I just finished my first fall season game, Uncharted 2, which feels shameful for someone that loves games as much as I do. I usually do an admirable job of keeping up with fall games but this year, like last, feels lagged. One reason is Gamefly. Because gamers tend to want the same games at the same time, top items in a Gamefly queue tend to be difficult to rent. The reason why I recently got through Bowser's Inside Story instead of Uncharted 2 is because it was sent first. It's also why Ghostbusters (#16) appeared in my mailbox before queue items #1-15. And sending a game back for something new is about a six day turnaround assuming they have something else to send me. As a gamer, this lag time is one of the hardest things to bear about the service, and now I keep a separate queue list and only store the stuff I absolutely must have next on Gamefly. So why keep using it?
First, because I hate stuff. After weening myself from a physical CD collection and seeing the light of digital distribution, I've applied the same philosophy to all objects to the point of not wanting old yearbooks or journals; I just want to scan in the "nostalgic pages" and get rid of stuff. The biggest reason for using Gamefly was to remove the buildup of games I would never realistically revisit. As a side note, digital distribution would also do the trick.
Second, I hate dealing with brick and mortar stores. Gamestop is a blight that goes out of its way to make its customers feel invalid. I feel disgusting after being guilted for not being interested in a used copy, not preordering, not buying a guide, and after being rubbed with the employees' collective gaming id. For months I went out of my way to buy from vendors that bothered to simply stock games and sell them, but they also tended to be out of touch with their stock, sometimes leaving me empty-handed. Gamefly let me avoid the entire thing. Again, as a side note, digital distribution would also do the trick.
Third and last is cost; a bigger deal since quitting the day job. Two years ago Gamefly (~$300/yr.) saved me $600+ from games the three-month fall season alone. But despite having no income, I feel guilt for not doing more to support my peers. And, like putting a little makeup on an ax wound, I bother to wonder whether game prices are messed up sooner than I rectify my lack of spending.