The mind can come up with some pretty wild ways of handling difficult choices. As humans we have the tendency to change our environment when it doesn't suit us, but in the brain things can get a little more complicated. Imagination overrides logical thought creating new, more easily manageable, realities. I pretend that nothing exists but what I'm working on and call it "focus." I excuse myself from failure by requesting ridiculous criteria be satisfied like needing an "extra pair of hands." When Halo 3's release date seems to be dragging slower and slower I claim that time itself has slowed to inconvenience me. Or, if I haven't saved my money I might even claim that I have intentionally slowed that release date to allow for me to collect the currency I need to purchase it.
As a gamer it isn't a huge feat for me to change the perception of real time events in my mind; it's my hobby. As one whose pockets aren't blessed with wads of cash, it's almost become a necessity. I would love to rush out to the game store every time a highly anticipated release rolls out, but with my income and lifestyle it's not a realistic option. It wouldn't take long for me to start slapping down credit cards instead of twenties. After that it would probably be the deed to my car, then maybe some sort of crack cocaine, later a baby.
So how do I, as a gamer, reconcile my small amount of disposable income to a full calendar of releases? I start pretending. I pretended that Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin didn't come out until January. I pretended the 360 didn't come out until the beginning of last fall. I'm pretending, right now, that Lost Planet hasn't shipped yet.
There are alternate ways to get my gaming fix. I could borrow or rent the latest and the greatest, but, if I rent something to simply scratch the Day One itch I run the risk of over indulging in the title. Trying to get as much of the experience as I possibly can in the short amount of time I've been given. It would be like trying to eat an entire pallet of marshmallows. The first few would be good but after a while I'd be doing it just to do it. With no real enjoyment attached to the activity I'd start creating a subconscious repulsion to what I was doing, which would defeat the purpose.
I want something more satisfying that will continue my love for gaming rather than stress it. So I've started to try and push back my entire perception of new releases uniformly. By adding three or six or nine months to the initial release dates to allow for price drops I could get my gaming hobby to an affordable past time without losing touch on the overall time line of releases. My purchases would be a real time representation of the game trends of half a year ago, except for me everything would be in stock and cheaper. The single player campaigns would be untouched and the multiplayer games that are good enough to stand the test of time would still have strong communities to join.
There is also the added benefit of hype-less press. Six months after release is enough time to find some real solid opinions on a game and whether it's really worth buying. So not only will I be buying games at a cheaper price, but I might be saving myself the trouble of purchasing some substandard merchandise. The only thing I have to sacrifice to attain a richer collection at a cheaper price is my thumb on the beating pulse of gaming.
It all comes down to discipline and realizing that just because something is new it doesn't make it better. If Lost Planet is a good game in January then it will still be good in August.
There is no time limit on gaming. It's all perception. There is a store 20 minutes from me where I can buy an N64, Goldeneye, and Starfox 64 like it was the day they came out. They are the same games on the same system and are the same amount of fun they were when they were new. I can't let the hype drive me to impulse. The only thing I can lose by waiting is space in my wallet.