5 Reasons Poor People Should Play Video Games

Do your old buddy With One F a solid would you? Go to Google News, type the word "poverty", click on any story, scroll to the comments, and then come back here and tell me how many it took before you lost faith in all humanity. My average is eight, but I'm something of a forgiving soul.

America has become virtually obsessed with the idea that poor and struggling people are secretly greedy moochers living the easy life on a load of Welfare Steak and free health insurance sucked from the teats of the working man (Working women teats produce 30 percent less Welfare Steak according to the Houston Press research library). Why else would the Heritage Foundation put out a report saying, "Hey, the poor can't really be that bad off if they have refrigerators, right?" and then having Fox News eat that up like orange sherbet in a solid gold bowl?

Yes, you can have appliance and still be pretty bad off, and no, the answer is not selling those electronics. But what about video game systems? Surely is a poor person has a game system he simply must be deluded about how bad his life is if he has a $400 fun machine.

On the contrary...

Video Games Can Give You the Most for Your Dollar Last time I took the wife and daughter to see a movie it was around $20 to get in, not counting the food. For that we were entertained by two hours of Frozen, roughly $3 per person per hour. A good book is a better deal, giving you around eight hours of entertainment for somewhere between $5 and $10 depending on the format and newness.

A good video game though blows both those options away. For less than $20 I've netted more than 200 hours of enjoyment from Final Fantasy VII, and for less than $10 I've played Poker Night at the Inventory regularly since it first came out. Even those deals pale in comparison to what someone who enjoys World of Warcraft gets out of their subscription. Pound for pound, a poor person wanting to not go mad from lack of leisure activities can't do better than video games.

Oh, and by the way, did you know that libraries lend video games now?

Video Game Consoles Are a Solid Investment I mentioned a PS2 title just now. Know why? Because I still play it all the time. It's almost a decade old and works just as well as the day it came into my house. In the entire time I've had it I've had to replace a controller and a single memory card as a cost of less than $30. How many other devices in your home that you regularly use are going to offer that kind of return and dependability?

More than that, your system actually becomes more valuable in a sense the older it gets. Here's how. When the PS2 first came out I could afford a new game maybe every three months or so, but now thanks to Amazon and stores like Game Over I have a huge library to choose from a bargain basement prices. My birthday present this year was a copy of Sly Cooper and the Thievus Raccoonus. Total price including shipping? $15 and I couldn't be happier. As your system ages more and more games come into affordable price range. Speaking of which...

This story continues on the next page.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner