Sometimes you have to spend money to save money.
And I'm being serious about this, but I added it up once and roughly, very roughly if you are a 20 something of average income you will probably spend about $40 each night if you go out (of course this is for your average guy, whereas it would be much lower for your average 20 something girl accounting for "ladies nights" and "free drinks subsidies" subsidized to you by, ahem, men). But neither here nor there, roughly, you can expect to drop $40 each night you go out.
Which is why I fully endorse refusing to feel guilty when dropping significant money on home entertainment expenditures. Things like flat panel TV's, LCD projectors, DVD's, stereo systems and of course, video games. Some of the wisest expenditures you can make. And the reason why is that, yes, you will have to drop about $900 on that LCD projector and yes, you will have to drop $500 on the deluxe edition of X-Box 360, but in doing so you will provide a better alternative to going out, getting drunk and hitting on girls that didn't want to meet you in the first place anyway, all of which at $40 per pop will add up to more than you spend on home entertainment purchases.
And this isn't just fluff, I personally adhere to this philosophy as I recently bought the X-Box 360 "package" which included two remote controllers, a recharger and "Gears of War" the flagship video game of the 360. I also purchased "Call of Duty 3" as I like to keep my Nazi-fighting skills up just incase there is a resurgence in Nazism and I can protect the chicks.
Now doing the rough math, both games are going to require at least, LEAST 30 hours game play. That translates into 60 hours and if I divide that by the average time I spend going out on weekend nights (3 hours) that results in roughly me saving 20 $40 nights which equals a savings of $800.
Just these two games alone put me $300 ahead of the game after deducting my $500 X-box system. So men, boys and ardent video game players of all stripes all across the world, UNITE! For if anybody argues with you that video games are a waste of money, eau contraire. They are a wise use of one's money.
However, while we may rejoice in the economic efficiency of video games there is something I noticed playing the latest generation. Instead of having health packs to regenerate your health, all they have now is this "red eye gauge" thing which turns redder and redder the closer you come to dying. Get too red and you're dead. And to recover all you have to do is hide, let a little time pass and your health will recover completely on its own.
Well what the hell happened health packs????
I LIKED the health packs!
The whole concept that you could be a paper cut away from death and all you had to do was turn the corner, and BOOM! Health pack! Completely renewed you could about-face and unleash a torrent of revenge upon those AI enemies that put you so close to death in the first place.
Or if playing against your friends in multiplayer you could charge out into the battlefield blasting away at your friends knowing that if you timed it right you'd be able to get to the health pack first ensuring your victory and their death while chalking it all up to "skill."
Hell, there's been times I've left parties in a less-than-sober state half thinking and hoping to find a health pack in the alley.
Regardless, 20 years the health pack has been an integral part of the video gaming world, and now we're just going to give up on it?
Think of the pscyhological ramifications. They have become so engrained in our video gaming psyche that everytime we see one our brain is conditioned now to release serotonin. When have you ever seen a health pack and NOT smiled? Spread that across billions of people consuming trillions of health packs over the past 20 years and you're talking AT LEAST metric tons of serotonin and lot's of good fuzzy feelings being throw out the door because some Palo Alto Gen-X schmutz came up with a "cooler" way to gauge health.
But what can I do? I'm just the sole owner of an X-Box 360. So aspiring, junior and deputy economists of the video gaming strand have a drink in honor of the health pack. Something tells me it will go the way of the joystick.