Ah, yes, TV Tropes. Hopefully I haven’t ruined your life by linking to that place. If I have somehow awakened your supressed traumas, I apologize.
This TV Tropes page, called “Crack is Cheaper”, lists and explains many hobbies that have high costs. Otaku culture and video games are obviously on that page. Because I love seeing seemingly small numbers pile up (aside from on bills and debts), I’ve become curious about just how much I spent on games and otaku culture. The latter is a bit difficult, seeing as I’ve bought a decent amount of manga a figures, so I’ll first try to estimate how much my gaming hobby has cost me so far.
- Nintendo DS Lite: $139.99
- Nintendo DSi: $199.99 at launch
- Sony PSP (import model): ~$200
- Computer 1 (rarely used these days, but I played all my MMOs on it): ~$600 at purchase time
- Computer 2 (using right now): $??? I didn’t ask my dad for the price
- AK2i flashcart: $20
- R4 flashcart: $50 (got ripped off at Asian market)
- iPod Touch 1st gen, bought shortly after launch in 2007: A shitload of cash
- Sony PS2: $70
- Nintendo Wii: ~$250?
These are the systems/flashcarts alone. I didn’t even get into the games yet, and not counting the price of unknown things, it’s already at ~$1530. I’m willing to bet that if you add the price of the iPod and 2nd computer, it will surpass $2000. Of course, the iPod and computers are mainly for browsing and watching videos, and I don’t really use them for gaming these days. However, it was the computer that brought me MMOs and Touhou, so I count them. And to be fair, I got into gaming after playing Pokemon on a GBA emulator on the iPod Touch, so I’ll count it. With all these things, the final verdict is that devices alone cost me around $2000. Granted, some of them weren’t requested by me (like the computers, which used to be shared amongst the family before everyone else got laptops, or the itouch which my dad randomly got me after I said that I wanted a new mp3), but they practically belong to me now that I’m the only one using them. If counting gaming consoles only (no PC) then it’s $860.
Now, let’s see the games. I don’t have my stuff next to me, but I’ll try to recall some. I’ll only list stuff I bought, and not downloaded.
- Persona 3 Portable: $44.99
- Hexyz Force: $29.99
- Disgaea 2 Dark Hero Days: $34.99
- Dissidia: $19.99 (impulse buy on boxing day because it used to be $44.99)
- Final Fantasy I: $10 (impulse buy on sale)
- Pokemon SoulSilver: $39.99
- Pokemon Pearl: $34.99
- Atelier Annie (Limited Edition Premium Box): $39.99
- Chrono Trigger: $24.99
- Rune Factory: ~$20?
- Luminous Arc 2 (with pre-order artbook): $44.99
- Dragon Quest IX: $34.99
- Persona 4: $30 + $5 shipping
- Xenosaga I: $15
- La Pucelle Tactics: $20
- Wild Arms 2: $15
- An old Yu-Gi-Oh! game: $8 (friend was literally begging me to buy it, so I guess I’ll save it for when we sleepover or something)
- Dragon Quest VIII: $15
- Final Fantasy XII: $29.99
- Harvest Moon Magical Melody (GameCube): $10
- Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn: $25 (boxing day sale when it normally sold for $50)
- Touhou 11 Subterranean Animism: What converts to $30 CND, but it was a gift from aunt and bought in China
- Pokemon Sapphire: $15
There’s probably some stuff I’m forgetting, but this not-too-impressive game collection of mine adds up rather quickly to almost $600 before tax. Added to the price above, it’d be something like $2600. However, let’s only take into account the necessary stuff–I don’t need 2 PCs, and I don’t use iPod Touch for games. So let’s cut that to 1 PC. I don’t really need 2 DSes, and I only bought a DSi because my DSL’s shoulder buttons were dead (as in blowing does not work). As I still mainly use my DSL (I want to protect my DSi so it doesn’t get owned), let’s assume that I’m a regular person who can take care of electronics properly and not include my DSi. Let’s also assume I’m smart and didn’t get ripped off on my R4 (which got stolen anyways), and I only used my AK2i. That would leave the stuff I use for gaming at 1 DSL, PSP, 1 PC, AK2i flashcart, Wii and PS2. The cost for those come to $1280. Add the $600 I spent on games, and that’s $1880.
I repeat, $1880. Man, maybe crack really is cheaper. Ok, so maybe I buy things on impulse too much. Impulse buying should be left to people with cash and a source of income. At least I can’t complain about running out of games for the rest of the year. I’ve got several PS2 games on backlog, EO3 pre-ordered, a plan to buy Professor Layton 3, and games that I wouldn’t mind playing more than once. I should start saving cash, instead of instantly spending it all…
Haha, I’m a spoiled kid. I paid for most games with my own allowance, but the systems were bought by parents. The ones that I actually had to beg for were the DS, PSP, and PS2.
I…don’t want to try counting how much I’ve invested in (or made my parents invest in) otaku culture. I’d probably end up feeling sorry for my parents more than I already do. Man, how will I ever survive by myself at this rate? Maybe I should just be a NEET.