Five Video Game Gift Ideas For Poor Gamers… Or Just People On A Budget

poor-gamers-thumbnailI’m in NYC, what I consider ground zero for the current financial crisis. Bad banks, high unemployment, foreclosures, fraud, cash for clunkers, oh my! It’s a tough environment for an honest gamer. I just don’t get it. These are the same streets, the same people, but for some reason lots of people are in a bad mood. They’re worried about spending money, which only perpetuates the problem. The gaming industry is important for business. Excitement for new games drives console and computer sales. That puts people to work, which helps the economy. So let’s get excited! Let’s make life fun again! But of course, we’ll start slow. Here are some inexpensive game ideas for cost conscious consumers.

Guild Wars – No Monthly Fees! is part of the Guild Wars Fansite program. As no surprise, I recommend the game. Millions of players have already tried. But this suggestion is for those that haven’t started playing yet. Buying all four parts of the original series could get expensive. That’s why I recommend the Platinum Edition – an extremely inexpensive way to get the main parts of the game.

What’s nice about the Platinum Edition is that you can start from the beginning and skip to the end – it gives you classic and the most current content. You’ll be able to get a nice set of heroes and decent library of skills. You’ll also have a nice balance of PvE & PvP content. While you won’t have skills from two chapters, a lot of them are redundant anyway. What you will have is access to some of your own heroes and years worth of game play. Yes, years! I’ve been playing the original Guild Wars since 2004. As for Eye of The North, I like to relax by punching Dwarves in Kilroy’s Punchout Challenge. It satisfies my hunger for MMORPG-like game play, without the monthly fee.


By subscribing to gaming services, you can save a lot of money. Instead of buying one expensive game, and then letting it collect dust, you can probably play for much longer with one of these services…

  • – Huge game library
  • – It’s like netflix for games

PlayStation Network Card

All three of the major gaming consoles have downloadable content. Here, I’m going to focus on the PlayStation 3. Why? That’s because I’ve been wasting a lot of time playing PS3 downloadble games. It started with something simple. Hey… $4.99 for Astro Tripper… how harmless can that be? Not much… as it opened the door to an inexpensive form of gaming. I picked up Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, and then Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled. I was enjoying retro gaming, but with modern graphics / sound and online play. It was nostalgic yet brand new. For one, I wasn’t dominating Street Fighter like I used to. No, this was far more challenging than battling out in the delis and pizzerias of Brooklyn. As for Turtles, I didn’t have to fight for space in a crowded and smelly arcade. I was enjoying vintage game play in the comfort of my own home.

I recently picked up Bionic Commando Rearmed. Wow, trophy hunting is a real challenge on this one. I’ll likely be getting my money’s worth out of this game too. Apparently, I’m having more fun with these downloads than the supposed AAA titles. All four of these old-school games cost less than one full-priced game. I don’t own a single $60 PlayStation game. I like the idea of giving away a game card as a gift because it teaches the next generation of gamers about responsibility and the value of money. Instead of using credit cards to buy games, the pre-paid card doesn’t accumulate debt. When it hits zero, it stops.

Even more game cards!

A good percentage of the prizes given away in the Photics Team’s folding@home competition were originally purchased at 7-Eleven. Imagine that… game cards at 7-Eleven. Originally, it was easy for me to dismiss the card rack. But upon closer inspection, there were some values to be found – like City of Heroes. Of course, that game has a monthly fee. Yet, I did see Exteel and Guild Wars in the mix. I’m starting to see similar displays in other stores, like Best Buy. This is a good last-minute purchase. Say you have a nephew, but you forgot that his birthday party is tomorrow morning. It’s late and the regular retail stores are closed. Don’t worry, you can probably sleep late. Just pick up a birthday card and game card at a good convenience store. It’s easy to wrap too! Just put the game card in the birthday card!


“Staycations” are popular in this recession. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, the money is be saved and people are staying home. I’ve always had a similar philosophy. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, I’d rather buy a really nice TV and make every day feel like a vacation. The same is true for games. Even if you’re not buying a new TV, there are little things that make the experience better.

For example, a headset. If you know someone who plays online games, but they’re not chatting with their friends, you can get them a fairly inexpensive headset. Just recently I found out that I could simply connect my Logitech headset to my PS3. I was impressed. In doing so, now I can now chat with my friends for free. Video chat is possible with the PS3 too. *Sniff* if only there were more people who did the same. So hey, you can save on those text messaging fees and long distance phone calls. Plus, you can add a new… experience… to your online games. I emphasis that word because you might run into some wacky characters online – like me! Regardless, it’s nice to have the option and it’s not that expensive to do so.

Conclusion – Money may be tight these days, but we still live in amazing times! Even while economizing, gamers can still have fun.