Deep Dive

I suppose this is really nothing new, hell the original article itself isn’t even new (March 5th?), but this popped on IGN’s homepage today, and it happened to be new to ME, at any rate.  Josh Smith reported on various experiences related to trash picking from Gamestop leavings, which for most seem to meet with a variable success rate.

Being one of the last bastions of recycled physical game-age these days, having bought out / partnered with basically every other new/used game store chain, Gamestop stores are apparently ripe for the plucking for the gamer interested in hypermiling their precious software $$, or simply coming full circle to be ‘mining’ back in the real world again.



‘Mining’ or ‘Sculpting’?

I’m as frugal as the next guy, but even GS keeps a fair amount of stuff around that’s pretty low on the likely-to-be-sold scale.  I don’t care HOW many old copies of Madden are in there.  But the occasional successes finding things like points cards or still-working last-gen systems might just make it worth taking a peek, acknowledging of course the inherent risks of sharp objects, detritus or dung that may also be present alongside actual game waste.


Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference

Suffice to say, there’s plenty of other places you can get good deals that have nothing to do whatsoever with a physical game copy (says the guy sitting at Steam Level 57).  But checking out Humble Bundles or eBay are going to involve a whole lot less getting-dirty for probably a whole lot more usable goods.  Part of the reason for this is some stores physically destroying discs, systems or other expensed merchandise, rendering it unusable.  This is actually a very commonplace practice in order to be able to write off losses or otherwise reduce inventory that isn’t moving due to the need to turn product on valuable shelf space.  Reports seem to indicate that this isn’t a company-wide practice though, and your local retailer may or may not care one way or the other.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Steam, but I realize the argument between digital delivery vs physical copies and the secondhand market is still going on today, and there’s pros and cons to each approach.  You can find values and deals on both sides of the fence, provided you know where to look (in places not dumpster-related).  Whether you prefer to buy everything digitally and share with the household or some friends via Steam Family Sharing, or buy physical console games you can then pass on to others (or simply buy, beat, and resell back to the store a week later), the result is the same; new stuff is going to be expensive, and older stuff is going to be cheaper.  Stuff in your local gaming store’s refuse bin may be a little too old to bother with, but it’s all a personal value proposition.