How to Buy Video Games

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How to Buy Video Games

Video games have evolved since the days when gamers stood in video arcades and tried to blow up all of the asteroids on a black and white screen. Video and audio enhancements have helped video game manufacturers create games that provide gamers with real life scenarios that involve intense interaction. Not only has technology changed the face of video games, so have the number of genres. When video games first made an impact on popular culture, the only genres available for gamers were shooting and action. Since the late 1970s, video game genres have increased to include mind boggling hybrid games that include multiple video game genres.

Avid gamers have several choices when it comes to buying video games. They can visit big box electronics shops that provide a section for video games, or stop by a smaller shop that dedicates its focus to selling video games and consoles. Gamers should also consider buying video games online, especially at user-friendly eBay. Before a gamer begins the quest for the perfect video game, he or she should first learn about the popular video game genres and the many factors that determine the video game purchasing decision.

Popular Video Game Genres

Look at buying video games as travelling down a path. Before starting on the path, Gamers must decide which gaming genres appeal to them the most. Most video games represent one distinct gaming genre, although video game manufacturers have recently introduced hybrid games that combine two or more genres. Popular video game genres have withstood the test of time. Some genres have skyrocketed in popularity shortly after introduction, only to fizzle out after gamers lose interest.


As one of the first video game genres, adventure games have endured by transforming into multiple sub-genres that meet gamer criteria. Gamers played the earliest adventure video games exclusively on computers. The text-based games eventually changed as gaming system powers increased. Adventure games began to incorporate advanced visual effects that enhance the gaming experience. As an example of the visual enhancements, King's Quest developers incorporated interactive graphics with point and click functionality. Adventure genre video games have a devout following that enjoy the combination of navigating visually stunning landscapes with solving difficult puzzles.

Role Playing

Before there was reality television, role playing video games depicted real life situations that required gamers to assume specific roles. Role playing video games typically include the elements of a specific quest, character evolution by having a player test his or her abilities with deadlier opponents, and the accumulation of weaponry and tools for ensuring survival. The first role playing games mimicked the pen and paper version of Dungeons and Dragons, before evolving to include more real life settings.


Virtual crossword puzzles almost rendered the daily newspaper crossword puzzles obsolete. Players can now travel with their favourite puzzles due to technological advances. In several respects, video puzzles resemble the traditional puzzles assembled on a kitchen table or worked on in the Sunday paper. Most video game puzzles operate on the premise that gamers achieve levels of success before reaching the pinnacle of solving the puzzle.


The sports gaming genre took some time to gain fans. Many gaming industry professionals point to the launch of the Madden American football series as the impetus behind increased sports game sales. Contemporary sports video games allow players to create and manage teams that participate in a season of games that reflect the scheduling of the real post that the game represents. Many sports video games also integrate novel features that transcend playing the games.


Gamers often confuse the fighting game genre with other genres and sub-genres, such as the shooting genre. Fighting games involve two players that go head-to-head in some form of combat. The goal is for one of the players to defeat the other player. Boxing and wrestling represented the fighting game genre standard for decades, until mixed martial arts became a worldwide phenomenon. Some examples of the fighting game genre include Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Dead or Alive.


Horror video games incorporate visually horrific graphics with the survival premise. Players face myriad types of creatures and villains that attempt to eliminate the gamer's character. Gamers must survive environments that involve supernatural elements that manifest at unpredictable times. Older horror genre games reflected the plot and characters of popular horror films. Horror video game manufacturers now create games that introduce new characters and original storylines. Many horror game titles are not intended for young children.

Video Game Buying Factors

After deciding on the video game genres, gamers must consider several factors before they make a video game purchasing decision. The best place to start is to research video games online. Access a video game manufacturer's website to learn about game features and the recommended console platforms. Most manufacturers provide detailed explanations of their games to entice prospective buyers to make a purchasing decision. Research also includes ascertaining the audience rating given to each video game under consideration.

Game Rating

Some adults mistakenly believe the ratings applied to video games only pertain to children. However, video game rating standards are also for adults who may be offended by certain content, especially the violence depicted in some of the genres. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) provides a rating for every video game to inform gamers of viewing appropriateness. The following chart lists the ratings.




Appropriate for early childhood


Appropriate for everyone

E 10+

Appropriate for everyone 10 years and older


Appropriate for teens


Appropriate for mature adults


Appropriate for mature adults only

Only consider video game manufacturers that prominently display game ratings on the packaging. Some manufacturers may place ratings in obscure areas of a game's packaging to entice gamers to buy a game they normally would not purchase. In addition, the pictures and illustrations on most games provide enough detail as to the level of violence or other offensive content. For instance, a game cover that depicts several fighting warriors most likely contains violent content.

Replay Value

This may seem like a no-brainer, but a surprisingly high number of gamers do not consider the replay value of a video game. Replay value simply means the allure a game has to prompt a gamer to repeatedly play it. The game must be fun, create intense interaction, and excite gamers into making the game a must play game. Some games do not present scenarios that are challenging enough, while other games are simply boring.

New vs. Used

New video games typically have longer shelf lives than used games. However, resourceful gamers understand that some of their counterparts either buy the wrong game or change their minds about playing the game. This means that gamers can find games that have not been played and only removed from the original packaging. These games are considered "like new", although no one has ever played them. Some resold games have not even been removed from their original packaging. When analysing the condition of a used game, remove the game from the plastic storage unit and see if there are any scratches on the playing side.


There was a time when video game manufacturers only produced video games to work on one gaming platform. While that has changed, gamers must be careful not to choose a Sony PlayStation game for a Microsoft Xbox console. Most video game manufacturers clearly list the consoles for a particular game.

Online or In-Person

Many shops that specialise in selling video games buy back games from disgruntled gamers or gamers who have seen their playing pleasure reach fruition. While they try to make a profit off of resales, most gaming shops sell the resold games at discounted prices. However, shopping in person may limit a gamer's selection. Video games sold online offer gamers with more choices, if they know how to search for their favourite games. The convenience of online shopping is the reason that online video game sales have increased since the early 2000s. Savvy gamers visit local gaming shops to learn more about a video game, before they go online to eBay and search for sellers who offer the same games at reduced prices.


Video games are no longer for restless youth. While it is true that young people dominated the video game market at the inception of the gaming revolution, the gaming landscape has changed to include people from all walks of life, from the energetic youngster who enjoys evading monsters to pensioners who marvel at the electronic wizardry of a video game puzzle. Manufacturers produce video game genres that suit virtually every gaming need. Players can fight one-on-one with a computer opponent or participate in a multi-player role playing game. Learning the popular video game genres is the first step in the video game buying process.

The second step involves considering the several factors that determine which type of video game a gamer plans to purchase. Factors can be as basic as deciding on a new or used video game or deciding whether to shop in person or online. Gamers must also consider compatibility issues, as well as select a game that possesses high replay value. Perhaps the most important factor involves a game's rating. Every video game under consideration must prominently display the rating given to the game by a third-party organisation. The rating system breaks down video games in terms of appropiateness for young children, teeagers, adults, and the entire family.

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