Big Issue Vendor

How to play video games on a budget

Gaming can be expensive, but it has also never been cheaper to dive in. Big Issue vendor Dave Campion explains how you can keep control of your cash while playing
Illustration: Matthew Brazier

Big Issue vendors have a wide variety of skills and experience, so we bring you the best of their knowledge each week. This week, Dawlish vendor Dave Campion has plenty of tips and tricks to save a few pounds while playing video games.

I’ve been playing video games since day one, since Pong. I just love how it takes you somewhere else, it is just so much more immersive than film and books. You are part of the story and nothing else matters – I never think about anything else while I’m gaming.

I probably wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for gaming during lockdown – real life has been that stressful but when I’m playing games it gets me away from all of that.

Gaming’s been my contact with the outside world, too. I can chat to people from all around the world to see how they are coping with Covid. It’s amazing what you pick up.

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One of my old customers gave me a PlayStation 4 console during the first lockdown, so I was lucky. She offered to send me a console she wasn’t using any more when I told her I was struggling with my mental health. I told her I couldn’t afford to give her anything and argued against it but she sent the console to me. It was really generous.

The PlayStation Store is amazing if you stick to the weekly sales. And Sony have been giving away free games throughout the lockdown even if you don’t have a subscription to their PlayStation Plus service.

Dave Campion on cheap video games
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Illustration: Matthew Brazier

At the moment I am playing Vigor, which is a completely free shoot-em-up game. There are plenty of free games on the store – Fortnite is in there – not that I would touch it – and Call of Duty’s Warzone battle royale game too. A lot of the free games have in-game purchases which have turned video games into a class system of sorts – I try to avoid them. I always stick on the previous generations of consoles – people are going on about the PS5 and paying over the odds, but stick to the PS4 for now. You can get a lot of PS4 games for your money that can keep you going for a while.

I trade my games in at shops too when that’s possible – I can quickly complete a game then trade it in and get a few more. All these things help keep the cost down.

Dave Campion on cheap video games
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Illustration: Matthew Brazier

Dave Campion is a Big Issue seller in Dawlish, Devon. His PlayStation ID is sescraven. After spending 15 years without a home, he was housed last summer through the Everyone In scheme