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Opinion: The Real(istic) Cost of Being a Gamer

Lessons in Frugality from the "Plugged-In Generation"

Image via Toxel

Image via Toxel

An article published by Bloomberg last week titled "The Real Cost of Being a Video Gamer" garnered plenty of attention yesterday, as gamers from around the Web took issue with the author's (Jennifer Prince) various product choice suggestions. The average gamer (or family of gamers) is not going to spend $4,800 on a television, or $3,300 on a gaming PC, just to name a few examples. This article doesn't appear to be a "dream gadget list" for gamers to salivate over; rather, it comes off as a poorly educated guess on what gamers actually buy, and what kind of money they spend on the hardware they need.

Frankly, I think Bloomberg published an article that seems to be rooted in fantasy, or just poorly researched.

I've been a hardcore gamer all my life, and like many of you I've been buying my own hardware and software - be it for consoles or the PC - since I started my first job. To presume that the majority of gamers don't practice the art of frugality is a mistake, especially because so many of them sit in that always-coveted 18-35 age group. How many fresh-out-of-college whippersnappers do you know who spend five grand on a TV?

This article--a rebuttal to Bloomberg's--has one goal: to offer a realistic estimate of how much it really costs to play video games in 2012. I'm taking Bloomberg to task, page by page, to show that gaming isn't a five figure affair. The author states that it costs over $17,000 to play games in this day and age; in reality -- if we're running on the assumption that one would buy all of this gear at once -- it costs significantly less.