Buyer’s Remorse


Buyer’s remorse can be a common term among gamers. We’ve all probably had that situation where you drop that $59.99 on a game that turns out to be terrible, and now you’re stuck with it. Video games can be a pretty pricey form of entertainment, especially as the shopping cart fills up. I can probably come up with a dozen or so games on my Steam library that I’m just embarrassed about. I remember buying a game called The Bouncer as a kid, and reeling in the horror of what I had done. While I realize Marvel vs. Capcom is a popular series, I could not live with owning Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for more than a couple days.

So, having a little regret for your game choices is very understandable and probably very common when you’ve bought a bad game, or even just a game that you did not enjoy as much as you thought you would. It becomes an entirely separate case of buyer’s remorse, I think, when we start to look at the good games we buy.

“But Junambo,” I can almost hear you all saying in unison “I’d never regret buying a good game. That’s stupid. What are you, some kind of ungrateful little brat?”

Well that stings a little, but let me explain.

When I was a young teenager, my brother and I wanted to buy the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 2 more than anything. We saved up money for quite some time getting ready for its release, and when it finally came out we spent an hour or two looking for any store that hadn’t sold out already until we were finally able to buy a copy. Needless to say, we were ecstatic to find it in the case, and we excitedly grabbed someone to get it out and check it out for us. This was probably about four or five months of anticipation finally coming to fruition.

But on the ride home, a deep wave of depression and regret washed over me.

As I sat in the back seat of my parents’ car, looking at the case in its plastic-wrapped sheen, I had the hardest time fighting back this feeling that I had just wasted time and money for nothing. My mind raced, despite my best efforts, through all of the different things I could have used that money for – things that would have helped me in life like some sort of classes, or some sort of charity. I thought of all the people that were far worse off in life than I had been, and I felt a little ashamed at how much value I had placed on this digital toy. Half of the way through the drive back to our house, I had felt a little disgusted.

Now, Kingdom Hearts 2 is, in my opinion, a fantastic game. I had spent a ridiculous number of hours on that game. I had beaten it multiple times, and even managed to 100% clear it a couple times.  The entertainment value I got out of it, not to mention the value that my brother got out of it as well, far outweighs the $60 we spent on it. Also, to be fair, I never was all that likely to use that money in any other meaningful way. All the same, I think I do sometimes feel that flash of guilt when I buy a new game.

If nothing else, I think it serves as a reminder that I am very lucky to live in a situation that allows me to spend the occasional buck on what some might consider trivial entertainment.

2 comments on “Buyer’s Remorse”

  1. Buyer’s remorse? All the time, but usually only when I think about all of the games I’ve purchased on day one and still haven’t played. How ridiculous is that!? If I’ve waited until I actually intended to play any of them I’d have a lot less shame about my game shelf and a lot more money (assuming it wouldn’t have just gone toward something else equally silly). Not to mention the games I pre-ordered that have since been part of PS Plus freebies (again, before actually getting around to playing them) or games I’ve traded in for the GOTY editions complete with DLC. I’m all for spending your hard-earned money on the things you enjoy, but I’d certainly be better off waiting to spend it until I’m actually prepared to enjoy it.

    1. I’m guilty of those types of purchases too. I’ve had a game downloaded in my Steam library since December and haven’t so much as touched it.

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