Something that’s been making the rounds in the world of video games is the news that a number of major releases this year haven’t been selling as many copies as expected. There are a panoply of reasons that could help explain why sales are down lately, but as I was listening to games journalists commentate on this topic it occurred to me that in fact I am partly responsible for this. For a long time I’ve operated under the principle that there are lots of games worth playing, but very few worth actually owning (my current PS4/Xbox One collection consists of only three games: Uncharted 4, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, and Destiny).  In my mind, ownership of a game is a commitment to play it several times over, and the vast majority of games I play I have no interest in ever replaying—not even some of the really good ones. Hence I make heavy usage of Gamefly, a game rental service which allows me to experience a wide range of games for less money than if I had bought all of them, and saves me the storage space I’d have to create for a large collection of game discs. By renting most games instead of buying them, I am not sending any money to their developers and publishers, and contributing the lower sales figures. All that said, I currently have no plans to change my gaming modus operandi, and I don’t really feel guilty about it either (if I was pirating games, that would be a different story). Perhaps this is another example of that proverb that says a single raindrop never feels responsible for the flood.

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