Recently I noticed a strange, and irrational thing about spending money. Let’s say you want to go to the movies, it’ll probably cost you about $10 and that’s not really a big deal because $10 probably isn’t a lot of money to you. You get 2-3 hours of immediate enjoyment and maybe some more afterwards if the movie was influential or life-changing. So in terms of entertainment, $10 is not that much.

For $50-$60 you can buy a video game which will last you about 10-20 hours, although it may not have much life beyond that, but at least you can consume it at your own pace.

The weird thing happens when I come across XBLA games. They typically go for 400 or 800 MSP which translates $6.46 or $12.91 in Canadian dollars. Those aren’t large sums of money, and usually the games that interest me will give me > 5 hours of entertainment. But I find myself very hesitant to spend my MSP on these games. I can think of three reasons for this:

  • I’m still of the mindset that games are overpriced. Granted I don’t typically buy > $50 games, but usually wait until they are on sale for $10-$20. Or best yet, free.
  • The fact that these games are not charged in hard currency but MSP messes with my idea of the actual cost of the games.
  • The slight difficultly (i.e., restriction in supply) to actually get MSP is a barrier. If I run out, I have to go out to the store and buy points in 1400 or 2800 buckets.

What strikes me as odd is that I find XBLA much more convenient than regular games (because you don’t need to get up and switch discs!) so one would think that I would want to buy a bunch of fun XBLA games and just play those over and over.