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The Almighty Buck Games

How Do You Measure a Game's Worth? 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it's-frags-per-dollar-then-quake-live-wins dept.
RamblingJosh writes "Video games can be very expensive these days, especially with so many great games on the horizon. So I wonder: how exactly do you get the most gaming entertainment for your dollar? '... the first thing I personally thought about when approaching this was money spent versus time played. Using Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions as an example: I bought the game for about $30 Canadian, and played it for roughly 85 hours. That comes out to 2.83 hours per dollar spent, a pretty good number. In this case, the game was a lot of fun and it was cheap, and so the system works fairly well. There are so many other things to think about, though. What if the game wasn't so good? What about the fact that it's portable? ... What about the new content? Multiplayer?'"
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How Do You Measure a Game's Worth?

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  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:31AM (#30868582)

    Time spent playing (per dollar) seems like a good measurement. If a game has other advantages beyond being good, such as being a mobile phone game you can play while sitting bored on a train, then that will cause you to play it more. Everything naturally factors in.

    Of course, values between different people aren't comparable due to different tastes and amounts of time available to play games, and it's virtually impossible to work out in advance how many hours you will play the game for, but it's a good way to quantify a game's value.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by beelsebob (529313)

      I was about to say almost exactly this.

      If a game is multi-platform, then you will play it more (if you don't it's not worth any more to you).
      If a game is good, then you will play it more.
      If a game gets extra content, then you will play it more.
      If a game has multiplayer, then you will play it more.

      All of these things make the price per hours played ratio better, and just go to show how good a simple $/h measurement is for this.

      • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @09:24AM (#30869444) Homepage Journal

        I was about to say almost exactly this.

        If a game is multi-platform, then you will play it more (if you don't it's not worth any more to you).

        Frankly I doubt this. Most of the games I play would not be enjoyable to play on my phone - the screen is much too small, and the phone hasn't got appropriate controls. I would prefer to be able to buy the games I play for Linux rather than having to keep a Windows box just for playing games, but I don't need any game which I do play to run on multiple platforms, because I'm only going to play it on one. Of course, if a game is Mac only (or Wii/Playstation/X-Box only) then I won't play it because I don't have those platforms. Making a game multi-platform expands the market for the game, but it doesn't make individual players play it more.

        If a game is good, then you will play it more.

        Oh, absolutely. I've played The Witcher [thewitcher.com] at least 150 hours; Dragon Age [bioware.com] about the same. Probably over a thousand of hours of Neverwinter Nights (which I only bought to support the Linux port) in its various incarnations and community add-ons. Certainly hundreds of hours of Sid Meier's Civlization, Alpha Centauri (both of which, again, I only bought because there were Linux ports and I wanted to support them), Pirates! and Railroads! Hundreds of hours on Settlers II, III and IV. And, back in the day, thousands of hours playing Elite [wikipedia.org], the video game sans pariel. In terms of hours of entertainment per unit currency, good games are extraordinary value for money.

        I fins that about half the games I buy I only play once or twice. I don't resent that in the least, because the games that do work for me give me so much fun.

        If a game gets extra content, then you will play it more.

        Again, agreed, particularly if it comes with good modding tools and allows community-made content. After all, modding (and playing other people's mods) is half the fun of things like NWN and The Witcher.

        I

        • I would prefer to be able to buy the games I play for Linux rather than having to keep a Windows box just for playing games, but I don't need any game which I do play to run on multiple platforms, because I'm only going to play it on one

          The multiplatform doesn't matter to you, which doesn't detract from what the grandparent said. When I got a Mac, I played Diablo II, which had Mac and Windows versions on the same disk, but I stopped playing a lot of the other games that I owned because it wasn't worth the effort of turning my Windows machine on just to play a game most of the time. Multiplatform, in this case, caused more play time.

          Quake 1, I've played on x86 under DOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD, on PowerPC under Linux, and

      • by FlyByPC (841016)
        >If a game is multi-platform, then you will play it less, or not at all.

        There -- fixed that for you.
        • by FlyByPC (841016)
          Man -- I meant if it was *multiplayer*.

          Note to self -- no posts before caffeine.
      • by Splab (574204)

        I consider Portal to be a way better game than CS or WoW, I have however only played portal once (around 6 hours), whilst the other two are counted in days if not months of playtime.

