Playing Online Video Games – Free or Frustrating?

So you’re a video game junkie and you cannot afford the $70.00 each time you purchase an X-Box game, take it home, discover you don’t like it after all and find the no-return policy in effect. What to do?

I owned a video game store and there were two types of customers: ones that were genre specific, i.e. RPG or fighting, and would pay full price and those that wanted less cost and were willing to sacrifice and buy a used game.

Unfortunately, since we have gone way past the first Nintendo games (which were ridiculously easy to repair) to disc, chances are a used game was sold for a reason other than displeasure. Although I seldom bought games that I did not test first, chances are they would be returned due to a scratch that was not there before (albeit rarely provable).

The solution? Your kindly old computer. There are literally thousands of games out there in every genre imaginable.
The most numerous are “test for free” which translates into: “You get an hour and then you are asked to buy because we know where you live and we can trace the fact that you have tested this before”. Here’s a hint: if you find a test game you like you can keep playing unless your computer or that particular game is turned off.

Then there are those online that really are free, but you are still asked to try others that are similar to the one you are playing but MORE LEVELS, MORE CHARACTERS!! Uh-huh. And beware the games that give you points exchangeable for gifts and/or prizes. You will need to amass a couple of million before you get that tiny gift certificate from Amazon.

Beware of sites baring gifts! Many Vegas-style sites will offer you free money to start. With this you can play the game but it will not become real money unless you at least cover the amount.

There are sites that offer you $$ to play. If it sounds to good to be trueâÂ?¦And often you will have to download software taking a substantial chunk out of your computer’s memory.

One of my favorites was a an adventure RPG site that you can play free if you can get on the site. This means that once you are hooked, the site is either too crowded for non-subscribers or you can only go so far in the game. By the time I had played it about a month, I hit my limit, and actually became bored with it.

I am currently playing a pirate RPG. Again this is a subscription game. Without it I cannot be an officer, own my own ship, or have a decent weapon. I don’t really care. For now, I just like pillaging. “Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr”.

I have found sites that find other sites with games that they recommend. Many of these are quite fun for a few days, but sometimes the games are either too short or too early Atari. Speaking of which, you can find those online as well but a mouse does not a joystick make.

The bottom line here is that the internet has become a valuable tool for entrepreneurs. And we all know Barnum’s famous sucker line. So enjoy the freebies but before you commit to any online gamehouse make certain that you are not the circus king’s latest patsy.

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