Fun Money

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Mission to Zyxx has been my go-to weekly podcast for the last year and a half and I was very content listening each week for free. They had a Patreon and released bonus content there but I was never intrigued enough to actually donate. This season they have moved to the Maximum Fun network which allows users to donate to the show through them with reward tiers and such. It seems like a more specialized podcast focused Patreon. In episode 2 of season 3  Seth Lynn said something that really stuck with me. It was: “Think about what your life would be like without Mission to Zyxx.” I know the whole point of this 10-minute spiel was to get people to donate but at the same time, it made me realize that I can’t expect other people to support the things I like if I don’t support the things I like. While it may be a silly improvised sci-fi podcast it’s something that’s important to me and if it went away I’d be heartbroken. So I subscribed, good on you Seth you’re a guilt marketing genius.

I’ve come to this realization that It’s OK to spend money on things I like. Especially things that I enjoy and have been enjoying for a while. I know this sounds like common sense but it really struck me only a few months ago.

I was playing Black Desert heavily for a while. When I first started, I looked at the prices of cash shop items and thought ” $40 for an outfit, that’s outrageous.” But after 100+ hours in a month, I bought 5 pets and a value pack for $50 and felt no guilt. I’ve gotten more enjoyment and playtime out of BDO than a $60 AAA title.

I’m starting to feel the same way about Trove. I actually bought the starter pack because it gave me 4 inventory expanders for $5 instead of $20. Did I need those inventory slots? No, but they are nice to have and make the game a little more enjoyable. I also have picked up the freemium subscription, the patron pass that gives a lot of great boosts for 2 months now. I’ve complained in the past that free to play games tend to milk their customers for money and I felt that way very strongly about Trove under Trion. But I look at steam and see 500 hours played. Maybe after 500 hours, they deserve a little compensation no? A little too late for Trion but at least Trove is still around.

I remember the first time I asked my parents to buy something for me for an online game. They looked at me like I had 2 heads. Why would you want to spend real money to dress up a character in a video game and why do you need to pay monthly for a video game. I had no disposable income of my own so I lived the F2Per’s life and grinded through Runescape, Flyff, and countless other free to play MMO’s. Thank god Guild Wars was a buy to play the game without a subscription otherwise I may never have played my favorite game of all time.

This carried over even when I had a disposable income of my own. Why would I pay for this virtual item when I could buy a whole game. Why would I pay a subscription every month when I can buy a game and play it forever. But here’s the thing. Those microtransactions are in games I actually enjoy playing. Those subscriptions have been the price of admission to some really great games. And those games I bought for $20 on steam are still sitting there unplayed.

My budgeted “fun money” is going to be spent anyways. Might as well spend it on something I’m enjoying right now and support the continued development or existence of it.

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