Any UK gamer knows the fundamental high street truth that our only remaining major specialist retailer, GAME, is rubbish. The selection is boring, the prices are high, the stores are stuffed with Fortnite crap and LEGO sets... there's not really much reason to go in there. Yet I persist and every so often visit, this time because I was curious to see if Mike Ashley's recent takeover had resulted in any notable changes.
OK: I was bored.
A feature of charity shops around the UK is secondhand copies of FIFA. They're everywhere, and so naturally GAME has its fair share. FIFA is an unusual series in some respects, primarily the fact it's annual and also each entry supersedes the last in a definitive manner. Assassin's Creed Odyssey doesn't make it pointless to go back and play Black Flag, but FIFA 19 will hold its value right up until the day FIFA 20 is released, at which point the former becomes more or less worthless.
Or perhaps worthless is the wrong word, because GAME has come up with a sliding scale of value. Yes you too could be the proud owner of a PlayStation 4 copy of FIFA 14 for the Scroogelike price of ten pence. And wait! It is also included in GAME's two-for-one offer, meaning you can get another title at the same time. Sadly however the only game in GAME that's ten pence is FIFA 14, so basically it's two of those for one shiny silver coin.
Remember there's a sliding scale here, and look who's come along: Bertie Big Wallet and his magic money tree! While the peasants content themselves with two copies of FIFA 14, Bertie can opt for FIFA 15 or even FIFA 16 at the bank-bursting price of twenty pence. AND they're two-for-one too, so by doubling your investment you can get both.
Interesting sidenote: old copies of PES hold their value better than FIFA. This is not down to the fact that PES is a better game, but probably more to do with it selling so much less than FIFA. £4.99 for PES 2017! Mike Ashley must think I'm made of money.
I decided to check out a nearby CEX, and sure enough it also had a tonne of old FIFAs. But FIFA 14 for 50p? Those robbing bastards.
In all seriousness, thinking about this topic makes the old Atari E.T. landfill story seem almost quaint. This is a complete guess, but surely the FIFA games collectively have sold more physical copies than any other series in existence: there may be games that have sold better than its individual entries, but it's been one of the biggest sellers in the industry for more than two decades.
GAME must have a dozen warehouses filled with these things. And where are the rest? Across the globe there must be hundreds of millions of old FIFA games: unloved, abandoned, superseded. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced there must be a giant landfill somewhere just filled with the forlorn faces of cover stars from the past. Hell, after climate change wipes us out the only remnant of our civilisation remaining may be a faded Xbox 360 copy of FIFA 10.
So I reckon buying two copies of FIFA 14 for ten pence could almost be considered a moral act. You're cleaning up the planet (possibly) as well as refusing to be led by the nose by all that marketing and 'now now now' stuff: in many ways you'd be a hero. But what would you do with them?
The obvious answer would be as a source of low-cost drinks coasters. Why not mix-and-match a few different entries and guests will be fooled into thinking it's a themed set. Tell them an artisan made it as an ironic commentary on capitalist consumption.
Our production editor Kim Snaith had some bright ideas: you could use one to make a decorative clock face. Tie some strings to the disc for a football-themed windchime. "A shit mirror." Frisbees of course. Or in a rather more practical fashion, chuck the discs and wallow in all your lovely spare PS4 boxes.
I was thinking about gluing them together to make a large and impractical straw that could be used to take sips from any nearby canal. Stick 40 of them on a tracksuit backwards and you've got a fully-functional disco outfit for £2.
Gizmodo UK editor Tom Pritchard had the brilliant suggestion of using the disc as a spaghetti portion gauge. He also wanted to use it as a dartboard with the hole being the bullseye.
They'd make pretty good earrings you know, and again I reckon you could easily fool people. "Oh yes this is from Stella McCartney's Autumn collection, she wanted to highlight the wastage inherent in the entertainment industry." Job's a good 'un. You could probably flog them to a credulous party-goer after that for a fiver and you're quids in: that's 100 more copies of FIFA 14! I hear the sound of ringing tills.
Set up your own home clay pigeon range by throwing FIFA 14 discs while your mate tries to hit them with the box. Kotaku UK accepts no responsibility for any injuries incurred while trying out this excellent idea.
Or finally, you could use them to re-create the classic 'disc glasses' videos.
You might have better ideas: which is great, because you can fill your boots with copies of FIFA 14 and make them happen. Perhaps post-Brexit we can use them as bricks or something to build new food banks? Or in a last resort, crack the disc to create a home-made shiv to fight off the hungry hordes going for your supply of kidney beans. Hey, I'm just spitballing here Boris.
Read more: Why does everyone hate GAME?