Being the geek that I am, one thing I’ve wanted for a while is a diagram of how I decide what to do when a video game catches my eye. I finally made one.
(Note: further commentary below the diagram)
Why do I require such strict conditions before I buy games? It’s fairly straightforward, actually:
- I have strong and well-justified feelings about DRM.
- I’m a student with very little money.
- I’m a full-time Linux user and have been since I was 16.
- When you consider all the other ways I entertain myself, I probably have more games than I’ll ever be able to beat. (In addition to the 100+ games I have as downloads, the boxes in my closet contain roughly 500 game CD-ROMs and a CD-R full of disk images made from legally-purchased diskettes)
So, in that case, why do I keep buying games at all? In my own small way, I like to be a patron of the arts, so I try to give at least a little to every game I approve of, whether or not I’ll ever play it.
I still have to get some kind of short-term return on investment with my tight budget, but it’s better than nothing. After all, a little money to a lot of worthy developers is better than a lot to a few quasi-worthy ones… especially when I use every means at my disposal to cost them less in download bandwidth.
UPDATE 2016-03-31: And, now, it’s looking like both of the examples I gave for spending more than $5 are also examples of people reneging on promises. (Notch is no longer in a position to enforce his alpha-period “I will open-source Minecraft when it’s no longer popular” promise and Stoic Studios have decided to retroactively reinterpret the ambiguities presented by not writing their Kickstarter The Banner Saga promises in legalese.)
From now on, I’m taking a hard-line stance: My buying decisions will be made purely on what I’ll receive immediately upon payment. Future promises will carry absolutely no weight.