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The Real Cost of Being a Video Gamer

By Jennifer Prince - 2012-01-26T14:58:21Z

Photograph by Lisa M. Robinson/Getty Images

Company Symbol % Change
Zynga Inc ZNGA:US -1.53
Microsoft Corp MSFT:US 0.78
Electronic Arts Inc EA:US -1.58
Apple Inc AAPL:US 0.42
Sony Corp 6758:JP 1.57
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Console Care

One way to destroy a gaming console is to stuff it into the back of an enclosed entertainment center where heat and dust eat away at it. According to Computer Dust Solutions in Hancock, Michigan, dust can contain conductive materials such as water, oils and metallic elements that lead to signaling errors. Better to be on a stand with an open back. A few other maintenance items also help:

$8: Disc Skip Fixer Pack with cloths for Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 -- EB Games/GameStop
$125: JFJ Easy Pro Disc Repair Machine -- EB Games/ GameStop
$25: Cooling Fan Console Stand with Controller Storage for Xbox 360 Slim -- Wal-Mart
$10: SmartWipes for iPod --

Running Tally: $14,545