My Name Is Julian, and I Am Addicted to Buying Video Games

Pile of PS4 Games

I have a problem. I am addicted to buying video games.

There, I’ve said it. And the way I understand it, admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting better. I didn’t think of it as an addiction at first. Initially, I considered myself a savvy shopper, picking up discounted games I would surely play at a later date. But something sinister began to emerge over time, bearing all the telltale signs of a true addiction.

It first began when I got my Xbox 360 and was introduced to the Xbox 360 Marketplace. No longer would I need to trudge down to my local GameStop and slither my way through the labyrinthine isles of collectibles and accessories only to find the games I wanted. I could now simply browse at my leisure and buy digitally. Sure, there was that initial download time, but it’s as close to instant satisfaction as it gets. I got my first taste, and I was hooked.

My habit of keeping an eye out for sales didn’t start in earnest, though, until I got my PS4. It was spurred on when I was faced with the realization that the only game I had initially was the copy of The Last of Us Remastered that came bundled with the console. Coming from the Xbox 360 to the PS4, I had to abandon my previous game library altogether, since I vowed to my partner to only keep one gaming console hooked up to our TV at the time.

And so, faced with an empty library and an ever-increasing salary as I continued my climb up the corporate ladder, I began visiting the PlayStation storefront more and more often. I was learning the patterns. Flash sales happen on occasional, seemingly random Fridays, new games and new sales on Tuesdays (this was before the trend of releasing bigger titles on Fridays and digital early releases).

Julian

So for the next several years, I slowly amassed a hoard of digital PS4 titles, most of which I’d snagged on sale. And after leaving the aforementioned relationship (setting myself free from the one-console vow) and having a good year and a half of being a bachelor again, I had so much more time to devote to my gaming hobby.

This, I think, lent an air of justification to my gaming purchases. On the one hand, I was no longer plunging all of my extra cash into the bottomless pit of making my significant other happy. While on the other hand (which, let’s face it, is still kind of the first hand), I had so much more free time to actually play through the games I was buying.

However, there was an unspoken, insidious hurdle starting to appear at the horizon. As I was aging (although I initially refused to admit this), I was becoming less and less likely to put up with lousy game design and just power through to completion. As a result, more and more of the games I was playing, coupled with the fact that most open world games (the genre of choice for my tastes) were growing more bloated with senseless crap quests and collectibles, thus becoming less palatable for completion.

Fast-forward a few years, and suddenly I found myself with an Xbox One S I got (on sale, obviously), doubling the amount of current consoles I owned, as well as the number of digital storefronts I had access to. Factor in the excitement of entering a whole new ecosystem of games to explore, and you can see how easy it was to fall deeper into my addiction.

It was shortly thereafter that I also picked up a Nintendo Switch, both as a secondary console and also as a gift for my current partner (which would serve as her first console). I’m sure you can already see where this is going: onward to a third ecosystem and brand-new storefront to explore.

It didn’t stop there though. Perhaps for the sake of some sick sense of posterity (though more likely just for the sake of my habit), I ended up with a gaming PC. As as such, any limits to my digital purchasing power had been removed. Now I have access to Steam, the Epic Games Store, GoG, Green Man Gaming, individual game publisher launchers and so on. I have reached the top of the heap, with several hundred games in tow and no sign of stopping.

Julian Sales

I sit before you now, reading what I’ve been writing with a newfound sense of how far I’ve fallen, how much I truly do reside in the gutter of game purchasing. And it is with this newfound sense of clarity that I hope to turn a new page and be happy with the games I have rather than concerned with the games I don’t. Perhaps, then, this sordid tale has something of a silver lining.

And yet, here we sit on the precipice of a new gaming generation, a generation in which the PS5 will be battling the Xbox Series X/S. Even though I had initially decided to wait on the next gaming generation, I constantly find myself curiously browsing websites for any possible pre-order stock still available.

So even though I intend to battle this addiction, I am still very much at it’s mercy. But that is the nature of addiction, isn’t it? You’re never truly cured, just currently capable of resisting it for the time being.

My name is Julian, and I am an addict.

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