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          But the question isn't about a game being "better", it's about a game being "worth more".

          Ultimately, we pay for games to get enjoyment out of them. If you didn't get any enjoyment out of portal (by not playing it) then it wasn't worth anything to you. If you did get enjoyment out of WoW, then it was worth something to you (possibly even the subscription fee).

      • by cgenman (325138)

        If a game is good, then you will play it more.

        Personally, I have so little time these days that when I play one I want it to be a complete, intense, wholistic experience and wrap everything up in about 10 hours or less.

        If a game gets extra content, then you will play it more.

        See above. Extra Content just means more dollars for something I won't have time to play.

        If a game has multiplayer, then you will play it more.

        If it was really good multiplayer, maybe. Frequently, games have a crappy tacked-on multipl

    • I don't think a game's worth measurement is quite that simple.. I hadn't come up with the exact formula yet, but I guess it envolves a little bit of nice graphics, multiplayer capabillity, difficulty, game's control, expansibility ...
      if we take into account only time spent per dollar PAC MAN and TETRIS are the best games ever developed !
      • I did say that this method doesn't give comparable values for different people.

        For you, pac man and tetris must be worth little, but shallow games with awesome graphics would be worth a lot to you.

        Personally tetris would rank quite highly for me, I was practically addicted to it when I was younger. Somewhere, I have a floppy disk of the first UK release of it!

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        if we take into account only time spent per dollar PAC MAN and TETRIS are the best games ever developed !
        No, they are the games with the highest worth (value), not the best.

      • by Wescotte (732385)
        If you're playing in an Arcade chances are dollar/hour of entertainment ratio is very very low.
        • I've just realise, the same goes for MMOs...

          Both make you keep paying to keep playing, trying to balance the worth of the game against its actual cost, in order to make the mos profit for the creators.

          • by cbhacking (979169)

            The difference being that where a MMO might run $0.50 / day, the last time I was in an arcade you could get maybe 5 minutes of gaming for that much. MMOs are actually much closer in scale than arcade games; you have to keep paying, but the game has so much content (which in the better ones is constantly increasing) and the online interaction is so appealing, you keep playing too. The only difference is that an MMO has an absolute max of about 48 hours/dollar. I'm sure I've spent far, far more time than that

      • I searched the thread and found no mention of the time suck negative, whereas if a game is awesome rocks, you get more than your money's worth hour-wise, but lose like 2000 hours of your life playing it. And flunk out of your PhD program. Statistics (on game's value hours/dollar) was never your strong suit.

    • For the designers, the quality would probably be more in line with dollars per time spent playing, presuming they want you to buy another game.

      Maybe that's just EA.

      • by tepples (727027)
        Replay value can have positive business value. First, if you're on a platform that uses discs or cartridges without online activation, games with replay value don't show up on the used market as quickly, so you're more likely to sell a few more new copies. And unless you have a monopoly on video game development, your customers are likely to keep enjoying replay value in your game instead of buying your competitors' games.
    • by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:08AM (#30868726)
      But that seems so different than the standards we apply to other media. I might pay $30 for a ticket to a concert for a set of songs I'll only hear ONCE... but I might think no cd is worth $15, even though the experience could be replicated hundreds of times. A 60 minute movie doesn't start off with a 100% advantage over a 120 minute movie, simply because of enjoyment per hour.

      Some types of games... some types of experiences... can really only be experienced once. The ephemeral quality of the experience certainly doesn't detract from it's value. Dollars per hour seems like a crass measurement. We don't judge books by dollars per page. Well, at least that's only a minor factor.
      • by epiphani (254981)

        Fantastic point. Portal is a good example of that. The game was bundled, but for a 6 hour experience, it was amazing.

        How to price a 6 hour experience, on the other hand, is a little tricky. I'm sure I would have been annoyed to have spent $60 on a 6 hour game, regardless of its awesomeness.

        • by raynet (51803)

          I got a fairly good deal after buying the Orange Box that came with HalfLife2 + ep1 + ep2 and Portal. I had purchased HL2 when it came out and Steam was nice enough to notice that I now have to copies of HL2 and allowed me to send the extra one as a gift to a friend. But the thing that made the box very nice was that it was accidently priced as single discounted game, so I paid 18eur for the whole box :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TBBle (72184)

        I'd disagree that it's a different standard. Dollars per hour is only part of it though, the other half is the dollar value you put on the entertainment.

