The New Deal

The New Deal
I Won't Budget an Inch

Sean Sands | 8 Sep 2009 08:04
The New Deal - RSS 2.0

As a father of two, I have a duty to exemplify the qualities of patience, thrift and responsibility. Where videogames are concerned, however, I have chosen instead to become a master of subterfuge and deception. That I am to appear a paragon of virtue is one thing. That I am to practice what I preach - well, that's another thing altogether.


I admit I've been known to stow newly purchased video games under the seat of the car, an empire of burger wrappers and Home Depot flyers, until everyone in my house is fast asleep. Then, stealthy like a pudgy cat with poor eyesight, I smuggle in the goods under cover of darkness, hopeful that no one will notice the slow but steady growth of my game library.

The next morning I tell my son he can't have a new game unless he saves up his allowance. He's only 5 now and not nearly cynical enough to expose my hypocrisy.

As he ages, I realize I will have to become infinitely more crafty; my nighttime trips to the car may someday escalate into an elaborate underground railroad for new releases. It's not that we don't have a household budget and bills to pay. I'm simply the Bernie Madoff of the family, cutting corners and making sure hidden piles of money are at my disposal when the time comes.

Recession, shmession! It's not about quitting gaming - it's about buying smart.

Of Flimsy Justifications and Tortured Analogies

I am by no means recession-proof. I am wholly recession vulnerable. I'm an English major, for Pete's sake, which means that on the job security scale I fall somewhere between mortgage broker and head coach for the Oakland Raiders. Even though tiny glimmers of economic recovery tickle and tease us with every bi-polar news cycle, I should probably be jealously hoarding every dime, nickel and penny that finds its way into my home.

When it comes to almost everything but gaming, I'm budget conscious. Annoyingly so. I will scowl at 99-cent cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, which is to Minnesotans what salt or butter is to people with functional taste receptors, and insist that the store brand is six cents cheaper.

With games, however, I have long been the Norm to the Sam Malone of my local game proprietor. I walk in to a hero's welcome; like Paris Hilton at a Daytona Beach kegger, I am the sure bet. Every time the bell above the door rings and I enter, a sales associate gets his multi-SKU transaction. But that bell doesn't ring as much as it used to for me.

Comments on