Get 'Em While They're USED
by Joe Santulli

I took a cruise through the local shops yesterday to assess the present state of "used" video games. I've always been a supporter (and frequent purchaser) of this - the chances of a CD showing wear are even slimmer than those of a cartridge. You can flip the thing over and see any noticeable damage, and if you do, you just pop it back in the case and try again. It seems to me there is little benefit at all to buying a game NEW unless you absolutely have to own it as soon as it is released... and based on what I saw yesterday, even THAT isn't a real good reason anymore. It looks like gamers have even shorter attention spans than they did a year ago. Almost-new titles like Sega's Virtua On and Tempest X for the Playstation were in abundance at a nearby FuncoLand.

Actually, there are two theories: the first is just that the "Type A" gamer only needs one game in his/her collection, must conquer it, and then moves on to the next. If I'm a "Type A" gamer and I beat Tempest X its in my best (gaming) interests to sell the game back as quickly as possible so as to maximize my return, and put it towards the latest thing.

I'm not a "Type A" gamer.

The "Type B" gamer is the one with the low attention span. It really doesn't have to be BEATEN. It just has to be PLAYED. This is usually the youthful gamers, but I know loads of adults that fall into this category, too. "Type B" gamers are the ones video game manufacturers generally make their money off of. They consist primarily of arcade-dwellers and "first on the block" mindsetters. If this player owns Tempest X and Virtua On, he's going to trade them in for a the latest thing. He'll be back in a few days to do it again.

I'm not a "Type B" gamer.

Here's why buying used is so important to people like me... let's call ourselves "Type C". We not only want to finish every game we own, we also want to own every game we can. It's a Utopian existence, really. Play, play, play. What separates this particular Utopia from others we've read about is that you actually need MONEY to live there. Hence, the used game hunt. We have become scavengers of sorts, picking up the leftovers that Type A and Type B leave behind, but there's plenty there to choose from. And now that there are no fewer than FIVE systems in competition (more if you include recently-defunct systems like Jaguar, 3DO, Sega CD and 32X), you can safely walk into any used game distributor and know that you'll come out happy and still not broke.

The most fruitful of the leftover lot has been 3DO, where most places are just trying to get rid of the things. I've been able to chalk up a dozen or so 3DO titles in the last week for under $10 each and my collection is pretty large to begin with. If I were just starting out, it would be a field day. I'm still a little bummed that 3DO didn't work out... I kind of enjoyed the games that don't seem like they're making it big on better hardware. It's gotten so desperate for this software that I even spotted a NEW 3DO game being sold at Software Etc for $1.99 (it was Mazer, probably not even worth that much but still)!

So for the hunters and collectors out there: Feast! It is our hour!

More on this later... 

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