Sunday, November 11, 2007

Spin the wheel...

My game acquisition strategy has changed over the years. It went from "buy the new games I'm excited about on day 1 and borrow/buy used the rest" (before I worked in the industry) to "play games in the game library, but buy the very few games that you must own" (while I worked in the industry) to "play some mixture of games I buy, games I rent through Gamefly, and free casual games" (my current situation).

I love all the options and channels that are available to me. Not only does it mean that I can mix and match depending on my current time available and location (in front of the console at my place, or at work/Liza's) but there is both an element of mystery as to what comes next (and in some cases when it will arrive) and an element of meta gameplay as I queue up games on my 360 download list, my preorders, and my Gamefly Q.

The 360 download list (demos and XBLA games) is a mostly black box -- I do get advanced notice on recent and "coming soon" downloads from various RSS feeds I sign up for. But, basically I click on the "new releases" tab every once in a while and download things that look interesting.

The preorder is the way that I get my hands on "must own" games. Generally they arrive a few days after the stores get them -- which is convenient enough, especially for popular games that are hard to lay hands on for the first few weeks. I've given up on Gamestop preorders for reasons that I may specify at a later date if the rage I feel towards that chain doesn't prevent me from breaking the keyboard as I type.

The Gamefly Q requires you to "game" the system in order to stack up releases that you want based on interest level and availability because you don't necessarily get the highest item in your Q next. For instance, I was surprised to get The Simpsons Game on day 1 of availability instead of an older and much more available game.

This whole thing gets even more complex when you factor in social components: I may trade The Simpsons Game to a friend in exchange for a book that he is recommending. This means that I need to consider not completing Overlord if I have to return it (instead of The Simpsons Game) to get the next available title in my Q.

Tough decisions. Fun decisions. If I don't comment explicitly on them in a future post, the decisions will certainly be reflected in changes to the games in the lists on the right.

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