When you think about online games that people play for fun, do you ever consider the cost back of those games? Nothing in this life is completely free and while it may seem like it is, there is always a cost to someone or something.
What is even meant by a "cost" to a game that is free for everyone to play if they choose? This article looks at Internet games in general and ponders the question of their cost in terms of time, effort and money.
The Cost of Time
While you may not think that playing a game online is costing you anything in the physical sense like cash as an example, there is still a huge cost in terms of time spent playing. The old phrase "time is money" bandied about by businessmen mostly is strictly true when you reason it out.
How much is your time worth? Do you even put a value on it? Because if you don't you really should.
Time is a commodity that each of us has a finite allocation of. By that I mean that we will only be alive in these bodies of ours for a limited number of years and when all those years have been used up, our time will be up and we will die.
Maybe you might want to ask yourself this: How productively or effectively do you use your time?
If you spend several hours every day playing free games on the Internet or on a games console in your home, that is time that could otherwise be put to better use in following pursuits that could enrich and improve your life in many ways.
By that, I mean you could be getting a daily dose of physical exercise that will keep your body healthy and potentially increase your lifespan. Or you could be studying to improve your intellectual or educational faculties that will raise the bar when it comes to getting a well paid job. Or you could be learning advanced business or sales acumen that could net you a fortune and provide you with a financially stable and enjoyable life.
Time, when considered in those terms could actually be a highly valuable commodity that should not be frittered away playing addictive games. Because when your time runs out, it runs out!
The Cost of Effort
I imagine that if you play a lot of computer generated games you put a great deal of effort into learning all aspects of it. By this I mean learning how the game works, the best strategy for playing it and how to use all of your mental and to a certain extent physical abilities to get the most from your playing.
But what is the true cost of all that effort? What do you get at the end of expending all that effort? And is what you get worth it?
Speaking from personal experience in playing computer games for entertainment, I found that it takes an enormous amount of effort to really master a game, but then after getting all the way through the game to the very end, there is a massive anticlimax as I sat there just watching the credits roll.
What had I achieved? What have I received? What indeed!
The answer is actually a big fat nothing. All that effort went into completing the game and while I could go away and brag to my friends that I beat the game, there was nothing else except a big hole to reward my efforts.
So the true cost of all that effort was nothing but a sense of completion of something that had no bearing on the quality of my life whatsoever. Going back to the previous point, all it had cost me was time and that time was effectively squandered on achieving a big fat zero!
The Cost of Money
You might be surprised to hear that a game you play that costs you nothing actually does have a monetary cost to you, the player. Playing free games is not like you are spending time online gambling for money, but there is a monetary cost that must be reckoned with.
It goes back to the previous two points where the expenditure of time and effort come together to present a cost that in real terms is depriving you of the chance to earn money in real life. That's right! Once you drag yourself away from the time sucking pursuit of playing a complex and time intensive game and look at what you are doing, you'll see that you could have been doing something more profitable with that time and all that effort!
There is also a social and economic cost of gaming, but that's a subject for a later article.
Playing games for fun is an important part of life because we need to switch off and just enjoy ourselves from time to time. But when that time gets drawn out and actually blocks us from doing things that can improve our lives in the real world, there is a cost that has great value and it is one that can never be gotten back once it is gone.