I have always wondered about the differences between buying second hand games and buying it completely new and sealed. Of course buying second hand games would mean saving more money. This applies greatly on console games. After finishing a game, selling it would mean an additional sum of money in my pockets to prepare for purchase of the latest games. Also, buying second hand games would mean more games but lesser money. However, it is known that by buying second hand games, it would mean that the game developers are not going to earn additional money from you. Good or bad? In my opinion it is great for not only the consumer but the producer as well.
Now comes the third category which most probably does not apply to current generation consoles (yet). That is pirating games. Easily downloadable off the net or bought from street tenders, pirated games are always hot among gamers. However, for current generation games (PS3 and Xbox 360), piracy have yet spread to it.
I do not support piracy; instead I support the buying of second hand games. Here is a table to compare the method of buying games:
|Category||New Original||Used Original||Pirated (New/Old)|
|Price||Expensive ($60 +++)||Average (Usually $20 – $30 cheaper than new games)||Cheap (Free/$10 for a game?)|
|Presentation||Full game box with manual etc. A great sense of achievement after placing many game boxes together.||Full game box with manual etc (Usually). A greater sense of achievement after placing many game boxes together without the use of much money.||Usually comes with just the disc or nothing (if downloaded). No physical thing to hold or posses, boring.|
|Condition||Perfect. No scratches on disc, torn pages in manuals or broken covers.||Depends. Near perfect if the person you buy from take good care of his things.||Disc might spoil within a week.|
|Gameplay||As per normal||As per normal. (Lacks multiplayer for PC, sometimes lack multiplayer for console)||Usually no multiplayer options. Music etc might be ripped off.|
|Accessibility||When there is a will, there is a way. Online or from local stores, they ought to have what you are looking for.||When there is a will, there is somewhat a way. Just that you need the help of someone to lead you through it. (must have someone willing to sell the game you are looking for)||Torrents usually pull of the trick. However finding street tenders might be somewhat difficult. (especially if the law in the country is strict. E.G: Singapore)|
As you can see, buying used games triumphs over new games. For the cheaper price you can get the same game, same manual, same everything. However, some argue that it is not favourable for the developers. When you buy a used game, you are paying to the person you are buying from not the developer. Thus, the developer earns less from one person. Still, if you compare it with pirated games, used games are nothing to the developer. They just earn half of what they ought to. And you see when you make a purchase from a person, that person with his new found money can get newer games. Thus, this results in him buying and contributing to other developers. The cycle repeats and in the end, everybody earns. Besides, it is almost like free advertisement for the developers. When people find a game good, they will most probably get its sequel (if there is one).
In conclusion, buying used games is both an advantage for the consumer and the producer. Buying new games would mean in you trying to be the first man ever to complete the game and start trying to do speed runs to impress people. Buying used games would mean to be patient to wait for a good opportunity; however in the end you get more money to get more games. Buying pirated games would mean that you are a really bad boy/girl (whichever applies), that do not appreciate the true meaning of playing a game. You pay the money, you play the game, and you know if it is bad or good. You do not pay the money, you play the game, you enjoy not the game, but the fat wallet you still have in your pocket. Say “no” to piracy, “yes” to used games. (Isn’t buying used game contributing to the save the earth campaign. It indirectly means recycling of games no?)