—State of the Industry—

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So once again we’re on the cusp of a new age of gaming machines. With the announcement of machines like Valve’s “SteamBox,” kick-starter machines like the “Ouya” and the newly announced “Gamestick” we’re looking at a many new ways to play… but at what cost? Loads of rumors have been abound concerning unsettling patents filed by Sony… patents like lockout chips that tie a user’s disc to the system making it unable to be read future consoles. Another rumor regarding Microsoft’s next machine mentioned something about the console having to always be online. These rumors, if true, could prove to be catastrophic for gamers coming from previous generations.

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Why do I say “Gamers of previous generations?” I’m referring to people like myself who have been gaming since the Super Nintendo and further back. People who grew up with the Sega Dreamcast. Hell, even people who had just entered with a PS2 or Gamecube. People who will openly understand the peril of which we face in the next generation of gaming.

These are troubling times because there is less say coming from the consumer, and if we as the consumer aren’t allowed a say… it just seems to be a darker time for videogame hobbyists. So-called “Game Journalists” are quick to call the any concern the consumer voices as “whining” and are quick to call us, the consumer, “entitled.”

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Here is a quote I found on a popular videogame message board:

“It’s time to get a new hobby when your current hobby has sycophants screaming at you that the corporations are always right instead of the customers. That any complaints are a result of the consumer’s entitlement. Where they vehemently demonize second hand sales and try to block them. Where they try to tell you that the product that you bought is, in fact, not yours, but theirs and that you’re just renting it. In no other industry does ANY of that **** happen without the RIAA… being involved.

“Ford doesn’t force you to impound your **** car when you’re done with it. Barn’s and Noble’s will not tell you that you’re entitled if the book you bought has a bunch of blanked or smeared pages. Texas Instruments doesn’t force you to agree to an illegal agreement that states the calculator you bought is just rented from them. If you complain to an ice cream company that your ice cream had a flaw they will apologize and give you a coupon for another container of ice cream no questions asked.

“I have never seen better examples of yellow journalism, corporate bribery, and nickel and diming in my life anywhere else compared to what you see in the video game industry every day. Every. ****. Day. You don’t even have to look hard for this trash, it’s right in your face everywhere you look. It’s pathetic.” –Anonymous.

This quote struck a chord with me. This unknown individual hit the nail right on the head. If any of these practices were done in any other business the business would come under great scrutiny. That’s the thing we aren’t allowed to do – scrutinize and make our thoughts known on products any longer.

Granted, there are times that gamers have gotten out of hand but this does not dismiss times were a company has been called out on it’s practices or a when a company releases a subpar product. The situation is reversed when it comes to the game industry. Game Journalists are buddy-buddy with Public Relations people, gifts and favors are made in back rooms and reviewers, people who we are supposed to trust to be fair in their critique of a game are paid off and freely admit to it.

The only solution that I see is that we make sure that our voices are heard: hit the chatrooms, talk about these issues facing our hobby on Facebook, get the attention of the big-wigs. Make sure we are HEARD and not simply brushed aside.

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One Response to “—State of the Industry—”

  1. Cameron Battle Says:

    More importantly don’t give your dollars to the companies that can’t stand by their product and the consumers they serve. Hurt their pockets instead of consenting to their blatant disregard. Loyalty is earned and maintained not given freely and unconditionally.

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