Buying games can make you happier

2 min read
101

GoOnSplashOut

Retail therapy is a very real thing. When you’re sad or miserable, going out and buying stuff can make you happier – and no, not only if you’re female. Unfortunately, that little bit of happiness is short lived, and often replaced with buyer’s remorse and even more sadness.  Research, however, now suggests that buying video games can actually make you happier.

That’s because video games aren’t just things. They’re experiences – and by buying games you’re actually purchasing memories. When they’re good games, you’re buying good memories, and that has a measurable effect on your general well being.

“Experiential products, unlike material items, enrich and create their own life experiences ; for example, consuming video games facilitates multisensory, fantasy-like, and interactive experiences,” says a study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (via Polygon)

“Moreover, the use of goods that render a service tend to be consumed more as life experiences and less as material items. As experiential products increase in their intangibility, consumers become more likely to reconstruct their evaluations of these purchases as life experiences resulting in similar and rosier recollections”

When you buy a game that you enjoy playing, your brain doesn’t see it as a purchase – instead it registers as a collection of experiences. Further more, things like games can actually help imbue a sense of identity, and give you experiences that you can use to relate to other people.

“Moreover, video games and sporting goods are often purchased with the intention to be consumed with others. As described by Caprariello and Reis (2013), these social material purchases provide the same amount of well-being as do social life experiences because they both likely meet the need for relatedness,” the study continues.

Essentially, if you want to be happier, you should buy more games.

Read  New research confirms that the smarter you are, the better you are at MOBAs

Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    If this is how happy all my games make me, how much of a miserable bastard would I be without my games backlog.

    • Sith JJ

      Well, knowing what your Steam library looks like you’re the happiest person I know.

      • Admiral Chief Assassin

        What about mine?

        But I have a wife and daughter too, so 3x the happiness!

        • Sith JJ

          Oh, I thought that went for me for not being married. ;P

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Marriage is awesome dude!

          • Sith JJ

            Ordered the ring this week. So if you’re lying I’m coming for you.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            I’m not afraid of you, I’ve got an industrial size make-up remover spray-gun!

          • Sith JJ

            I have a beard. Filters out everything from poisonous gasses to insults. 😉

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            XD

          • Spaffy

            What!!!
            O_O

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Aye, that be true!

          • Spaffy

            Well, she does wash my clothes and make dinner every now and then.
            And I can sexytime without paying or beeing pepper sprayed.
            I suppose it’s cheaper than the alternative.

            Oh who am I kidding

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            O_O

          • Dutch Matrix

            You should be pepper sprayed just for saying sexytime… 😉

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        • Spaffy

          I have 2x daughters aged 4 and a son aged 9.
          And a demanding wife.
          I am fortunate I can play games at all 🙂

          • Sk3tz0

            Ducktape and a Big enough Closet.. U’ll be able to play what ever you like

          • Spaffy

            I usually get home, finish the chores (dinner, bath time)
            and when kids are in bed I’ll chat to my wife a bit over a glass of wine and when she departs for bed or watching her stories (usually around 10pm) IT’S GAME TIME!!!

          • Sith JJ

            My gf games, so I’m just lucky if I get attention.

          • Spaffy

            Which one is yours?
            (refresh)

          • Sageville

            I knew it! All real girl gamers are naked!

          • Spaffy

            Don’t all gamers sit naked in front of their monitors?

          • Sith JJ

            I wish.

          • Wow, you want the guys sitting around naked too? 0-O Backs away, we are NOT cooping eva!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Yeah man, I game in the buff.

          • Tulipdame

            Lol. Me and my fiance also game together…it’s our weekend pass time. During the week I am too tired, but he is free to play. No children yet, so free time is still free time.

    • I like to think I have a damn good imagination, but I draw the line at what you ask…

  • PERSONA 5!!!! (Umar)

    This is actually true. Whenever I feel really down I tend to want to buy a game. And usually end up doing so which usually cheers me up.
    But generally video games always cheer me up. The feeling when you’re able to shut your mind down and just play is absolutely priceless

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Not everyone likes playing FIFA though.

      • PERSONA 5!!!! (Umar)

        I see what you did. It could easily be replaced by numerous others as well lol

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          tee hee. If this had been a week from now I would’ve said Destiny.

      • Sith JJ

        There are people who actually enjoy playing it? This is news to me. I always thought it was some masochistic thing people did.

        • Matewis Jubilai

          I think it is more popular in the soccer-mad countries. I’ve got a pêl in Scotland and he says that people are crazy about it over there. Personally, I don’t get it either.

