Of course I’m going to bring up the topic of gaming during a recession, and not just to give props to my own game, I swear! 😀
Granted, gaming is probably one of the cheapest hobbies out there, depending on the type of game. Spending thousands of dollars on Magic cards……not so much. But there are ways to game for absolutely free.
1. Existing Games. If you’re the RPG type like I used to be during my WW days, and you already have gaming books, it’d be a lot of fun to start up a game with friends and family and have a potluck meal.
If you’ve already sold all of your gaming books (like I’m planning to do), then there are supplements online with the basic rules for reference that you can access for free.
In addition to table-top gaming, emulate some old school games. I started playing some NES Dragon Warrior a while back on my computer just for old-school kicks. Free, accessible, and easy.
And don’t forget pulling out some old consoles and playing some of your old games. I’m tempted to break out my SNES any day now and play some Zelda.
2. Free Games. I knew a person once that blogged about how they were at risk of getting thrown out of their house and couldn’t afford food, but they had a WoW subscription. You’ve got to be kidding me. There are a lot of free games out there, or even games that have just a one time fee, rather than a subscription (Counter Strike: Source comes to mind, which I love).
But for those that like the MMORPG feel, you should check out MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons). Think of them as a text-based WoW, where you interact with players from around the world to build up your character in strength or level. You can involve yourself in all kinds of fun like taking over cities and towns, interacting with DemiGods, warring with other countries or races.
You have all of the perks of games like WoW and EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies, but just without the graphics, and best of all FREE. There are some MUDs that will charge to play, but 90% of the MUD’s out there are completely free to play.
MUDs are a pretty old-school method of gaming from the late 70’s and early 80’s, but it’s stuck around for it’s versatility and being so economical. You can download free MUD clients to access any MUD, so there’s literally no fee to play and immerse yourself. And a bonus to playing a MUD is it will help improve your typing skills, as well as your spelling and grammar 🙂
My particular MUD that I run, Advent of the Mists is one of those MUDs. It’s based in a medieval fantasy world I created myself, but there are sci-fi, cyberpunk, and even White Wolf themed MUDs out there as well. You can browse through a hefty database of MUDs over at The MUD Connector.
If you’re interested in trying out a MUD, but don’t know where to start, feel free to leave me a comment 🙂