This isn’t a review of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the newest release in Activision’s very popular video game series. In order to review the game I would have needed to play it. And, at this point, I don’t really see that happening any time soon.
I remember the days when a blockbuster video game release would get me tremendously excited. I would count down the days until release day, making my preorder months in advance. And then, when the game released, I wouldn’t wait until the morning; I would be in line at midnight to be one of the first to play the new game.
I’ve done that for a lot of video games over the years. I did that for the original Mass Effect. I did that for a few of the Call of Duty games. I definitely did that for almost all of the Halo games. I enjoyed playing those games, but giving into the hype and excitement of the moment caused me to spend $60, $60 that I often didn’t have.
Alycia and I are almost done with our Financial Peace University course. It’s been good for us to go through the course as a couple. Our students have also been going through some of the FPU material. It’s been good for me to share with them some of my mistakes, hoping that they can learn from me and avoid some of the same pitfalls.
I often didn’t have the money needed to buy Mass Effect, Halo 3 or Call of Duty 3: Modern Warfare when they came out. I made enough money but I didn’t budget it at all. So when the games came out and I didn’t have enough money in my checking account, I would just use my credit card. Instead of waiting until I had enough cash, I gave into the hype and my need for instant gratification. Now, even though those games sit dusty on my shelf, I’m still paying them off.
This is a classic case of “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Even back then, though, I knew it wasn’t good to buy something impulsively and give into my need for instant gratification. All I can do now is help others, including myself, learn from the mistakes I’ve made.
And unfortunately for my video game loving self, one of the lessons I’ve learned is not to buy video games when I don’t have the money. Even one as cool and popular as Call of Duty: Ghosts.
How do you work video games and entertainment into your budget?