        Hours per dollar spent and dollars enjoyed per hour. You estimate these two amounts, and you get an estimate of dollars enjoyed versus dollars spent.

        So you're (or at least I'm, maybe I'm alone in this...) generally looking at games or DVDs or occasionally audio CDs and trying to guess how long/often I'll play 'em, and whether the entertainment per hour is s

      • by npsimons (32752) *

        I might pay $30 for a ticket to a concert for a set of songs I'll only hear ONCE... but I might think no cd is worth $15, even though the experience could be replicated hundreds of times.

        No home stereo will ever be able to reproduce that kind of experience (for better or for worse). Even if you were to get the whole same sound system set up again then pop in the CD, you wouldn't get the spontaneous riffing that you would get from a live band (if a live band doesn't *ever* change their songs, why are you go

      • by proslack (797189)
        True. A unique (or rare) experience is worth more than the commonplace (at least to me).
    • I'd rather play a really exciting game for ten hours than a mediocre game for thirty hours.

      • It's far more likely that you'd play the good game for longer, and the mediocre game for very little time.

        • by cgenman (325138)

          But to be a good game, you need to have more expensive setpiece moments and less filler. A game like Bayonetta or Metal Gear Solid basically jumps from amazing, intense setpiece moment to amazing, intense setpiece moment. All of these require large amounts of custom code, art, animation, and other resources. These don't translate well into replays, however, as your first raw emotional reactions don't repeat on subsequent playthroughs. And, of course, you can't spend that many resources on a 100 hour gam

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260)

      Time spent playing (per dollar) seems like a good measurement. If a game has other advantages beyond being good, such as being a mobile phone game you can play while sitting bored on a train, then that will cause you to play it more. Everything naturally factors in.

      Of course, values between different people aren't comparable due to different tastes and amounts of time available to play games, and it's virtually impossible to work out in advance how many hours you will play the game for, but it's a good way to quantify a game's value.

      It's one way but not the only one. I paid about the same amount of money for Quake I and Duke Nukem, I also spent about the same amount of time playing them. As far as I was concerned Duke Nukem was the better game by far even though it didn't have nearly as much eye-candy as other games it was just more 'fun' to play. The same applies to Half Life I and II and Unreal as well, now that I think about it, were also superior games IMHO. A good game should take more than one weekend to complete (single player).

    • by A12m0v (1315511)

      That's why I only play Role-play games, especially Japanese. I get +80hrs out of them on average, not including extra playthroughs for games that offer multiple endings and multiple paths.

      • You wouldn't believe the number of hours I racked up on Final Fantasy VII when I was younger...

        Though these days I prefer playing multiplayer games.

    • "Time spent playing (per dollar) seems like a good measurement"

      I disagree, the fun of a game is not correlated with how much you paid for it, this obsession hours per dollar is quite absurd. What is DOTA worth in hours per dollar? Since when I bought War 3 DOTA did not yet exist.

    • I think it should be jumped to dollars/enjoyed hour, that way you separate waste of time parts and actually good parts of the game.
    • by drsquare (530038)

      Time spent playing (per dollar) seems like a good measurement

      That this, if you see games as time filler rather than entertainment, and value quantity over quality.

  • Counterexample (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:36AM (#30868600)
    The new Silent Hill game for the Wii, Shattered Memories, was amazingly good; innovative, deep, intelligent... and maybe 8 hours long. $7.50 an hour. Absolutely worth it, in the sense a great movie is, even though it fails the $/hour test.

    On the other hand, a good strategy game, like any of the incarnations of Fire Emblem, can easily top a hundred hours. The metric has to be total enjoyment... and fond remembrance of the game counts into that total. Hell, the game is probably worth an extra quarter if it generates a decent slashdot post.
    • by cgenman (325138)

      And you have to look at available alternatives for time as well. Assuming you could borrow a bunch of great games from your friends, would you rather play Shattered Memories, No More Heroes, A Boy and His Blob, Muramasa, and Mad World... or Fire Emblem once. Sure, game X might be amazing, but with the alternatives out there, is it amazing *enough* to warrant all the time not spent doing other things?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    can only be measured by how many times it has gotten you laid.

    Ive had 2 WOW hookups since ive been playing.

