Being Used: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/48812
In the post linked above, the author discusses used games and how they don’t really bother him. His main arguments are as follows: first, saving money is always beneficial, second, the fact that you are able to sell any used games, no matter how out-dated, to stores is a great thing.
I agree with the author’s statement on the benefits of saving money. It’s impossible to say otherwise. So the real question is: are used games bad in any way for consumers? To that I can only say no. The only possible negative is that gamestop agressively forces used copies on gamers which can be annoying and take more time for purchases, even then the consumer saves money so that argument doesn’t hold too much water.
Another point that the author made is that you will always be able to sell used games to gamestop as long as the disc still functions. The way that he phrases this argument is that it will be a way to rectify bad purchases no matter what. I’m not exactly sure if this is as strong of an argument. The reason for this is that there are significant reductions in returns if you are past the 7 day cut off point the amount that you would get back for selling to gamestop is very nearly cut in half if not more.
I find it odd that he didn’t mention that used games means that you will more easily be able to find old games in stores. This is a huge benefit of having used games at all. The ability to walk into a store and buy a game that is 5-10 years old for a very good price is a very cool thing.
Another thing that is at least slightly beneficial where the used game market is concerned, is that used games drive interest and sales of future products by that developer. By making it cheaper it becomes more accessible to people who might not have purchased it otherwise. If they really like that game then that is a sale for future games that would not have happened otherwise.
To be clear I am not trying to argue whether or not used games are bad for the video game industry. I do not have enough data to argue this point. I do think that they have a negative impact on the industry, but I don’t think that it is signficant enough to make a real difference. Then again there isn’t any data that shows used game sales or their impact, so its all a moot point really.