So. After some very kind and encouraging responses to my post on the Hepler article, I decided to take the plunge... and I bought a used copy of Mass Effect 2 from Game Stop tonight.
Apparently the previous owner traded in the collectors' edition, because along with the game I got a package that included a concept art book and a mini-comic from Dark Horse. All this for eight American dollars.
I bought ME2 because the house game system is a PS3, and apparently the only way to get the first Mass Effect game is to drop $40 on the whole trilogy. I'm a casual gamer - correction, a very very casual gamer - and forty bucks is too steep an entry fee. Eight bucks, on the other hand, is quite all right.
I have a few things to attend to this evening, and then I think I'll take an hour to dip my toes into the Mass Effect universe.