New or used? The age old question

New or used? The age old question

Barrington pitcher Chase Griffin
Barrington pitcher Chase Griffin walks off the mound after giving up a game winning home run to Darlington's Sean Dunphy in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 10-9 loss. The two teams meet Monday night to determine the District II finals winner. Photo by Richard Dionne.

This question has been asked for years and has spurred many debates. A few months ago this question came up in conversation with a friend. I said that I never buy used games. He came back with a short statement, why. “They don’t go bad and, if taken care of properly, last forever.”

I didn’t have a good answer why and it made me rethink how I purchase games.

Growing up, the first console I owned was the Nintendo Entertainment System. “Back in those days” we had big clunky cartridges with the end of the circuit board exposed. This was how the system would read the game data and the game would play. As most NES owners can tell you, the game would wear after awhile slowly making the game unusable. If you purchased a used game, there was no telling how long that game would last.

My friends would abuse their cartridges. I remember many trades going bad. Some games would freeze at start up while others needed to be inserted in a special way. Some games, I would have to insert the cartridge about 99% in then grind it in to get it to work. I learned real quick to never trade or buy used. I lived by this philosophy with all my systems from Sega Genesis on through PS2.

But my friend was right. With today’s disks, if the disk isn’t scratched, the game will last. So I purchased my first used game.

I picked up the Darkness from my local Gamestop. It was only $4 with my PowerUp Rewards card. It was one of those games that I missed and, being a fan of the comic, had to get it. How could you go wrong for $4 and if it didn’t work, it wasn’t lot of money. The case looked like a dog was chewing on it but surprisingly the paper under the plastic sleeve was pretty good. The booklet was in mint condition and thankfully so was the CD. I switched out the case and it looked like a brand new game.

I have had no issues playing the game and was instantly turned on to buying used games.

Since my Darkness purchase, I have bought more used games. Gamestop is always having specials which makes purchasing used games a no brainer. I have bought a few games for my son including a Kung Fu Panda and LEGO Indiana Jones 2-pack which all looked and worked perfectly. A huge steel was Prey which cost less than a medium Iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts, just $2 bucks. The case was more ratty looking but, whatever, the disk worked perfectly.

Even though I’m now a fan of used games, there are still some that I won’t purchase. I found that fairly new releases are not discounted enough for me to purchase them used. You can probably find some great prices on Craigslist but way too many weirdos to sift through. And if it’s a game that I really want like Gears of War 3, I’ll buy it right away. You can’t wait for that to get cheaper.

In the end, I’ll purchase games used if they are older ones that I’ve missed or are games that I’d like to play but am not fiending for. My friend was right. I guess it’s all about the individual gamer’s taste. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

Happy gaming.