Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 16, 2013

Email: Game’s issues with consumer time

I been thinking about the biggest issue with gaming: Time. There is no other form of entertainment that demand time out of its user as game does. The video be it movie animation or youtube, is a constant stream of content delivered in a finite and fixed time frame, the printed media is a sequence of content that passively absorbed by the user. Game is totally different, it is a user experience of discovering the content, you cannot predict how long a game will last, because you cannot predict the progress to uncover hidden content, you can fast froward a movie or skip page of a book, but stuck in a game is just “not gonna let you do it”. Due to this nature of the gaming content consumption, game can easily eat away a lot time from its user. This is also one big reason why so many people turned off their games, and it seems no game design had addressed this issue, there was a trend of putting more and more content barrier and is now extend outside the software itself. I want to have my game free of junks with reasonably priced none-regional lucked none-censored software, minimized international and not-so-soon-obsolete hardware, and no crazy systems that want me to take a class. I don’t expect game to be art or game to educate or game to advance tech, I only want to have some fun and be done with it, I have work to do.
Have you noticed that most gamers buy stuff with cost consideration, but never thought about how much time you gonna spend on that piece crap. Time is more precious than money, because it is finite and its running out, one must always consider what kind activity is worthy the time it spend in order to live a productive and meaningful life. If gaming itself is a problem, we can bypass it by watch youtube game videos, that delivers game content without all the troubles and is for free. In its logical conclusion, Im not going to watch that at all, I prefer that time to be spend on a movie or something that had much superior content than the let’s play crap.
The truth is there are much better alternatives to spend time and money than games, for example if one can fork out the 4 digit budget for gaming effort, why not buy a licence for Autodesk software? That thing had the same challenging learning curve, magnificent hardware requirement, and beautifully rendered graphic done by yourself, and above all you gonna end up with a “worth 2 cents skill”. Basically these days, any thing game can do, other outlet does better, I think I just explained why hardcore gamer are the most stupid people out there.
What you are referring to is ‘quality over quantity’. The ‘Hardcore gamer’ is just a marketing term. The real label, ‘Industry saps’, doesn’t sell as well. ‘Indoor Geeks’ also doesn’t sell as well.
Let’s use a microcosm as an example. Back when Final Fantasy was popular, the Final Fantasy gamers would all gather and buy the latest Final Fantasy game as soon as it came. Often, they would buy the console then as well. What type of gamers were they?”We are the sophisticated gamer.”

“We prefer STORY and DRAMA over mindless action.”

“We are the cultured gamers.”

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing is just finding its optimum way to sell the product to the consumer. Today, we look back at the person who was ‘obsessed’ with Final Fantasy as a big geek.
“Dude, I’m going to go play Final Fantasy 1 to 12 straight through!”Dude, you’re such a loser!

In the real world, such a person was always seen as a ‘big geek’. Game Industry marketing is aimed at perfuming the stigma. But with Final Fantasy’s collapse, it shows that the perfume can’t mask the stigma forever. Even fans began to realize how lame it all was.

The ‘hardcore’ gamer is someone plugged into the ‘Industry’ matrix. They log on and get ‘gaming news’ which are written by ‘gaming journalists’ which is nothing but elements of a game’s marketing campaign. They read over their Gaming Message Forum which is riddled with viral marketers to corrall the gamers to have the ‘correct’ conclusions about a game. It is not a coincidence that reading gaming forums gives you desire to buy ALL SORTS of games. It’s not so much that you are becoming informed as you are being flooded with various marketing campaigns. The hype, gamers’ kool-aid, is never-ending. The hardcore may be late to the party, but there is always a party going on in Industry Land.
In a moment of clarity, the ‘hardcore gamer’ blinks and sees that his shelf is full of ‘Industry’s Greatest Games’. He has so many games, he can’t play them all! Yet, he keeps buying MORE games.
This ‘hardcore gamer’ sap has parallels with any industry. You have guys who devour movies and music the same way. And like the hardcore gamer, they complain when someone ‘becomes popular’ beyond them.
If there is any way to break through the Industry programming in the ‘hardcore gamer’, it is to point out that quality is better than quantity. What good is it having so many games if you can’t play them all? Wouldn’t a sophisticated gamer, who has standards, replay a high quality game instead of buying low quality game after low quality game?
The quality versus quantity thing applies to everything in life. It applies to food. Some people prefer quantity of junk food over quality nutrition. The result is that they become fat. It applies to the gym. Some people prefer the quantity of time in the gym as opposed to quality exercises. The result is that one creates results, the other wastes time. It even applies to women. Some guys prefer quantity of women over quality of women. When it comes to video games, there are games you wish to own and never sell. Then there are games you hate yourself after having played the games.
People do want to be hypnotized. They do want to be manipulated. The hardcore gamer is saying, “Yes! Pour on the hype! Give me the marketing! That is why I am a gamer.” It is why they spend more time playing hype than playing games, why they spend more time reading the Gaming Message Forum instead of actually playing games, and why they have shelves full of games they never play.
In the Wii Era, Nintendo said, “Let’s actually make games without the stigma.” The Wii still continued the Gamecube line of sequels. Yet, the hardcore gamers went batshit insane over the Wii’s success. Why should they care? There are two other consoles dedicated to them. And they did have some games for them on the Wii. What did they insist that ALL games on ALL consoles be made for them?
It’s clear the Wii was revealing the hardcore gamers for the freaks they actually are. By having ‘normal’ people buy video games, they looked like monsters in comparison. I think this is the true source of their shrieking anger at the little white console. No matter how Nintendo said, “Don’t worry about Wii Sports success, we will still make Mario and Zelda,” the hardcore kept screaming.
The hardcore can only exist with the Industry mirror peering back at them with loving images. “Yeah, the hardcore gamer is SO MASCULINE!” “So intense!” By having another mirror included with gaming, the hardcore could see their true image, and they didn’t like it. The effort by declaring it a ‘non-game’ was to banish the alternate image. “Oh, it’s not a legitimate game.” Then they go back to Hardcore Fantasy Land.
You don’t use life to enjoy games. You use games to enjoy life.


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