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The Sunk Cost Fallacy

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Definition
Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behaviour or endeavour as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Arkes & Blumer, 1985)

Being a gamer is an expensive pass time, and with an increase in now current-gen game prices, its not getting any cheaper. The constant hype around upcoming releases and fear of spoilers flooding our social media newsfeed, often times force us to spend full price on a day one purchase. Are we really getting what we expected, or are we simply just following a trend. Have we been led astray by yearly gaming events, and trailers? Remakes & Remasters, Paying for next -gen upgrades and DLC. We are being manipulated by familiarity, yet familiarity breeds contempt.

Gaming is really in a strange place right now, with COVID-19 working from home causing delays, and games being developed and released for both current and previous gen consoles, I tend to find myself disappointed more often. With the hope that each new game release will be the next big thing, I keep paying full price for occasional disappointment.

Strangely enough, I would continue playing the game no matter how unpleasant the experience, wasting hours of my time simply because I don’t want to waste money. I remember playing Cyberpunk on launch day constantly having to reload the game from the constant crashes, yet I still pressed on.

In recent days after multiple disappointments, I’ve decided that I can no longer live with the guilt of buying games that I force myself to play. Here are a few rules I would like to share.

Don’t Pre-Order

Preordering games is one of my biggest gaming sins, the extra character outfit or skin is not going to make a difference to the overall experience. The game will be there after its release date, and will be even cheaper in a few instances, say Cnet.

Buy Physical Media if you can

If you don’t like a game, you can simply sell it, or even trade it with someone for a game you like. There are plenty of gamer groups and apps for buying/selling and trading games.

Make Use of Subscriptions

EA Play & XBOX game pass, are great services that provide a large number of games for a monthly subscription, that way you can try a lot of games until you find one you like.

If You are Unsure, Wait for a Sale

If you are unsure whether you will enjoy a game or not, wait for it to go on sale, the guilt will be much less if you paid less for it.

Last Updated: September 30, 2021

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