    WOW: 2
    every other game: 0

    • by prayag (1252246)

      how many times it has gotten you laid

      I am not what you call a player but I think you might be looking at the wrong places man !!

  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:46AM (#30868638) Homepage
    It encourages re-use over the long term because:
    1. Players create the drama and "script" the dialog.
    2. Open ended which permits game play not conceived by the game authors.
    3. Encourages game mods which causes the game to endure long after the expected expiration.
    4. Making mods becomes it's own fun activity separate from the game.
    5. Encourages public player rankings and forums. Another fun activity separate from the game.
    6. Enduring games encourage the game developer to continue supplying content updates which can be cheaper than original game purchase.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      This is very true. I'm not an FPS gamer for the most part (which is where much of this sort of thing happens) but I've played RTS games since the original WarCraft. One advantage RTS almost always has is replayability, which is vastly expanded when you add online play, but RTS engines are also becoming powerful enough to create completely different types of games. Consider, for example, DotA (Defense of the Ancients), a map for WarCraft 3 (and descended from a map for StarCraft) that I've probably spent as

      • I think there is a mod community for The Sims. There's also a lot of official content updates. I still play games derived from Quake2 and Quake3 open source.
    • by malkavian (9512) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @08:24AM (#30869114) Homepage

      Actually, Internet play for me in most games (apart from those I can choose to solo in, such as Guild Wars) is a null factor. I honestly don't care for it, and if the game is 'multiplayer internet only', then no.. Not for me..
      Yes, I'm sociable, but the amount of griefers, and people who consider that just because they're behind some anonymous screen makes them able to shout whatever kind of abuse they want, and play people around however they want (after all, it's just 'make a new character, use a new name') put me off this ages ago. Plus the cheating that usually ends up rampant.
      I enjoy a good story, so DLC, plus the ability to mod, and choose the mods you apply to suit your tastes and the story.. Definitely..
      For scriptable, you just can't beat tabletop RPG.. Not in the near or medium term (perhaps in the long future it'll catch up),`so for story and script, I'll stick with tabletop..
      Open ended.. DLC and mods help there.. DLC for extra chapters, as they usually have the same voice actors and a real feeling of continuity and extended story..
      Player ranking, I never really got on with. There are too many issues with that. One being the aforementioned cheating (find a cheat, shoot up the rankings). Either that, or it's all grind (spend your life behind the keyboard and you'll wend your way up this chart). Neither appeal to me (and actually, I find them detrimental to my experience).
      I don't think an enduring game has any reliance on internet play at all. An enduring game is one which the developers built properly in the first place, one with engaging gameplay, a good engine, probably a good story that has the 'episodic' content that can reuse the engine, and support modding, along with being damn good fun to play. Most of the games I still go back to are things like Diablo, Final Fantasy, Ratchet and Clank, Baldur's Gate, Descent, Starcraft and so on. All pretty much non-internet.. They were just good fun to play!
      One truly enduring one is NetHack (and Angband).. Been playing those for a little over 20 years now, which I think counts as an enduring game..

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Might be worth checking out Mario Kart Wii. It has online play, without any communication between the players. This I think, has all the advantages with none of the disadvantages. Firstly, you get to play real people, which is almost always better than playing against the computer, and you don't have to listen to people shouting garbage while playing.
  • by yanguang (1471209) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @06:46AM (#30868640) Homepage

    I bought Torchlight at $4.99 for the Steam deal back then. Best. Value. Ever. I give it 50 units of Awesome. Dragon Age: Origins gets 75 Awesome, but costs obviously more. In terms of a purchase decision, I actually hesitated for DAO. Steam's got it right with their deal system, sapping mah wallet dry.

  • by wilkinc (1247844) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:00AM (#30868688)
    This [bash.org] Bash quote is quite fitting here.
    • by tepples (727027)
      Even if you do have a cat around, the catpennies mentioned in the blurb you linked are only useful for a few minutes at a time before the cat gets bored. If I have more time than that to kill, I need a game that can be played at a longer stretch.
  • Easy... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Windwraith (932426)

    ...if you remember the game after 2-3 years, it is good.

