Last week I rushed out to buy NBA 2K13 for my three eager boys, who simply had to have it on the day it was released. A mere three days later, the disc was irreparably damaged with “laser burn” after one of them knocked into the Xbox console while the disc was inside. The man at Game Stop said we had not initially purchased the $3 insurance so he said we could trade in the damaged one for $23 and pay the additional $37 towards a brand new game.
No can do. No f-ing way. Not gonna do it. And I didn’t. I told the boys they had to trade in enough of their old games to make up the $37 difference. When we got home, they rushed to their stash of games, and turned up about 30 games, most of them Playstation 3 games. (Note: Our Playstation 3 console had long been damaged and un-usable). Some of the older games may only turn up a $1 or $2 while others might be worth as much as $9 or $10, depending on the game and the condition. I figured they would get to the $37 with all those games. I was more than right. My boys now have a credit at Game Stop for $123! What’s more, the guy who helped us with the trade-in (different from the first guy) said he’d give us a brand new NBA 2K13 – without using any of our $123 credit — if we bought the $3 insurance now. Done deal. My boys were thrilled with the outcome, but I still came away thinking there are eight very good reasons to keep video games out of your kids’ life, if at all possible:
- The games are bloody expensive. $60 for a new game; $20-$40 for a used one. Crazy.
- Your kids will lose interest in one game (I must have Madden 13 NOW!) and immediately request a different one (I must have NBA 2K 13 NOW!)
- The games will cause fights. One game console. Three boys who want to play at the same time. Not a pretty picture.
- You will have to enforce all kinds of rules to limit game times, like “no video games during the week” to “only 1 hour a day.” No matter what your house rules regarding the games, they will be extremely hard to stick to, both for them and for you. I can promise you the rules will be broken, unless you are very diligent about hiding the game remotes during “no play” hours. But, good luck with that because there are only so many hiding places.
- For any birthday or holiday involving presents, the request for a new video game will definitely top the list. This isn’t so bad, but it will make you a little sad that they aren’t requesting a new book.
- They will have more in common with the guy working at Game Stop than with some of their peers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, but it might scare you a little. See #7.
- Your 8-year old will declare that he wants to work in Game Stop when he’s older.
- They will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, damage the video games, especially the brand new ones. And, you may not be so lucky by having the super nice guy at Game Stop give you a break by letting you buy the insurance after the fact. Hint: Buy that $3 insurance!!