A Moment of Weakness


I’ve been looking with some interest for a while now at The Repopulation’s development. Recently, they made a change to the level of backing required to access the games alpha from $150 to $100, as well as turning the alpha servers on full time and not just for occasional tester weekends. So, for the last couple of days I’ve been dipping in and out of the alpha, but of course, I can’t tell you anything about it at all because of the NDA which is in place. However what I can talk about is that odd feeling that comes over me sometimes when I suddenly become all consumed by the notion that I must have the thing I want, and RIGHT NOW damn it.

In truth I imagine this is partly why so many game offer up some form of paid alpha/beta, apart from the fact that people are demonstrably willing to pay for it, it is clear such offers do appeal to a certain kind of gamer who must have all the things, and I can be one of those sorts at times. I almost paid into the alpha a week ago, and the feeling that comes over me at such times is a little hard to describe, but I get almost sweaty palmed with the anticipation of having something I’ve wanted for so long. I’ve never spent this much on alpha access before, and it felt like a lot of money to speculatively throw at a game that I may not end up liking as much in practice as I did on paper, but in some sense I’m happy enough to support these kind of titles monetarily even if I don’t fall in love with the end product. I’m just pleased to see these kinds of games being made.

But, this overwhelming desire to buy games is a huge weakness of mine. It’s why my Steam library is populated with games I’ve barely touched since purchase. I often say that in some senses I’ve become more obsessed with buying games than actually playing them at this point. Sometimes it’s the more straight forward desire to get a good deal, the notion that I simply must buy this game now because it’s so cheap! It might never be this cheap again! This is patently nonsense, it will usually be cheaper at some point, but the pull of a good deal is a strong one. Other times it’s more like a feeling of desire that comes over me, and I feel as though I can barely resist a purchase. Luckily, I’ve actually reached the point where there are very few titles I know about and am hugely interested in that I don’t already own.

I know I’m not alone in this, and a basic glance at most people’s Steam libraries will tell you that folks tend to buy a lot more games than they play, but I think there’s a curious quirk of psychology at play here, and I’d be interested in whether any of you guys have a similarly overwhelming desire to buy games at times.


3 thoughts on “A Moment of Weakness

  1. It happens to the best of us.

    I’ve transitioned from the guy who buys the game he wants on release day to the guy who only buys games on sale, or once their price has been permanently reduced. This means not getting games right away, usually buying ones that are a year + old. However, with the sheer amount of games out there, I see people who do buy games on release day who still haven’t played them all, meaning some of the ones they play are older when they get around to them (or like you said, they just buy the game and play it later).

    I get the urge. Especially when I see a good deal and I have the money on hand to spend. Other times it hits me when I’m looking at my list of games and don’t feel like playing any of them. Then I start hunting for deals. It doesn’t help that my email account is linked to several bundle sites, steam has the wishlist that will email you during a sale, and I have mailing lists of individual developers as well. As soon as something is on sale I usually know about it, and start scheming on how I’ll squeeze the money out of the budget to pull the trigger.

    I think it’s just our instant buy society. We have the ability to click a couple of times, maybe have to type a card number in, and within the few minutes it takes to process and download we’re playing a new game. I don’t have to get up, shower, get dressed, drive to the store, hope they have the game I want, buy, come home, play. Once your info is on a website, a couple clicks and you’re done. The unfortunate part is that the rush is gone after the purchase and first few minutes with a game. So if it ends up being subpar, it’s collecting dust. Or if you are getting a bundle, you’re just sampling games and not really playing any of them. That’s why I’ve been consciously concentrating on completing the games I have and trying to avoid buying more. For now, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry man, I missed this comment somehow!

      I absolutely believe that ease of purchase is a big, big factor. I pay for games with Paypal, meaning three clicks is often enough to purchase a game.

      And as you say, I get to have it right now. There doesn’t need to be much time for me to consider my purchase, I can have it as soon as I contemplate buying it.

      It certainly seems a common phenomenon these days.


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