  • The sole amount of time spent playing a game doesn't consider the parts of the game that didn't entertain or were even frustrating. I guess you can't just substract these "wasted" hours either because a 20 hour game without any frustrating parts is likely to entertain you more than a 30 hour game that includes 10 hours of frustration. It depends a lot on how much your free time playing games is worth to you in the first place. It may even be worth so much that you enjoy a five minute Solitair game a lot mor
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:38AM (#30868876) Journal
    This means that a generally amusing game that takes 30 hours to complete is better value than the best game ever that takes 29 hours to complete.

    It's like judging the quality of a book by the number of pages.
    • Surely if it was the best game ever you'd play it more than once...

    • But it IS a part of the formula, which is why some game magazines list "Replay Value" alongside their metrics for "Graphics/Sound" and "Gameplay." Pull up the Gamespot review for Torchlight, and you'll see a little dollar sign on their "awards" for the game on the side, notifying the game as having a lot of value for the price you pay. It's certainly not the single most important attribute of a game, but it's well worth taking note of.
    • No one that I've seen has mentioned "time to complete" they said "time spent playing". It doesn't matter if the game takes a long time to beat as long as it's a good game and you decide to play it multiple times (such as games like Deus Ex with multiple endings). So even if "the best game ever" only takes 29 hours to complete, you'll play it multiple times as opposed to "the generally amusing game" which you'll probably only play once or twice.

      Most of my games are so good that I've played them multiple ti

    • by Moridin42 (219670)

      $/hour isn't a judgement of quality. It is a factual ratio. A game can have a high ratio because it is a short, but very fun game. Or it can have a high ratio because it is a shitty game that everybody quits in a couple of hours. Either way, you can expect to spend more money for the hours you are likely to get out of the game.

      Such information may be rubbish to you. It isn't to others. Its certainly a better piece of information than some reviewer's "I give it.. 4 out of 5" or an 87/100.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:48AM (#30868932)

    But it's not the only metric. Let's ponder all those hours spent in FPS games with the old "get key from location A, run to location B on the other end of the map, get Key for A again" spiel. That's no fun and simply a time sink. We did it for a single reason: To get it behind us so we can continue having fun. So I'd propose that those hours of "tedium" should be subtracted from the "play time", or even count against the play time that could be considered "fun time".

    The best game would obviously not be repetitive or, if it is, still be enjoyable while you repeat yourself. All games are repetitive to some degree. The interface only has so many options, as do AI or gameplay. Gaining new weapons (FPS) or units (RTS) can either be just another set of tools or a completely new experience, and that's something to consider when pondering the value. Getting an automatic gun compared to your old repeating shotgun in a FPS can alter the style of game, or it can just be a necessity if the enemies just get harder to reflect this. Essentially, if the old gun becomes useless in every aspect once you have the new gun because it is simply no longer a viable choice, it's a bad development. You did not get a new option, you just got a new skin. Likewise, RTS. If new units make the old ones obsolete, you did not get new units. You only got a replacement and basically have to play with the same amount of choices you had before. New skins, but no new options.

    I like it when games guide you into the play style, when you start out with a limited set of options to get to know the interface and all, and then it expands from there. giving you more and more options over time (preferably giving you the option that you wished you had when you finally get it without engineering the situation to require this option. Usually that means it is only a viable option in very specific, almost necessarily artificially created situations). But those should be options. Not requirements.

    And that's just me. I, for one, could not stomach the item grind of games like WoW, but appearantly that's something a good deal of people enjoy. My metric for a "good game" is probably not the same you would use. For me it has to give me more and more options over the course of the game. When I get no new options, the fun starts to decline and the repetition starts. Multiplayer can help here a lot, given that a human opponent is harder to figure out and requires you to adapt your strategy to stay on par with him, but a computer AI will eventually be figured out fully and you will develop a winning strategy.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You can measure the game's worth to a given person easily with this metric — if they don't like to grind, they'll put down a grind game before finishing it, and the hours per dollar metric will be poor. You can also measure the game's average worth, using statistics. Dollars per hour, or vice versa, is the only valid metric of a game's value. (unless you mean value to the publisher, which is easy to calculate.)

      • If we can agree on "Dollars per hour of enjoyment", I think we have a working metric.

        Problem is now only the definition of "enjoyment". Some hate the grind, some don't mind it, some actually enjoy it. Some like games easy, some like them hard. Some like RTS missions with limited supplies (or no supplies and no building, i.e. surviving with the units you have at start), some only enjoy huge battles with build and destroy.

