The physical act of gaming should not be difficult. The word 'game', by its very nature, implies fun, recreation, and a general lack of stress. In reality though, gaming is not always the carefree frolic through a sunlit Disney meadow that it rightly should be. While many of us enjoy an uninterrupted fine old time, in some parts of the world gaming is rather a struggle.
No animated bluebirds chirping playfully upon fingertip for them. No, in some parts of the world gaming is made a right royal ballache, via insane pricing, forgetful release schedules, and good old fashioned out-of-touch local attitudes towards adult game content. In the name of solidarity I've done a bit of research on which countries have it worst, and you'll find that research littered over these very pages. For that is how an article on the internet works.
Who has it worst for... pricing?
The price of games is obviously very important to a gamer. As a general rule (excluding any and all contrived yet hilarious Brewster’s Millions style scenarios we may find ourselves in as the result of the actions of a morally-sound but wily old benefactor type), the thinking is that cheaper games are better games. This is because cheap games mean that more games can be bought without increasing the total amount of money required to buy those games. And games are good, so we want lots of them. In case this is proving complex, I’ve provided a chart to explain more clearly:
So then, by that logic, expensive games must be bad. And thus countries in which games are consistently expensive must be a borderline HELL ON EARTH. So, upon which arbitrarily-segregated lump of rock is the worst? On which is a gamer most likely to wake up with a pitchfork up his bum, before going to work his 27-hour-a-day shift at the Being Horribly Tortured Plant? It’s quite complex, but fortunately someone else has done the research so that I don’t have to. I have however, built upon it slightly.
Last year IGN Australia compared the international prices of six different games over all the major formats. Their findings? As expected, America was the cheapest across the board, except in one case when Canada was just a tad higher in the value stakes. Australia was the most expensive in all cases, except one, and was generally quite closely trailed by New Zealand, You’d think that Gandalf could just magic them up some games, but apparently not. On the whole, this is how this broke down, with all prices converted into US dollars.
So, while none of this is particularly scientific (it doesn't take cost of living into account, for example), I’m regardless going to proclaim Australia to be officially the worst country to be a gamer in terms of price. And I’m also going to make an official decree that no American is allowed to moan about the cost of games ever again. Seriously guys, I’ll be watching you. Don’t even try it.