My brother recently gave me his old Xbox 360. It got the red-ring of death. I mailed the console in for repair while he bought a new one. I’d wanted an Xbox 360, but was intimidated by the cost plus equipping it with the hard-drive and controllers.
His gift reminded me of how so many of my consoles were second-hand. I also got my Sega Genesis in 2nd grade as a gift from a cousin who had two because of divorced parents. I finally got my SNES in high school from a generous classmate who didn’t play his anymore. Many of the games I played were borrowed, second-hand, on sale, or bootlegs. As a kid, I always over-stayed my welcome at neighbors’ playing their games.
New games are expensive. A new $60 game is more than a day’s wage if you work a minimum wage job. But I’ve known plenty of poor and working class folks who grew up gaming. For some folks, perhaps gaming was the luxury instead of buying CDs or going to the movies. For others, perhaps they found more creative ways to access games. (I, for the record, did not grow up poor, but my working-class parents were frugal.)
Has anyone else grown up as a hand-me-down gamer? What other tactics do broke gamers use to access their hobby?