        Personally, I liked how the missions in Supreme Commander expanded the mission area with

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          If we can agree on "Dollars per hour of enjoyment", I think we have a working metric.

          If you keep playing the game, then you obviously enjoy it, even if what you enjoy is bitching about it. I don't think we really disagree. My very point is that if you are willing to spend hours grinding you enjoy grinding.

  • If a game is great, I don't think the price you paid matters at all. I paid $15 for Braid on Xbox Live Arcade late 2008 and absolutely loved it. I saw the game for like $2 on the Steam sale over the holiday and was just smiling at how cheap it was now because so many more people would try it out. It didn't seem to matter to me at all that I paid almost eight times more than the current asking price.

    Of course, that game was only $15 to begin with.

    I'm getting the collector's edition of Mass Effect 2 on Tue

  • A big flaw (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xeno man (1614779) on Saturday January 23, 2010 @07:58AM (#30868980)
    I think the question it self is flawed. Your trying to assign a quantitative number to a game as if it represents some level of value that you can extract at a later date. A game isn't a used car. A car can be worth $100 or it can be worth $20,000. A game has only 2 choices. It's worth it, or it's not. The problem is that it is an individual test of worth so your standards of worth it or not worth it, or even any number system you can come up with, are going to be completely irrelevant to me. People can spend hours on end playing Bejeweled or any other time waster type game and it can be completely worth the time spend playing it because they enjoyed it the entire time. Personally I don't thing it's worth it because I don't enjoy those types of games for very long. So all ready there is inconsistency in the "worth" of a game and I'm just referring to free flash games. I haven't even brought in money yet.

    Once you start talking about money, in the end your only going to spend what you can afford. Everyone earns different amounts of money and has different responsibilities. A teen living at home may not have a problem dropping an entire pay cheque on rock band where an older adult with a mortgage and kids will be more particular about spending money. Of course the more money you have the less value money has. If your a millionaire you will be more willing to throw away money on crappy games than someone making minimum wage so again this value of worth is meaningless to anyone else but yourself.

    Personally a game is worth it if I really enjoyed playing it but the experience is enhanced by friends that play the same game. We can talk about the game afterwords and share experiences and even play multiplayer games together which is more enjoyable than random strangers online. If your looking to get value out of a game, buy games that your friends have that you can play together. If you want to stretch you money, buy single player games your friends don't have and you can trade and borrow games with each other so you can experience more.

    If your looking for advice on games to buy, look to your friends. If your trying to evaluate what you already have, your over thinking it.
    • If you want to stretch you money, buy single player games your friends don't have and you can trade and borrow games with each other so you can experience more.

      You assume that all games are sold as discs or cartridges with no online activation. With the rise of Wii Shop Channel, PSN Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, Apple's App Store, Steam, and various schemes that limit the number of times a game can be activated online, video game publishers are doing a good job of attacking the used video game market.

      If your looking for advice on games to buy, look to your friends.

      How do I get those?

      • Then buy on GOG. ;)

        The only reason I tolerate Steam's lockdown is the sale prices. I've always traded games back and forth with my roommates. Lately I've been re-buying a lot of old games on GOG, and it's nice having that option open again. It's like a better demo system. There's about 5 games on there that we both own.

    • I think the flaw with the question is that it presumes money is rare and time is unlimited. Maybe they are if you're a kid living on a small allowance and killing time until you get a driver's license. But as a grown up I find that my time is the limiting factor. With more time I can earn more money. So with games costing tens of dollars, the time I spend acquiring, learning, and playing is worth far more dollar-wise than the game itself.

      So the worth of a game is how much I enjoy playing it versus time spen

  • DRM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157)

    DRM makes the game worth less. Online activation makes the game 50% less worthy, limited online activation makes the game another 50% less worthy.

  • For games with a beginning, middle and end - I'm grateful if they're short. 8 hours or so is good. So dollars/hour is not a good metric for me. I'd rather quality than quantity.

    Replay value is always welcome, of course - but it depends on the type of game. I'm all for something I can buy, *really* enjoy for 8 hours, then trade in.

    For me $10/hour of actual fun, is better than $1/hour of tedious grinding. Of course some people enjoy grinding... weirdos.

