Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 29, 2013

Hardcore gamers are about putting quantity over quality

Let’s hear about Francis.

Here is how Francis describes how he got obese:

The unasked question on everyone’s mind is ‘well, how does a person get so obese?’ “When I was very, very young and going into my early 20s, I didn’t give a shit,” Williams confessed. “I didn’t care how fat I got. I didn’t care if I lived or died. I was miserable and I didn’t care what happened. Around the age of 30, I started having some real health issues. Sleep apnea. Lymphedema. Hypertension. I started to lose my mobility.”

I have wondered how people, once they start getting fat, keep doubling down on behaviors that keep getting them fat. It’s like those fat people you see riding scooters at Wal-Mart. How did they get that way? Didn’t they stop eating so much once they found they were getting bigger? And why don’t they want to get off the scooter and get healthy?

Francis gives insight to the thought process that creates obesity as well as the thought process that made him wish to stop being obese. If the reader would be quiet for a moment, we will be able to hear Francis.

“It finally started to occur to me that this was no longer an issue of quantity of life, It was quality of life. That’s when I finally figured out that I was not going to get the death wish I had. That I was going to have to live considerably longer than I had anticipated. I was going to have to start working on the quality of my life. I went into therapy soon after that and started working with my doctors.”

The thought process was placing quantity as a higher value than quality. This explains why someone keeps eating cupcakes and ice cream and getting fatter and fatter. It also explains why someone has to watch a gazillion hours of TV. It explains why people prefer to get drunk on poor liquor. It explains so much in life.

It also explains why people change. Francis wishes to change because he realizes quality is a higher value than quantity. That really does put everything into perspective, doesn’t it?

Quality foods > quantity of foods. (Nutrition > junk food)

Quality exercises > quantity exercises. (Doing effective exercises in the gym> spending hours in the gym doing ineffective exercises)

Quality women > quantity women. (It’s not the number of women you get, men, that matters. It is the quality. This also applies to women. Quality men beat out quantity of men.)

Quality electronics > quantity electronics. (Having a few things that work very well is better than having many cheap stuff that breaks consistently.)

Quality clothes > Quantity clothes (A blazer, dress shirt, and solid shoes beats out a hundred different T-shirts.)

When it comes to gaming, quality games beat out quantity games. Unless you are a freak who values quantity over quality. Who would that person be? That would be the hardcore gamer.

The hardcore gamer is likened to the obese man, to the guy living in mother’s basement, to having no job, to generally being a loser because the thought process of quantity over quality is true with all those ‘loser’ stereotypes. The hardcore gamer is the loser of the gaming world.

For the good of gaming, quality must be valued before quality. The issue isn’t ‘how do we raise the value of the games?’ The issue is ‘which value are we focusing on? Is it quality or quantity?’ Notice my pet peeves of games all come down in the quantity family:

-Stupid cutscenes and bloated storylines.

-Long ass tutorials. Handholding.

-Collectathons.

-Puzzles in games that aren’t puzzle games.

Consider Metroid Prime. The game is pretty good quality except for the collectathon at the end. The collectathon places the value of quantity over quality which hurts the overall game. Shigeru Miyamoto can’t understand why people like Super Mario Brothers 3 and its very short levels (with no multiple exits or collectathons). The reason is because multiple exits and collectathons place the value of quantity over quality. The ‘puzzles’ in Zelda I detest because they place the value of quantity over quality. Nintendo is clearly trying to pad out the game. A longer game doesn’t mean a better game.

Arcade games placed quality over quantity because of their unique business model and extremely fierce competitive market made them get as much entertainment in five minutes to the gamer as possible. Today, five minutes in games won’t let you get past the introduction. The tutorial can even take an hour!

When people say they prefer handheld gaming over iOS or Android gaming is because they prefer quality over quantity. The mobile games may be ‘free’ and ‘cheap’, but they are ultimately designed around quantity and not around quality. They exist as time wasters. The avid mobile gamers are the hardcore gamers. The gamers who prefer quality will go to the handhelds.

Who buys all the Industry trash? The quantity gamers. The hardcore.

Do you know why the Atari 2600 and the NES are seen as such quality consoles? They grew the market. In other words, they introduced many people to video games. It takes quality games to do that. Ask the NES kid how Super Mario Brothers was when growing up. They will reply, “It was magical.” Was it magical because it was 1987? No. It was magical because the game’s quality was so good, it made them want to play more. Atari 2600 gamers know quality versus quantity better than anyone. There is a clear difference between quality games like Yar’s Revenge, River Raid and Berszerk versus the quantity of 1983 crap games that flooded the market.

Quality games create customers. Quantity games reduce customers. Quality games are designed around people. Quantity games are designed around money. The freemium games focus so much on quantity and ‘in app purchases’ because the game isn’t designed around people but money extraction. Business is not about making money. Business is about making customers. You can make money by being a thief, being a taxman for the government, being a conqueror, and by cheating. But none of those things ‘create a customer’.

This is why the Wii is one of the highest quality oonsoles we have ever seen. The quality of gaming provided by  Wii Sports, such as parties playing in living rooms during the holidays or great grandson playing with great grandmother, far surpasses the quality of games such as Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid, The Last of Us, and all the Grand Theft Autos combined. Wii Sports wasn’t about quantity of gaming. It was quality gaming. But if you value quantity over quality, you cannot understand the value of Wii Sports and think Nintendo must have used voodoo marketing to trick people.

Wii Fit was also a high quality game. It was a game that could actually improve people’s body. Improving someone’s body is a higher value to many people than games where this value is not present (like every other video game).

When you take an old game like Donkey Kong, is it a quality game? There certainly isn’t any quantity in it. The game is extremely short. But the quality of experience  a person has in it exceeds the bloated 50 hour Industry crap games.

What is everyone’s complaint about World of Warcraft? It is that it valued quantity over quality. Constant dungeon trip grinds, daily quests, raids that go in circles, and it makes things boring. When World of Warcraft came out, it created so many customers because of how high quality it was. In other words, spontaneous fights at Tarren Mill and Southshore are valued more, by quality seeking gamers, than the endless quantity of pvp grinds of battlefields.

Achievements and ‘time the game is played’ are all quantity values. They are NOT quality values.

How do we know which value a game is pursuing with quality versus quantity?

Rewards are a quantity concept.

Scavenger hunts are a quantity concept.

Being able to play co-op is a quality concept.

Being able to SAVE, PAUSE, and GET IN AND OUT is a quality concept.

Adding MORE STUFF is a quantity concept.

Taking AWAY STUFF is a quality concept.

If the reader happens to be a game developer, what you LIKE doing is a quantity concept. What you DO NOT LIKE doing is a quality concept. The reason why quality games are so rare is because quality concepts are never fun for game makers. This also applies to other mediums. Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit…” Do you think writers like throwing out 90% of their work and constant editing?

Thinking about how to get a ‘good’ product is a quantity concept.

Thinking about how to get a ‘good’ customer is a quality concept.

It is self-declared vanity that hardcore gamers think they are the ones who understand the value of games. The value they choose is quantity, not quality. This is why they own hundreds of games and keep refreshing and posting pointless threads at the gaming message forums because they just can’t get enough. People who choose quality over quantity operate under a different value system. They will not destroy the quality in the rest of their lives, such as their relationships, their job, etc. for the quantity of gaming. This is why video games and hardcore gamers get their stigma.


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