Gaming: Show me the money

The global market for video games, including hardware, software and peripherals, was worth $67-billion  this year.

The global market for video games, including hardware, software and peripherals, was worth $67-billion this year.

The industry has been relatively flat of late but is expected to grow to $82-billion by 2017 as console makers Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony prepare to release a new generation of gaming consoles.

The most highly anticipated game of the year, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, earned an estimated $500-million in the first 24 hours of sales.

For individual gamers, playing can lead to a debt trap: it’s easy to overspend in a game like Warcraft, in which players can buy virtual goods, such as horses, weapons and armour, online. A black market, driven by “gold farmers” who do menial virtual labour to amass virtual wealth and weapons that they then sell for real cash, blurs the lines between virtual and real wealth. Gaming costs real money.

Pay to play
Xbox: R3 000
PS3: R3 500
Wii: R2 200
Gaming computer: R15 000 to R20 000
Mic and headset: R500 to R1 500
New game: R600
Second-hand game: R300
Monthly internet: R600 (line and internet)
Xbox live subscription: R300 a year
World of Warcraft subscription: R240 for 60 days.

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Faranaaz Parker

Faranaaz Parker

Faranaaz Parker is a reporter for the Mail & Guardian. She writes on everything from pop science to public health, and believes South Africa needs carbon taxes and more raging feminists. When she isn't instagramming pictures of her toddler or obsessively checking her Twitter, she plays third-person shooters on Xbox Live. Read more from Faranaaz Parker

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