Did you know that when you buy a used video game, you're taking money away from the video game industry? According to certain publishers, it's true! As it turns out, trading in your old video games is cheating publishers and developers out of their rightful share of revenue because someone else will buy that used game and play it without any additional money going to the original source of the game in the process. Yeah, I don't agree with that view either. There are two sides to this debate and neither is going away, so Keri Honea over at Gaming Succubus takes a look at both angles and tries to find a consensus.
Make no mistake; I totally see how selling used games only helps stores like Gamestop and doesn’t give any money to the publishers. I see the same thing with Half Price Bookstores and the Movie Trading Company. However, I won’t go as far as some and say that this is the same thing as piracy. Piracy is downright theft, and I cannot stand piracy in any form. My brother-in-law constantly pirates movies and video games, and I cackled with glee when his nasty habit caused his Wii to get bricked. When it comes to used games, you aren’t stealing them; you’re buying them from another seller in much the same way that garage sales run. Do publishers lose a potential sale? Yes. Is that stealing? No.
I also don’t see that it’s entirely fair to “force” everyone or guilt everyone into only buying new games. The entire concept of capitalism revolves around the free market, and if Gamestop is making a killing with this idea, then more power to them.
I make it a habit of buying new games whenever possible because I like owning untouched discs and cartridges for my long-term collection needs, but I will buy a used copy of something if new copies are absurdly expensive or out of print. There are some games out there that I don't get around to playing until they've long since gone stale in the gaming zeitgeist. When I started buying Game Boy Advance games in 2004 once I owned a Nintendo DS, I hit the used market almost exclusively since many titles from 2001-2003 were long gone from the New section of stores. Something similar could be said for when I started building a Sony PlayStation 2 collection in 2006. I don't go for used games first and foremost, but they are a necessary part of the marketplace.