  • Matewis Jubilai

    Phew, Matthew got a bit comment-desperate there for a second 😛

  • Admiral Chief Assassin

    You know what makes me happy? Buying epic games on epic sales on epic Steam!

    • Sith JJ

      I just open up Steam and it’s like all my troubles just….dissipate.

      • Admiral Chief Assassin

        HAPPINESS IS JUST A LOGIN AWAY!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          My daily Warframe log-in reward. Sometimes it’s YAY sometimes it’s AW.

          • Sith JJ

            I got some Warframe pack in my inventory. If I knew then that you played it I would’ve gifted it to you, but I sold it. Because I’m greedy when it comes to things in my Steam inventory.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            SO YOU SAY!

          • CAE9872

            Ahhh yes the log in reward – that has so far ALWAYS made me go…WHAT another one of those!!!

            By the way, I was in last night and you mentioned some event or other – any chance of a reminder? And where?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s finished, it would have displayed on the notifications of your navigation console. :/

          • WarframedSquirrel

            Or you can just get the Warframe Alerts app on your phone or follow @WarframeAlerts on twitter.

            You’re welcome.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That & Humble Bundles hehe.

      • Admiral Chief Assassin

        Aye, when I see that HB email, I get butterflies!

      • Sith JJ

        So I’m not the only one just waiting to see the “coming soon” new titles on Humble Bundle? It’s the waiting that makes it so much worth it.

        • Admiral Chief Assassin

          I’m quite sad now, missed the latest one. Wanted to grab VH

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            The last Jumbo bundle is the first games one I’ve bought in a while, been buying the books ones – but the newest one is boring old Star Trek.

          • Sith JJ

            Boring old Star Trek? So that means I probably shouldn’t consider it?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Depends whether you like Star Trek or not. I don’t.

          • Sith JJ

            Oh. I see.
            I quite like it. Like a tenth of Star Wars. Wait, no, that’s unfair to Star Wars.

          • Sith JJ

            Dude. I was weighing up my options for the next game to hit off my backlog last night and VH it is. Cannot wait. But I’ll only start it next weekend. Need to spend some time on the games I already have installed this weekend.

  • Hammersteyn

    Yes it can, unless you believe the guy at BT Games and buy Call of Juarez The Cartel

    • Sith JJ

      We’ve all made such mistakes my friend. I am one of those who took that dive with the infamous FF.

      • Hammersteyn

        13? I did as well, I mean it’s FF. How could it be bad?

        • Sith JJ

          *hangs head in shame*

        • How wrong we all were…

    • CAE9872

      …or Aliens : CM…?

      • Hammersteyn

        Didn’t fall for that luckily. Call of Juarez was an unknown game at the time and know I know why

  • Ryanza

    Buying Simcity 5 didn’t make me happy. It made me sad and angry.
    Buying Diablo 3 didn’t make me happy. It made me sad and angry.

    When I buy The Witcher 3 it will make me happy.

    In other words. DRM makes me sad, oh so sad and unhappy.
    No DRM makes me happy.

    Don’t support DRM

    • Sith JJ

      I think you just fortified your “Don’t support DRM” better than ever before there.
      Though…I did spent a lot of time on Star Craft II, but the DRM is the reason I don’t play it anymore. It’s just too much effort.

    • Sk3tz0

      Bet that Speeding Fine didnt make u happy either.. 😛

      • Ryanza

        What speeding fine? That was not me. I didn’t understand the DRM replies that guy got. It seems people thought it was me. James Hendriks was the name on my screen.

        • Spaffy

          Lol, I bet he was thinking WTF are these people on about? What’s DRM?

          Seriously, why don’t you just create a Disqus account already?

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Yeah, disqus is NOT DRM

          • Spaffy

            Well…

    • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

      It seems we own the same games o.O

      Both SimCity and D3 made me happy to be honest. It gives me enjoyment. Not 100% what I would have wished for though. Wanted bigger cities and wanted an epic skill tree.

      We are in the same boat with Witcher 3 though! I can’t wait! Such excite!

  • CAE9872

    Yip I love buying games!

  • CAE9872

    Oh and that is one happy cup!

    He seems to be wearing a crown the way the water sprayed…he must have seen Mrs Cup.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      • CAE9872

        No I have no idea what I was writing either…it popped in and I typed…

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Refresh for image 😉

        • Sageville

          Somewhere, somehow 2 girls are looking for that cup.

      • Brady miaau

        Ah yes, the poster lady for political correctness

        • Sk3tz0

          She is brilliant.

