Video Games: The Future of Game Rentals

blockbuster[1] I recently read troubling articles about Blockbuster’s finances. It’s entirely possible that the video rental chain could go out of business. That’s not a big deal when it comes to renting movies. Alternate options include Netflix, Redbox, and video on demand from cable, Xbox Live, or the PlayStation Network. Even your local library gets in on that act. Not only do we have choices, we have some healthy competition there.

But If Blockbuster does go away, imagine the impact that has on video game rentals. There’s Gamefly, but that’s a monthly subscription based service. And… nothing else. Hollywood Video is gone. Mom and pop video rental stores, if not entirely gone, will not likely have the latest games for rent. What happens when there’s a game you know you don’t want to buy but would like to play for a little while? It’s even a common phrase for game reviews. “It’s worth a rental.”

Here’s a modest proposal for a solution: Gamestop. The used video game retailer has locations everywhere, sometimes even just miles apart from each other. In bigger malls, they have two or more stores. They could easily offer the option to buy or rent their used games. This could be a great new revenue stream for them. They kind of have this in effect now. Buy a used game and if you don’t like it you can return it in a week. Lots of scumbags take advantage of this just to play some free games. This would close that gap for them. “Not sure you want to buy it? Why not rent it to try it out?” The price of the rental could be deducted if they choose to buy the game. It’s something that they should consider, especially if Blockbuster closes.

Karl Cramer

June 16, 2010

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Blog: Karl Writes On

I’m blogging again because I realized I missed writing. Writing writing. Not shilling deals writing. Fun writing. Which is not as good as paid writing. But better than school writing. When the blog craze hit a few years ago I jumped on the bandwagon like everyone else. It was so liberating to write about whatever you wanted without an editor looking over your shoulder. "Tell us everything of the history of blah-blah-blah and why it’s great. Keep it under 250 words." I actually enjoyed writing again. It wasn’t work. Imagine that. My blogs were a bit of a moving target. I’d write on MySpace, 1Up, Cheap Ass Gamer. They’re still there. Ironically, most of my paid articles were wiped away when the company I worked for redesigned their site. Too bad, there was some good stuff up there.
 
So why did I stop? I didn’t realize I did. A big factor is that like many people I got laid off. If it’s not the depression, sitting and watching the entire series run of Angel, it’s the feeling that while I was in front of the computer I should be looking for work. But the bigger reason was Facebook. Yes, Facebook. The social site is by design private (despite recent efforts by its founder) so when you writes "Notes", Facebook’s version of blogs, it’s for your circle of friends. Nobody can accidentally discover it. More importantly, it changes your mindset when you write. Also, while you’re on Facebook you tend to micro-write. Lemme post a status update here, make a comment there, and add a link to a funny video about a cat riding a Roomba. You’re not doing any real writing and it’s a bad habit to get into. Twitter is the same thing but even worse since they limit you to 140 characters. And that includes spaces!
 
I also launched my own website: Cheap Cheap Geek. It was my idea to post deals on pop culture things. It even managed to get a fair number of hits. However, that wasn’t really writing. It was being a saleman. The site was written for mercenary purposes. Between the Amazon links and Google ads I’d hoped to make a little bit of money. It never quite worked out that way. Even when a post got 4-digit hits, the click throughs were zero. So much for my dreams of being the next Mark Cuban. Shame, I think I would have made a good owner of a professional sports team – the wacky owner who didn’t like watching sports and was televised playing on his Nintendo DS while his players were trying to win the title.
 
I recently stumbled across some old blogs and stayed up late reading several of them. I actually enjoyed rereading them and didn’t loathe myself for writing them. Which is more then I can say for my attempts at novels. That created a mental itch urging me to write again. So here we are. I noticed my Windows Live account enrolled me into a blog space that I wasn’t using. So why not take advantage of it and start writing again. My clever name for it? Karl Writes On. I’ll admit it’s no Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, but it does have a double meaning. Karl Writes On as in I’m writing on spaces.live.com and Karl Writes On in that I’m continuing to write.
 
Karl Cramer
June 14, 2010
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What I’m Listening To

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Xbox Gamercard

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