Family Video: Cheap is Good

I did something strange yesterday: I rented a game.

Think about it. When was the last time you drove down to the local video store? Maybe it’s just me, but it’s been absolute ages since I stepped into Hollywood Video.  As one of those nerdy kids, Blockbuster trips became a comfortable routine, a weekly opportunity to catch up on all the latest and greatest games. The introduction of the internet changed things, however, and with digital distribution and downloadable titles it’s easier than ever to avoid the sunlight. Why bother with rentals at all when Netflix and GameFly deliver straight to your door?

But Family Video is still going strong. And you know what? After creating an account with them yesterday and sampling their rental policies, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

Here’s the awesome: for your first month of membership with Family Video, everything you rent is half off. Everything. Games, movies, TV shows, whatever you like — they’re all half-cost, effective starting with the very first rental. I swung by the Norman location yesterday afternoon to see if they had inFamous, a Playstation 3 game released the very same day, and was pleasantly surprised to see at least three copies available. That might be courtesy of summer time in a college town, but their selection still seemed pretty impressive overall.

Picking up a game at Family Video comes with another benefit in the form of a free movie rental. It’s a year-round deal, impressively, though which movies qualify for the offer might be a little mystifying at first. A pretty sizable portion of the store is devoted to $1 dollar movies of all types: classics, Family Video Favorites, and even the recently new, all of the titles just moved off the new releases shelf. They’re all eligible for the offer, regardless, which means I walked out of the building with a five-day rental of both inFamous and Alien for around four bucks.

I like that price. I imagine you will too. So why not give them a shot? Strange to say it, but I think the internet has failed me on this one. It’s easier to sit around with a laptop, sure, but the convenience factor can’t completely overcome the many bonuses Family Video offers to a modern gamer. Film addicts might be better off with Netflix, but a casual renter like myself can pick from a great selection for a little over a buck, which is pretty sweet indeed.

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