Human Nature and Gaming – The Power of Sales

There’s something about human nature, beyond just in board gaming but also for life in general, that makes us perk up when we hear about a good sale on something.

“70% off!” a web site may proclaim, and we all kind of stand to attention.

Even if it’s something that we don’t really care about.

We often still feel that urge to jump on it.

100% Flax cookies are 90% off? I know they taste like sawdust, but c’mon. 90% OFF!!!!!!!

I think board games are a special category of this, however, because while all of us are gamers, we don’t all like the same games.

What’s worth full price to you may not even be worth 50% of full price to me.

Yet I hear 50% off and my first thought is to consider it.

This happened to me this morning before I started work.

I saw a post on Boardgame Geek about London Dread, a cooperative Victorian horror game by Grey Fox Games.

Apparently (and I’m just going by the BGG post, as he said he got it in an email from Grey Fox Games and I wasn’t subscribed to their email list at the time), you can currently get London Dread for $20 and free shipping from their web site if you put in the promo code “essennot”.

(This actually turns out not to be accurate, but the deal itself is not the point of this post anyway, so I’m leaving this description in. Just don’t go to Grey Fox Games and expect to be able to get this for $20, or don’t blame me if you do)

My eyes immediately widened. $20 and free shipping? I just bought the 2nd edition of Martin Wallace’s London from Book Depository in the UK because it was almost 45% off and free shipping anywhere in the world.

How can you pass up that deal?

I went and looked at London Dread, and saw that it really wasn’t a game I was that interested in. Cooperative and horror? Maybe, but nothing really shouted out at me in the game’s description to get it.

But, out of curiosity, I checked Miniature Market for how much the game is in the US. It’s $38 there. So this is almost 50% off of another online store’s price for the game, and 60% off the MSRP ($59.95) for it.

There was still a small urge to pull the trigger, but I ultimately didn’t and won’t. It’s just not something I really want to own.

London (wow, this is getting confusing), I did some research on, watched a couple of reviews and decided that it did look like a cool game to get, and it has the Martin Wallace pedigree. So I did pull the trigger.

But what is it about sales that causes our minds to shut down just a bit and potentially get something that we ultimately have no use for.

A case load of diapers? We don’t even have a baby.

But they’re 70% off!!!

Thankfully, I have for the most part resisted this urge when it hits me. I at least keep my head enough to examine whether or not I really want this game before going through with the order.

Though I have been bitten once or twice by the Power of the Sale.

And I have definitely bought games because of sales that I hadn’t even thought of before. Most of the time it’s turned out well, thankfully.

What about you?

Have you ever bought a game just because it was on sale for a remarkably good price?

Or are you a more discerning shopper and can keep your head in a crisis?

Let me know in the comments.


2 Comments on “Human Nature and Gaming – The Power of Sales

  1. This is an incredibly dope post. Honestly. It’s such an interesting too you’ve covered. I don’t own any games consoles so I can’t answer any of your questions. Sorry!! But I’ll definitely follow you for more stuff. I’d love if you could return the favor and check out my latest blog post? Thanks!


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