Remember that big project we said we were working on that would be worth the wait? This isn’t it. This is just a little thank-you for being so patient because it’s taking so darn long.

This song — based on Peter Schilling’s 1983 hit “Major Tom (Coming Home)” — was something we concocted a few years ago; probably 2010, because I remember working on lyrics during PAX East in Boston at the Hynes. We finished the lyrics and Jude got most of the synths worked out, but it just didn’t feel like the time was right, for a few different factors. So we shelved it and moved on to other projects that seemed more exciting and timely (or in the case of our current secret project, timeless). 

Then E3 2013 happened. Xbox One had a plan that would essentially eliminate used software as we know it, and people freaked out because they wanted to keep their games as currency on the secondary market. Sony seized the opportunity to position PS4 as used-game friendly, and there was the moment we lacked before: Everybody was talking about used games. So I said “Hey, Jude” — because sometimes I do legitimately say that — “remember that song we were working on about used games? I think the time is right.”

It didn’t hurt that, in the meantime, this one-hit wonder had a cameo in Breaking Bad, too.

Jude and I have both bought used games (though his are usually full arcade cabinets), so please do not take this song as some sort of revolutionary cry or political call to action. We just think it’s worth bringing up that there is another way to get value out of your game collection, and it’s one where everybody walks away happy. I have often left the store feeling like I made the wrong call by trading games in, so if that’s happened to you, consider the alternative. Here’s one if you want to trade with strangers, but I’d expect a simple post of your trade offers on your Facebook wall will bring friends out of the woodwork.

And yes, we’re still working on that other thing.

As usual, keys, synths, and drums by Jude; guitar, bass and vocals by Dan. Lyrics were a collaboration as always, and here they are for good measure:

Standing there alone
the cashier’s waiting
I trade in my game
at the store
My game is nice and mint
but their computer
says it’s worth much less
than I paid before
The markdown starts

They hand me my cash
but I am certain
that I got the shaft
Lower value
Browsing all the shelves
to find a new game
that I’ll sell right back
to this same store
My ass is sore

Four, three, two, one
They lowball us
Value falling
My game’s worthless
Trade-in prices blow

Second game is done
and multiplayer
isn’t all that fun
Empty lobby
Should I trade it in
I get so little
and the bargain bin
will only grow
I just don’t know

Back at the cashier
there is a problem
Inventory’s full
they’re not buying
Too many in stock
from other trade-ins
Turning me away
he says goodbye
and I know why

Four, three, two, one
Used game rip-offs
Vicious cycle
We’re not helping
Where else can we go?

Suddenly I hear
about a swap meet
“Trade your old games here
You’ll get much more”

I bring several games
and so do others
We swap one for one
with a smile
We all understand
the games have value
There’s no middleman
It’s our software
Our trades are fair

They lowball us
Value falling
I just bought this
weeks ago

Used game rip-offs
Vicious cycle
We’re not helping
Where to go?

Local gamers
Meeting, swapping
Don’t buy used games
Trade them on your own