Honour: Airborne to satiate my Nazi slaying urges and I gobbled up John Woo’s extravagant gun-porno, Stranglehold. But how many of them were worth it? How many did I complete in a single week, or less?

Just some of my gaming one-week stands
Just some of my gaming one-week stands

The economic crisis isn’t going away anytime soon and my current financial situation is about as solid as the pre-Playstation Metal Gear games, so I’m going to do something more controversial than an MP’s expenses sheet; I’m going to rent games.

Shock! Horror! “Aren’t you killing the industry, Mark?” one onlooker screams. “Every time you rent a game, God cancels a Tim Schafer game”, another bellows. Well I’m sorry, but I can’t be held responsible for the well-being of multi-million pound corporations when I’ve got a wife and kids to feed! (Disclaimer: marital relationship and existence of offspring may be fabricated to imbue gravitas).

I want to play everything; I want to dip my game-tasting chips in numerous sauces, I want to sample every forbidden fruit and have the feeling of fingers in too many pies. While the summer drought isn’t exactly the most horrifying time for game releases, Prototype, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and Red Faction all come out in June alone.

My savoir, my hero, LoveFilm
My savoir, my hero, LoveFilm

There are of course, a number of releases that have categorically proven themselves to be worth the cash. Far Cry 2 took me 30 hours to complete, I’m currently on my second play through of Fallout 3 and I join the Ready-Up forums for Grand Theft Auto multiplayer every week.

I like to rationalise my newfound adoration of renting (or I sleep at night) by thinking that I’m not killing the industry; I’m just teaching it to improve. You make a 6 hour game with a crappy multiplayer mode and it’s headed for the LoveFilm queue. You make a 20 hour game with replayability, promise of downloadable content, timeless charm and a stunning array of online opportunities; you’ll get my hard earned and slightly worn twenties.







6 responses to “Entertainment for Rent”

  1. Tony avatar

    I can’t believe you’ve become a rent boy, Mark.

    For me I’m a to have and to hold kind of gamer, and I never trade in. I justify the 8 hour wonders by considering the games that have given me weeks and weeks of gaming goodness for the same price.

  2. Mark avatar

    I was wondering who would make that Rent Boy joke first, should have know it would be you 😛

  3. markBOSS avatar

    Hey man I’m right there with you. ‘Rent boy’ me up. Or not….
    £5-£18 a month for unlimited games, up to 3 at one time= the best way to play games right now. Other then maybe hoisting the skull and crossbones, ALL SAILS TO THE ‘Pirate Bay’!
    I’ve always thought the average gaming price point was aimed at the outer reaches of our ability to pay in order to grab every penny; £44.99. A penny more and it would cost too much and no one would buy it.
    I have therefore happily indulged myself in video game rental over the past couple of years, like an addict to a chemical that’s released in brain when I do something correctly. Hmmm, might be on to something there…
    Any hoot, it’s also a great way to just try before you buy, let alone to play and never buy.
    Sure David Jaffe might make me feel like I’m single handled destroying the industry in a Game Trailers segment, but renting games or even buying pre owned games is a great way to play the world out, plus it also makes my expectations for the game lower, which is always a good thing as there aren’t that many games that would satisfy the almost £45 for me. Almost £45… shessh.

  4. Tony avatar

    I haven’t paid a penny above £40 for a game since about two months after the 360 came out. You should shop around!

  5. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I’m like Tony, in that I never trade games either. I don’t buy all the games straight away anymore, the ‘to be played’ pile is getting bigger and bigger, but when I do buy a game it’s new, not pre-owned or rented.

    Although, having these different optionsto play as many games as possible is great for gamers on any budget.

  6. Tony avatar

    After my comments about never paying over £40 for a game for years, I’ve just found that Prototype is £45 at Sainsburys. I walked away.

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