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Playing cheap games

Bookstore, social networking site help gamers sell, exchange, buy for less.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2011 14:42 IST
Serena Menon

Gaming can be an expensive past time for those who like spending hours clicking away on their PS3, PS2, X-Box and Wii consoles. Especially Playstation games that cost anything from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000.

But now video gamers can do more with the CDs, DVDs and Blu Rays they’ve played. They can sell used games to a city bookstore, get a voucher in return, and use that to buy a different game from a collection of numerous hand-me-downs at a city bookstore.

Says Shreekant Naidu, member of the gaming staff at Landmark bookstore that started this exchange offer called Pre-own a few months ago, “For regular gamers, buying a new PS3 or PS2 game every month is expensive. This way they can buy games sold to us by other customers for sometimes even half the price.”

PS3 games such as Call Of Duty, which originally costs
Rs 2,499 can be bought from the Pre-own section for Rs 1,400. And once the patron is done playing it, he or she can sell it back to the store in return for a voucher worth Rs 700. “Similarly the Resident Evil PS3 game costs R 1,999. We sell it for R 1,200 and then buy it back for a voucher worth Rs 600. It’s simple recycling,” adds Naidu, who has games like Fall Out, Uncharted and Grand Theft Auto among about 150 games for various consoles.

Before this, a lot of gamers created groups of friends within which games were circulated. But for those who weren’t a part of this and for students who might not have been able to afford a CD worth R 2,000 every month, Facebook has also made life easier. Various groups like PS3 Swappers and Games Exchange on the social networking site allow people to do the same, except without any monetary transactions.

The consumers, who now have a large collection of good quality games to buy from, are more than happy. And beyond the money saved, it’s the fight against piracy that they’re also thrilled about.

Says Mubashir Usmani, a 24-year-old social media strategist and gamer, “I think it’s a cool idea because it not only gives gamers the
opportunity to look at a much wider variety, but also reduces the chances of video game piracy. This works in everyone’s favour.”