This will be the first blog post I type up from my new sectional. While we have had it since thursday night, life has been pretty crazy and not allowed me much time to just chill out with the laptop and get used to it. It is definitely comfortable, but I also sit at a much different angle which is taking some getting used to. Right now I am trying to wake up while recovering from the allergy overload that was last night.
My allergies are going haywire because we attended a “welcome to summer” cookout held by some of my wife’s teacher friends. They have this super peaceful plot of land… but it is what feels like hundreds of miles from civilization. Okay in reality it is only like 10 miles, but when you are going there you have to drive through a whole lot of nothing. There are times I think I would enjoy living in the middle of nowhere, but then I realize that I like not having to travel more than a few minutes to get to things.
Hanging out in nature always has serious adverse effects on my sinuses, but overall it was a good time. I am always conflicted with gatherings. Leading up to actually going I start to dread having to interact with people, but when I actually get there I warm up and enjoy myself. I spent most of the night trading quips back and forth with two of the hostesses college aged children.
That was the only really odd thing about the evening. Overall there were more college kids there than teachers, as I am guessing the cookout was also doubling as the sons birthday party of sorts. The food was excellent and I have completely gone off my diet for the day. The madness of Thursday probably made up for it, I am sure I burned a ton of calories as I am pretty sure I climbed upstairs and downstairs a good 50 times.
We purposefully sat up wind of the fire, but due to all the rain the wood was smoking horribly. As the evening went on, my eyes were burning and my lungs started to feel a bit icky even though I had not actually been in the stream of the smoke at all. I feel sorry for the people who were on the other end of the fire, because I am sure they were hurting. All in all though the cookout was enjoyable, but we stayed far later than I had expected.
So this is going to get into some pretty controversial territory here, but I am a huge proponent of used game sales. That said I hate Game Stop with deep seething passion and would do almost anything to see them wiped off the face of the planet. I refuse to go into the stores anymore, because I just think everything about the company is underhanded. I would rather wait the two days it takes for me to get an item from Amazon Prime than give them my business. But I fully support the notion of second hand games.
In fact yesterday over lunch I picked up Blazblue, Casltevania Lords of Shadow, and Halo 3 at a local pawn shop for $7 each. I buy most of my console games second hand, but I do so through what feels like more equitable places, namely… pawnshops, goodwill, thrift stores, flea markets and a couple of local chains… Game Xchange and Vintage Stock. Quite honestly most console titles are just not worth the $60 dollar new price for me, so I wait until I can pick them up in the $8-$15 dollar range.
The industry will cry fowl and complain that they are not getting their cut of the second sale… and I say… yes that is exactly how reselling goods works. You do not deserve a second dip into the pot of game sales, you got your money the FIRST time the item changed hands. Buying a used video game is no different than buying a used car, or used furniture. You do not see furniture companies getting a cut of the money when someone buys a sofa from a second hand shop, and neither should the game industry.
The issue is fundamentally that players do not want to pay what you are charging for the games. For whatever reason most gamers do not feel that the games they are playing are worth the full price. How does the industry fix this? I really don’t know, but it is unfair to expect players to finance their failure to connect with the consumer and prove the value of their product. Ultimately the game industry has to place some special value in the new purchase of their titles.
One of the tactics I am completely fine with is offering bonus features that do not transfer with the disc when resold. Essentially that you get a few nifty DLC items that are actually meaningful to the players… like extra levels or playable characters… that do not transfer after the initial unlock. Then allow players you have purchased your game second hand, to pay $10/$15 to unlock those features as well. The game industry in no way deserves a cut of selling that physical game disc a second time, however I have no problem with them making a bit of money from the dlc unlocks.
The big thing regardless of the strategy is that these companies need to stop coming across as an evil empire. Right now it feels like they are plotting nefariously to deprive us of content, so that they can line their pockets. I realize that this is an attempt at survive, to keep funding the big development budgets that are required to produce AAA titles. However they need to be honest and transparent about it. I would care a lot more about the process if they just came out and said, look you get this stuff for free but we have to charge you if you buy the game used so that they can fund the next game. Consumers do not like feeling like they are being fleeced, and based on the fact that gamers voted EA the worst company ever… they feel like they are being fleeced.
Going to wrap up, I have rattled on about the issue long enough. I normally don’t engage in controversial titles on the weekend, but because of how busy we have been I just have not really spent much time gaming. I don’t foresee that changing much this weekend as we have a bunch of other things to do. We need to move the old sofa out into the junk pile, clean the house, and maybe move my wife out of her classroom today. All I really want to do is collapse, but I am sure I will soldier on. I hope you all have a great day and can actually relax a bit and enjoy the weekend.