In previous years, I’ve attempted to curb my game spending and encourage myself to actually complete games I have by gradually reducing the amount of money I’m allowed to spend on them. These were known as the £25, £20 and £18 Rules. Last year, I kept to the £18 Rule – meaning I’ve currently missed out on Mario 3D Land, Skyrim and Batman Arkham City, as they’re not cheap enough (yet) for me to buy.
That isn’t a problem though, as I’ve plenty of other things to play, and they’ll drop in price eventually. Except Mario, of course, which won’t. Ever. Hmm.
There is also an issue with the £18 Rule, in that I can still buy as many games that are less than £18 as I like. Mainly, this was downloadable titles for XBLA, the 3DS and the Wii last year. And they all add up. In terms of value for money, a £40 Skyrim purchase would do me better than the 7 or 8 downloaded titles I probably bought instead. Which means I buy more games, although generally still do spend less. Perhaps.
This year, I’ve decided on something different. Why not apply a physical limit on game purchases, instead of a monetary one? And so it has come to pass that I am announcing…
The Pound A Mile Challenge
The basic rule is this: for every mile I cycle, I’m allowed to spend one pound.
That’s it. Simple, right? There are a few additional rules, however:
1) Miles must be earned before being spent.
2) Game prices do not include postal charges.
3) Store credit, vouchers, etc. can be used instead of (or in addition to) miles.
With this rule, I hope to rethink how much I really want a game. Is it worth me going out cycling for 30 miles in order to buy Mario 3D Land? I also hope to get fitter simply through desire for a game.
One challenge this year will be the Wii U. I’m expecting the price to be around £200. Which means, I’ll need to cycle 200 miles to get it. Not all in one go, of course. I’m not Jochta. I’ll really need to work for it!
Last year, I spent just shy of £900 on games and game “stuff”. If the same is true this year, I’ll need to cycle 900 miles in 12 months. On average, I’ll need to be doing about 17.5 miles a week to spend that much. To some, like HarpingOn and Jochta and people who are not me in general, that’s not a lot, but it’s above my current average so I’m going to have to train harder and for longer. That’s not such a problem in the nice weather, as I can easily manage 8-10 miles in a day (in my current fitness state – hopefully this will improve!), but at the moment 4 to 5 miles is the norm. I may have to “stock up” the miles over the summer in order to see me through the winter!
Ultimately then, I’ll end up doing one or the other of these:
1) Being unable to keep up the mileage, so spend less on games, or
2) Being able to buy whatever games I want, so end up fitter.
Either outcome is a win, although 2) is clearly the target 🙂