  • Replay Value (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ScotlynHatt (764928)
    So there are some games that I continue to play years after they come out due to the mod community. Half Life 2 and Battlefield 2 are two that have to be into the pennies per hour by now; I don't even have an estimate. That said, if you look at the direction COD-MW2 decided to take, from a single player perspective, you see the cost per hour go way up. Multiplayer certainly improves the value but the plan is to control development of maps/mods and charge for them, so the long-term value does not improve fo
  • I think you just have to play a game. You either enjoy it or you don't. Cost per time may work in most instances but I wouldn't have said Street Fighter 2 was less worthy than Tetris just because I've played Tetris longer or that Portal wasn't very enjoyable despite being very short.
  • De gustibus non est disputandum

    Gaming experience is highly subjective, and therefore there is no way to measure it. Therefore you are attempting to measure a subjective gaming experience by measuring objective quantities associated with a game: time played versus cost of game, etc. However these are not necessarily indicators of a good gaming experience, any number of other subjective variables come into play, such as attention span, willingness to become involved in the game world or

  • The only thing hours played tells you is how much time you've sat in front of the game.

    This would, for instance, make EVE in every way a better game then, say Trine.
    I however like Trine much more than I like Eve.

    We live in a society where you can have fun pretty much 24/7, except for when doing dishes or when I work, I don't get bored.
    I've got weeks worth of sci-fi shows to watch, almost an eternal amount of gameplay from different games.
    So, a game which makes me play it for hours upon hours isn't necessari

  • My measure of a game's value is how many features find their way into my own games, stories and conversations.

    I know my opinion is probably an anomaly, but I hate dead entertainment that one just experiences then never uses - if it's just some time-passing endorphin rush, it's as pointless as taking drugs.

  • You determine a game's worth by how fun it is. (Obviously, this varies with the tastes of the user.)

    So, how can you find out without dropping a fortune on a questionable title? First, don't buy new right off the bat. If possible, either wait for a demo or rent a title before purchasing. Also, hold off for about 3-4 months following the release date. This is about the point where stores begin discounting these titles by up to 50%.

    Finally, check sites like DealNews [dealnews.com] for updates on special pricing, or find a re

  • I'm 30. I still love playing video games, and if surveys are to be believed, 50% of people who agree are even older than I am. That means many of them also have long work hours, decent pay, wives and/or children, home and extended family responsibilities...

    And it means that we're all experienced enough and wise enough to recognize "filler" for what it is. A repetitive level that tacks an hour onto gameplay may decrease the "dollars per hour" spent on the game, but it's not going to win you any new fans o

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Saturday January 23, 2010 @11:25AM (#30870194) Homepage Journal

    I use a negative rating the lowest score is the best game.

    Sucklitude scale rating of 0 to 11. 11 sucks the most, none higher, 0 is worth playing, 5 or 6 is meh, 1 to 3 might be worth it used to buy.

    I rate politicians by Hitlertude by how much like Hitler they are, or Stalintude by how much like Stalin they are.

  • Don't pay for games.
  • What it is WORTH is what you can sell it for. The VALUE is the enjoyment you get out of it which is purely subjective. I was a game *freak* for over 10 years when I realized almost every hour spent pushing A A B A A was an hour of my life sucked away for ever. I sold over 400 games and every system I had and now spend that time doing things in the real world. That has more value to me than any game ever could, but then again, thats subjective.
  • I've played Mike Goetz' B03 version of CP/M Adventure (really Crowther & Woods's, with a few additions) on every computer I've owned since my Kaypro 10, thanks to emulation software. The original CP/M files cost nothing but download time (at 300 baud on a SmartModem, measured in hours, IIRC), and I've played them unmodified since 1984. On this repurposed Dell Inspiron 1525 running Jaunty Jackalope, I use the excellent YAZE emulator by Andreas Gerlich. Hilariously, this old text adventure runs an orde
  • This would measure the worth of an uninspired grindfest, obtained for $0.01, to be great, even if it's a waste of time to play.

  • I love this question as it is one I've thought about a few times. I'm not much of a gamer, so my "take" on this question is probably vastly different than a person who loves playing games. For the most part, I think games (especially video games) are an unproductive waste of time. Having said that, I understand that we all need some down time in order to enjoy life. While I prefer to spend my down time doing things that are every bit as unproductive as playing games, I do, nonetheless, play a game from time

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