          • Sageville

            Also as hot as hell when addicted to cocaine!

  • Sk3tz0

    only one thing makes me happy..

    BEWBS!

  • Sageville

    I present to you my counter-point to this argument:

    • CAE9872

      LOL

    • CAE9872

      How did you get on with Warframe last night? I should be on later if you want to team up – I am happy to go “farming” in some of the earlier planets.

      • Sageville

        Eish, all I have is “Earlier Planets”!

        I was getting into it, but the game kept on crashing after missions.

        Now, I’m sure I’ve wasted all my experience points buying Warframe Blueprints (Have no idea where to get these components).

        Still I’ll be on later once the kids are abed.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Each planets boss drops components for a certain Warframe or weapon, so you have to farm them a bit to get all the pieces you need before you can craft something.

        • CAE9872

          Blueprints come from beating bosses (except for Mercury boss) – and even then you only get one i.e. you need to beat a boss multiply times to get everything you need to build a new Warframe. I would suggest that you take your default items and warframe and keeping levelling up (max is 30).

          That way you can add more mods to each item making it stronger all round. It then becomes easier to stay alive.

          Then its just a grind truth be told going through missions collecting the various resources you need to build whatever you want.

          If you still have any in-game Platinum one of best things to buy is the 3 day booster pack as it doubles your experience. But only do this if you plan on logging in every day over that time as its real-time…

          • Sageville

            I did find a PS+ free PS4 promo pack on the playstation store, that gave me 100000 exp, 100 platinum and 2 x 3 day boosters.

            So that should hold for a while.

          • CAE9872

            Sheesh then you good to go…stabilise the game (can be hit and miss sometimes) and you on your way. Being F2P there is some grinding but personally I have fun with the grinding; best type of missions are the defence style missions which you can gain lots of XP and mods. Longer you around in the particular game the better and more rare the mod.

          • Sageville

            One noob question:

            Mods: Some have different rarities e.g. Damaged Warframe or Common 3 etc. Can you merge different rarities or should just merge similar rarities?

            I think I lost a mod or two because of the different rarities… not sure how it works.

          • CAE9872

            You can merge mods yes and rarity doesn’t matter except that using a rarer mod helps with increasing the core mods abilities.

            So what you want to do is actually farm for mods, and once you have duplicates, you start to fuse them together. I found this really helpful especially in getting higher health and vitality. Also you can use core mods which helps in fusion process.

            Fusing can be a bit complicated but keep messing around and you will see how to increase a mods “strength.” Personally I found transmuting mods (an option in mods menu) a waste of time and VERY expensive.

            Check this page of the wiki for details.

            http://warframe.wikia.com/wiki/Mods

    • Viking Of Science
      • Hammersteyn

        You bought that? Haha Romero made you his bitch 😛

  • Dutch Matrix

    Oh sure, there is nothing more empowering and feel-good vibes inducing than handing over your cash for a pretty, shrink wrapped DVD/Blu-Ray case of fun!
    And then you get home, load up said bundle of supposed fun and find out that you have played this game before, only it had another name and was done by another studio.
    Then you realize you could have taken that R700.00 bucks, took your lovely lady friend out to a romantic dinner and if things work out great, end the night having sex.
    But NO!!! You just HAD to get that bright shiny new box…

    • Spaffy

      R700 for sex?
      You must come to Cape Town bru, it only costs a dubbel brannewyn & coke
      😛

      • Hammersteyn

        And she has most of her teeth?

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          When she puts them in, sure.

          • Hammersteyn

            Coke has too much sugar, much cavities

    • Jac7

      If you play your cards right you could get both shiny boxes 😉

  • Ross Woofels Mason

    This is true as all hell when it’s a good video game. I have had moments though like why the hell did I buy this when the game hasn’t made me jump for joy =p

  • Milesh Bhana

    i tell my wife this all the time, but she doesn’t believe me.
    The only thing that makes me happier than buying games is getting games (first Wednesday of the month on PSN+)

  • Jac7

    I love it when someone justifies my love for games. Now I need to control the urge not to overspend (withdraws unborn child’s college fund).

  • Kromas of City17

    So basically. You are telling me I intentionally bought bad experiences when I got A:CM?!

    Sounds about right.

  • So buying A:CM made SOMEONE happy?

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    That rush when you buy a game… (Oh yeah) and then the realisation thereafter that you probably shouldn’t have bought it on the credit card… (Oh Noes)

Check Also

Ballistix Masters offers R150 000 esports tournament

South Africa's competitive year will kick off early 2018 with the Ballistix Masters. …