Davis Freeberg fired off a tweet yesterday lamenting Gamefly’s shipment of the 17th title in his game queue. I’ve been a member, on and off, of Gamefly, the Netflix-esque video game service, for many years. And before you learn to manage your GameQ, you need to manage your expectations. (Davis knows this – he too has had a love/hate relationship with these guys.)
Repeat after me: GameFly is not Netflix. In fact, GameFly makes you appreciate Netflix’s amazingly efficient and organized operation that much more. You won’t get a GameFly disc the same week you send one back. Many of the titles you want will be listed as having ‘low availability’. (Hacking Netflix commentary suggests this could be due to folks hanging on to games longer than flicks. But, in the end, the reason is irrelevant to me as a customer.) And good luck trying to quit with games still in your possession.
So here’s how I manage my GameQ. I leave it empty. Until I add the one game I really want next. It often means I’ll wait an additional week or two before something ships, but this ensures I get exactly what I want to play now (and I use the word now very loosely). Although, my strategy essentially morphs GameFly’s two-disc plan ($22.95/mo) into a one-disc plan while sitting around awaiting that next game.
It’s not ideal, but I still usually find GameFly’s mail-order service more economical than buying games (given my short attention span) and less frustrating than dealing with Blockbuster’s brick & mortar outposts. Until a gaming kiosk lands in my neighborhood.