Free Ways to Fulfill Your Urge to Game

Games have become terribly expensive over time – and with good cause. With the amount of work that goes into these games, it’s no wonder why they’re becoming increasingly expensive as time progresses.

I remember, as a child, looking around at games in my local K-Mart for my Nintendo (NES ) and Gameboy . Games back then were cheaper, and more affordable. In fact, I still have a whole drawer full of games ranging from Bubble Bobble to the original Super Mario Bros.

Video games, as a whole, have evolved. Online gaming started to blossom, and the advent of discs and other items helped the video gaming world evolve, as did their prices. The words “free” were nearly non-existent in gaming, especially when it came to console gaming.

Gaming has become additionally expensive with the introduction of gaming items, goodies, and necessities, such as:
-Monthly/Yearly Subscriptions
-Downloadable Content
-Accessories (Examples: Controllers, Microphones, ect.)
-Credits (Example: Farmville credits that can be bought with real money to purchase in-game items)
-Necessary computer hardware to run certain games
-Expansion Packs
-and much more.

So how do gamers feed their need in a time when their pockets run dry of currency? There are actually several ways, if gamers truly look hard enough. Although they may not be as in-depth as games such as Halo Reach or Final Fantasy games, they do allow for some gaming satisfaction.

Computer Gaming – A Gamers Best Friend When In Need
While many gamers may truly be able to afford them, there are times when free gaming is not only wanted, it’s yearned for. Such times I can remember were back in high school in such classes as Computer Software. Everyone was feeding their need by playing such games as the classic Counter Strike, but not everyone has that luxury at their fingertips. Hence, the need to improvise.

This is where simple flash-based games, and the likes, come into play. While these games may not be the most enticing, nor the most profound, they certainly help kill time and the necessary urge to get your game on.

I can recall a day where I was so bored at one of my jobs. I had nothing to do, and the computer, as well as the grand Internet, were at my fingertips. Yes, I was used to playing large-scale games for consoles, but time was feeling like my Lynx in Chrono Cross – impossible to defeat (well, the first fight, anyway). I put my fingertips to work and searched the net, and a bountiful amount of options came into play.

Websites such as came into play – a website that I had been using since I was a child, but I had forgotten about. A feeling of nostalgia consumed my mind, and my yearning for a gaming session was temporarily filled.

Another website I had used for awhile was – another website that compiled a stockpile of games.

The great part about these websites is that people don’t need to be hardcore gamers to get into these games, as they cater to the casual gamers, as well as novice gamers. Anyone can pick up games such as Pac Man and have a good time. Such games are easily to play, but difficult to master.

Demo Games – They Make Everyone Happy
Not only are gaming companies happy about demos, as they should their product, but limit them at the same time; but the gamers themselves get to play the games, consuming their time and filling their need to game.

I remember, as a teenager, I would get demos constantly in the mail, or they’d be given away at video game shops. Some demos can take upwards to 30 minutes to an hour to complete, rendering them a perfect time killer for gamers on a budget.

On top of that, gamers get to try the games prior to purchasing them, so you’ll get a better idea of whether you truly want to buy that shiny new video game or not.

Demos can also be found on the online markets. I don’t personally have a Playstation 3 , but I do have an X-Box 360. Demos can be found on the X-Box Live Marketplace for an wide array of different video games. The downside is that gamers have to pay the $59.99 (plus tax) a year to keep their X-Box Love subscription alive. However, if you’ve already paid for the year, you mine as well indulge in some free demos. I know I have downloaded my fair share, and a few have actually led me to purchasing such games.

Gamers can learn more about X-Box Live, as well as it’s digital market, by going here:

Mobile FREEdom
Ever since I received my original T-Mobile phone without color, I’ve enjoyed mobile gaming. Yes, the only game I truly had was Snake, but it was a time killing game, and that’s all that mattered to me.

However, today, there are millions of games on the market – many of them being free, or very cheap.

Apple’s iPhone /iPod market is a prime example of where gamers can download free and/or cheap games that have high replay value. Personally, one of my favorites is Paper Toss – a game where the player merely slides their finger across the screen to try and throw a paper ball into a waste basket. Of course there are levels that differentiate with hardness, and there’s a fan that fluctuates it’s power to move the paper ball around, making it difficult to gauge the needed direction to sink the paper ball.

Here’s an article that lists “The 20 Best Free iPhone Games” originally written by GamePro:

Another article that shows a list of ten great free iPhone games by can be found here:

Finding free games on such devices generally aren’t hard to come by. Many other great games also cost a mere $.99 or $1.99, too, and have a ton of replay value.

The Final Boss Verdict
Finding quality games may sometimes be difficult, but it’s totally doable. Not everyone can afford to drop $400+ for a gaming system, additional accessories, games, and online subscriptions, which is completely understandable. If a gamer looks hard enough they can find free games in any genre, even Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG), which usually charge on a month-to-month basis.

However, it is pretty disheartening to see video games becoming so expensive these days. I can understand the amount of work and the need to generate revenue, but some companies, such as Activision, merely (and obviously) are looking to pick away at gamers wallets. Case in point: Overly expensive downloadable content for their Call of Duty games.

Click here to read my Op Ed article regarding the saturation of the video gaming market by companies such as Activision: