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Video games: the difference between a worthwhile investment and a worthless one

“If you want to spend money on a game for your enjoyment, then do it. Just make sure you don’t regret it later.”

Spending money on video games is a very common problem right now in the world. According to a parent survey called Statista, 14 percent of kids under 18 spend over 100 dollars on games per month while  40 percent of kids spend around 10 dollars a month. Stats showed that yearly the percentage of spending increases by 34%. People spend money on games to get the gears that can give them an advantage or get cosmetics to show off to their friends. Most money spent on games is to increase the user’s enjoyment of that particular game.

Spending money on games is great, and will have a greater impact on your mood, or body health than most people believe.

From games that I played when I was little like Roblox to big games now like Valorant, Minecraft, League of Legends and Genshin Impact, I have spent at least more than 50 dollars per game.

One of the most effective ways for franchisees to earn money off of gamers is the use of microtransactions. A microtransaction is a business model where users can purchase virtual items for small amounts of money. They often appear in most free-to-play games, which is how they make money.

In games like Valorant, League of Legends and CS:GO,  you can buy cosmetics like guns, character skins or knives. Personally, I think this is a big scam since the items bought would give you absolutely zero advantage in the game. Unless you are good at gaming and are high up in the ranking system, I would stay away from any cosmetics in any game.

Gacha games on the other hand are very different and can be dangerous money-grabbers once you get too addicted. The game works by using different banners to pull items gears from it with a very low chance to use in the actual game. The system is that you use the money to purchase in-game currencies to get gears, which are very hard to earn just by playing the game. Oftentimes, games will give you a pretty low chance of getting a 5-star ranking or a top-tier character, and you would just use some of the average characters or weapons to play the game. 

The main thing is that most gacha games can be easily beaten without top-tier characters, weapons like Genshin Impact. But, I spend money on that game and have gotten a lot of top-tier characters. It is definitely worth it since they are better than the average free-to-play (f2p) features and are more fun, but keep in mind that you can definitely beat most content without having to spend money. When you do spend money, make sure it’s a healthy amount and don’t go overboard: do not spend thousands of dollars on video games. 

Furthermore, virtual items can have a huge impact on your mental state. For example, according to Psychology Today, people invest in video games because characters seen on screen are different from you, where you can act differently without and do whatever you want without facing the harsh realities of real life.  What’s more is that the more time that a person spends on a game, the more he or she will obsess over the game. This is according to “flow,” a concept formulated by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi a Hungarian-American psychologist in many papers and books. It is described as “an individual investing time in an environment where they feel socially accepted can become emotionally attached to their avatar.” 

Overspending your money, or possibly even secretly using your parent’s money to fund unhealthy habits, like any other addictions, can be really bad for your health. You will eventually want to play more and invest more in the game, dropping grades, and eventually won’t care about anything else except that screen in front of your face, causing you to be mentally damaged slowly over time.

In conclusion, people spend money on games because they feel like they want to be accepted in the virtual world. However, going as far as breaking the bank to pay for the extra goodies can leave you with lasting emotional and psychological problems. 

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