“Stop Buying Games!” –
It’s in Australia’s “interest” . . . ?!
©2008 David Hilton
So screams yesterday’s Courier-Mail headline. Okay, to be completely honest the headline never actually said ‘games’, but it did say “Stop Spending, Warns Reserve”. The first paragraph reads: “Australian consumers have been given a blunt warning to stop big spending or risk more interest-rate pain”.
You see, the Reserve Bank of Australia once again raised our interest rates and the banks have added a bit to that percentage on the side for themselves too. Apparently, and I’m no economist, the reason we are now approaching 10% interest rates on home loans in Australia, when everywhere else seems to be seeing their rates go down, is our rampant spending on imported luxury goods. And video games and consoles are imported luxury goods (though some might dispute the ‘luxury’ part and claim they are a ‘necessity’).
The Reserve Bank does add that there are a number of factors that influence interest rate rises, but I’ve forgotten most of them except “stop spending”. The interest rate rises are my fault for spending money on my new PS3 console, High Def TV, and all those games over the last year.
I should have given up the Halo Special Edition and Beowulf games (though that game I should never have bought because it’s crap). I have been contributing to inflation by buying all this on my trusty well worn credit card and my New Year’s resolution should have been to help to fight that inflation by committing to stop buying games. For my own benefit yes, but also for the good of the country. I mean I’ve still got over five games I’ve either not started or not finished for goodness sake!
Mind you another article in the same paper on page 4 points out that “despite rising rates and stock market turmoil, Brisbane BMW said local demand for luxury cars had risen sharply in the past six months, with its sales up 70%”. And the Government is still going through with its promised tax cuts, which also won’t help. But the message is that every one should do their part or face the consequences and that obviously means you and me, and apparently not the rich people or the Government.
So what can we do? Well with the Xbox 360 Core Arcade Pack with memory card at $A 339 this week at Target and probably price cuts all round soon, I don’t see people not buying game consoles…With Grand Theft Auto 4 being released soon, I don’t see people not buying games either…And besides, do we want to kill off the gaming industry in Australia?
Maybe we should have something like those environment offsets you can buy when you fly these days? An economic offset say. So if you buy a $99 game, you then have to forfeit that Ipod you thought your girlfriend would like. She would be sacrificing for the greater good in the fight against inflation and lower interest rates.
Of course in today’s “see it, want it, buy it, pay later” society this fight is going to be a hard one.
I’ve now done my part however. I’ve told you to stop buying games- so go and cancel your pre-order for GTA4! You see, if I can convince enough of you to do just that, then I’ve offset my upcoming purchase of Alone In The Dark; which is exactly what I’ll be when the creditors start reclaiming all my stuff, my family leaves me, and I can no longer afford electricity….
©2008 David Hilton