Red Friday (Trading Videogames)


Stores prey on the impulsive decision making of gamers with increasingly enticing offers to trade old videogames toward new ones. Get an extra 100% trade credit or earn an additional 30% if trading towards the pre-order of a specific title. Trade your hardware for a $50 bonus towards a Wii U. Those are just a few of the common offers I see being dangled in front of gamers and I can't say that I blame retailers for those enticements. If most gamers resisted these offers, I'm sure there wouldn't be so many.

I'm speaking in terms of lure and temptation based on my own personal experiences and I know many of us fall into these same trappings. There's always some new and shiny videogame I want and always an "easy" way to get it. Herein lies the reason I feel I'm being lured or tempted. I'm obviously joking as I can certainly resist these types of things but I have to admit, it can be as challenging as a Joe Danger score chase sometimes to not trade in a few games.

The problem I have with trading my games, and the reason I do my best to resist doing so, is simple economics. If I buy a game at $60 and then trade it for $25 towards another new game priced at $60, I basically just threw $35 out the window. But I don't think all of us look at it like this. We think about how we're having fun playing the games we want and that is reason enough.

I sort of walk a fine line between collector and trader. Or at least I try to. There are times when the temptation is just too great (or so I have historically proven). I do my best, like some sort of sick addict, to resist and to rather amass a collection of videogames. A collection I can proudly display to friends when they come over to hang out. I have a few friends in my gaming circle who have tremendous videogame collections and I envy them for it.

Then a new console comes out and off I go with a pile of games in tow so that I can get it for no money out of pocket. Another likely scenario (and there are many)- It's a boring and rainy Saturday afternoon. Looking over my pile of games and nothing jumps off the shelf. Fortunately Best Buy has as a sweet deal and I can grab a couple of those hot titles everyone has been talking about.

Different side of this coin, again an economic one, is the fact that by trading games prevents further monetary strain to the household finances. Instead of budgeting $120 per month to buy two games, maybe budget $60 and compliment that spending with a couple occasional trades. Certainly can't fault a gamer for taking either approach as both have positives and negatives.

Ultimately my respect for a gamer is more relative to the games they play and their skills therein. If you can kick arse at Street Fighter IV for hours without losing a match, you certainly have my respect even if you only have two games on your gaming shelf.

Where do you stand or are you like me, trying to collect but occasionally trading a couple here and there? As a big holiday shopping time quickly approaches, I bet a lot of us are thinking about this very topic. Maybe even standing in front of our shelves right now while checking Best Buy's up-to-date trade values online.

Joel Sherfinski

Brookfield, WI 53005

Founder, Co-host & Producer