So all of you must wait until digital movie releases hit $1 or $2 before replacing your old VHS and DVD copies, yeah? How's that working out? Old crap like "Terminator 2", "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" should be free at this point, anyways.
The reason you value these games so little is because the industry allowed it to happen, not because you're some smart shopper (you're not). If sales never happened in the history of digital storefronts, the $1 figure wouldn't even enter your mind and you'd eventually pay the asking price whenever you felt you could afford it or wanted it badly enough.
Truth is, though, they're actually making more money off of you $1 impulse buyers than if they kept the price constant. The smart shoppers just pay the full $5.99 when they've allocated enough time and money to play it. Nobody does this though; we all have massive backlogs from dumb impulse buys.
I've never understood why some people look down on people such as myself who are triggered to buy some things when they hit $1 or $2 like we're doing something wrong or something. It's entirely the wrong way of looking at it, by assuming people are doing something wrong and then trying to find a way to characterize them with negative sentiment.
Here is how it is for me and I expect many others, however we do not clearly state it at this deep of a level when we talk about it over the water cooler here. I do not need to own any more video games than I already own. I have a large enough amount of games that combined have enough hours of entertainment value that would outlast the rest of my life if I were to play them 8 hours a day until bored 365 days a year. If not, then if I combine the movies, TV shows, stand up comedians, documentaries, books, instructional/learning materials and other sources of entertainment and learning materials all of which I already own outright - I could literally never run out of things to do. Add to that all of the free content available online on Youtube, free games that are available out there and other content of an entertainment, hobby/leisure or academic nature and I am completely overwhelmed with infinite data/content/information/entertainment if I never spent another cent in my entire life.
There are games that I do not own that I find interesting in some manner and so a part of me may want to own it some day but because something merely interests me doesn't mean that I have decided that I absolutely MUST have it and MUST buy it now or at any point in the future. I've got over 1000 games on my Steam+GOG wishlist combined and the likelihood of me ever buying every single one of them is highly unlikely. Merely being interested or liking something, or even thinking we do doesn't mean we MUST buy it, nor are we obligated to buy something someone has made simply because we saw a trailer for it and thought it looked cool, or it excited us or for any other reason.
We're not obligated to buy anything ever for any reason whether we are slightly fond of it or extremely drooling about it.
Since I'm not obligated to ever buy anything ever, and I own and/or have access to a literally infinite amount of content/data/information combined both offline and online - there has to be something that causes me to actually decide to want to spend money to buy something. I simply do not NEED anything more again ever and there is just as big an argument to say that I should NEVER buy any more games because I haven't played all of the ones I already own, although I disagree with that also for completely different reasons.
So what is it that might cause me to buy something that I do not need and have no obligation to spend money on? There are a variety of factors that could motivate me (or anyone else for that matter) to do so, and it might vary from game to game. For me however, one motivating factor is when the price of something drops down to the point where even though I ordinarily do not want to buy it because I don't need it and have no obligation - I am compelled to spend my money arguably foolishly to obtain it anyway and throw it on top of the pile.
The point at which that occurs for me is anywhere from $3 or less, and as it goes lower than $3 the likelihood of it breaking down my "I don't really need that enough to spend that much money on it unless I'm super excited about it and going to play it tomorrow" factor increases potentially up until the point I open my wallet.
It has nothing to do with "being cheap" (even though we may joke about it in such a fashion, ie: being a tightwad). It has to do with not buying things we do not need at prices we don't really find the justification to pay because we don't perceive the product will give us the value in return that the price demands at a given price point for what our individual needs are at a given point in time. Drop that price down low enough however and any rational logical purchase decisions go out the window and we may compulsively buy things we don't need anyway. I would wager that the majority of gamers here have done this at least once, if not practically every major sale that happens.
Every single person who is alive and purchases anything, does so because of a combination of their need or desire for it is high enough that the given price it is being offered is at a point which the person is compelled to exchange the money to own the product based on their need/desire, and that includes both rational and irrational needs/desires including compulsive shopping habits. Nobody ever spends a cent more than they are willing to to buy something. If someone complains about the price of something and spends it anyway then they too value the product at that price enough to have parted with the money.
I don't think there is any valid reason to criticize someone's personal decisions about what price they will purchase a given product for. Everyone is in a different economic situation and has different needs/desires/priorities. If someone refuses to buy something unless it hits $0.25 that doesn't offend me. They're perfectly free to decide that for themselves and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it nor nothing wrong with them. If the game industry sells a product at a low price that matches what someone is willing to pay, then both parties have agreed to mutually beneficial terms and that is the only thing that matters.
The value of something is the maximum amount that each individual person is willing to spend to own it - for that person, and not a cent more. If the market value of it is equal or lower than that, then it might be sold to that person. If it is higher than that, then it probably wont be sold to that person unless something happens to cause them to desire the product at a higher level to cause them to want to pay more for it.
As an example, as I've said I normally spend $3 or less per game based on the concepts outlined above, however if a friend came to me on a weekend where I had no plans and said "hey, lets play multiplayer xyz - and I didn't own xyz and we wanted to play it bad enough this weekend, then I would gauge the price the game is currently offered at with the benefit of owning it for the weekend and might end up spending more than I normally would to own it. That's what caused me to spend $8.50 or so on ArmA 2 - a friend wanted to do multi and it was on sale although nowhere near my normal "instabuy" point. I bought it at $8.50 as I felt I'd get my $8.50 worth of value out of it in very short timeframe because I'd be playing it immediately. However if he hadn't asked me to and I bought it for $8.50 then I'd have spent that money and quite possibly never played it in the 3 years since then.
People should pay whatever they are comfortable for things and let others do the same and stop criticizing, judging or guilt tripping people for having different values/needs and how much they're willing to spend to own a game or any other thing. Since I'm under no obligation to ever buy any games whatsoever should I choose to never do so - I feel no guilt whatsoever for not buying anything nor for buying things I don't really need when the price becomes so low that I irrationally purchase it anyway.