[As Read on GIO.]
While I suppose this blog could’ve very well been about the departure of the majority of such a great studio’s staff, it is not in fact being written in regard to Irrational Games. Instead, this blog focuses on some things that I find slightly confusing- though I may or may not think I have an answer to said things. Now, let’s get down to it, shall we? But, I suppose before we actually start our engines, I should probably warn you that this blog is going to talk about several of the following things: games, sequels, retail, stuff, people, stuff, social media, and stuff. Okay- now that you’ve been fully prepared and fully warned enough that you can take this blog on at face value, or any other monetary value you’d like to assign it and use donations for, we’re ready to begin.
I: Winning and Whining
While the picture above does not really apply so much to the whining I am going to be talking about, I do believe you get the gist of what it represents: stop your whining, foolish mortals! Anyway, in all seriousness, something I somehow simultaneously understand and yet cannot comprehend is why people will incessantly whine and whine about anything gaming (or anything else) related. It starts with people whining about lag, then it progresses to whining about hackers, cheating, and their now abominable kill to death ratio. Then it turns into whining about sequels- either for or against them, it doesn’t usually matter. And so on and so forth the neverending cycle goes. What amazes me is that, in all these hours spent whining- not just by hormonal teenagers or whine-tastic sassy pre-teens, but by human beings well into adulthood as well, is that people don’t just turn their computer, game, or whatever off, sit down, chill out, and cool off a little bit. Seriously, keep that crap up and you’ll have a mental hernia (maybe a stroke, hmm?) before you hit fifty. Spread the peace, love, and non-complaining comments instead. After all, the solution is a lot simpler than any frustrations that cause it to be necessary to (high beings above that you believe in/don’t believe in forbid) actually turn off your console, computer, or mobile device and relax for a moment or two before resuming your charismatic conquest of tribes or whatever it is that floats your boat.
II: Im-Media-Te Responses
The media is another thing that plays a large role in how we perceive things today and how we react to them as well. Whether it be mainstream media or social media, there are always trolls and always conservative ‘commentators’ (conservative as in those who care about what they are saying, and do so in moderation). While it is to be grudgingly accepted that there will always be trolls as long as there are tight-lipped writers, what boggles my humble mind is the fact that people must utilize social media (especially) in order to let people know what they’re doing around the clock, what they’re playing, who they’re with, who they’re with is with, and other often extraneous crap. Sure, I get that the majority of things are told to us by auto-notifications which can be oftentimes ignored, however it is the great simultaneous evil and innovation that is Twitter that I blame for a lot of this stuff today. Even the best of us sometimes “tweet” such extraneous things as “I pooted” on occasion- or rather, the equivalent of that simple phrase magnified and intensified so as to be more believably on our own reading and writing level (sometimes). It’s just the perk of having social media I guess, but I still don’t know why this whole psychological thing happens. Consider me flabbergasted at my own mundane thoughts in this regard.
III: The Pricing Conundrum
No, I will not be singling out GameStop in this particular segment of my post here. That would not only be particularly foolish, but untrue when it comes time to speak about what I will be saying momentarily (well, mostly so). It always amazes me (though I know the major answer as to why) that retail stores always “jack” up the prices of titles that have been out for a little while, or simply keep popular titles at higher prices. Using video games as an example for lack of a more applicable source (though it is true in other areas as well), games and series such as Call of Duty will routinely still be at least $45 even over a year after their release. How amazing, when quality games that may not have the exact numbers (in terms of sales) will have dropped by over half of their original price by then. No, it isn’t all some big conspiracy against you and pop culture. People and industries are just trying to make money- after all, they aren’t all around to provide public services. Many were created in order to “turn” a profit, so this is to be accepted. Still, sometimes it’s just borderline ridiculous when a game that has been out for at least four years is still going for half price in stores. Come on- no matter how good it was and is, that’s borderline last-gen in most cases. Of course, while it can be the same for rarer titles (being jacked up in price) online, many online retailers provide a lot better deals (though some have the tradeoff of shipping expenses to take into account) than their physical counterparts. Just some interesting and semi-confusing at times thoughts…
IV: The Risk and Reward of Sequels
Sequels are often a risky business, that is indeed a statement of fact. While some series have been able to capitalize on their good fortunes in crafting enough sequels of a good or above average quality that people are willing to buy many games after that even if the quality is lower (see Call of Duty and many other FPSs), not all are as fortunate. Simply look at the general review scores handed to the Final Fantasy XIII mini-saga, with many people enjoying the first and mostly the second game, but the third tanking much more than XIII-2 did in comparison. What is confusing about sequels to me however is not their business or creation, but people’s reactions to the announcement of sequels. It chills me that so many people rub their hands in excitement over mind-numbing experiences that get sequels, and then thousands of people buy those games. Sure, it’s great that we’re allowed to play whatever we want and have that freedom, but still…sometimes you just need less “stoopid” in your backlog and wish list. On the inverse side, it is astounding that so many great games that sell pretty well either won’t get a sequel because they didn’t reach unrealistic sales figures in comparison to juggernaut series, or get sequels that are just as good or better yet sell very poorly. A conundrum if there ever was one. Of course, as of today, I’ve been able to figure out why just about all of these things occur in each case, yet it is still an amazing trend to watch progressively derail others…
V: Games that will Probably Rot your Brain
Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve got an answer for this particular ‘conundrum’ yet I’m going to go ahead and state it anyway. There are so many games (particularly in the Indie field, as not all are as quality titles as the prominent ones that have risen) that center on useless, very boring, very “interesting,” and other strange topics that probably in all actuality would rot your brain out with their garbage if you played them for an extended period of time. Granted, even for the worst game I am sure there is one person or type of person it could cater to or who enjoys it, still, it’s pretty incredible that some things are just literally such a waste of effort to craft, yet that somebody did indeed take the time to make them. And I’m not talking about simply bad games that had promise but were too flawed to survive the slaughter. I’m talking about the countless odd “baby sims,” “pornographic games,” and other literal junk that people label as “games” to begin with. Come on, seriously? This kind of crappy “art” and work is how an industry gets labeled as something it’s not. The same thing has happened to physical and digital art in the past- with people polluting the actual talent pool with so much junk that arts programs, artists, perusers of art, and semi-artsy people suffered for it. This is just something that amazes and sickens me, as it’s always sad to see this kind of stuff in association with anything- much less gaming, or one of the other things I may actually enjoy spending any time doing.
Well folks, that’s definitely enough of that. I suppose, if read a certain way, this blog could be seen as more whining, complaining, and musing than anything else, yet I assure you that was not my intention- and I was not doing my best to fulfill the agenda of part one. However, if that is what you wish to respond to it as, a comment is a comment, and any feedback- negative or otherwise, is always appreciated in my book. Case closed. Time for some chilling, games, and looking forward to a stress-free (maybe), work-free weekend palooza.