RUMINATIONS WITH ANGRYJEDI aka I’M NOT DOCTOR WHO


I have this mate at http://angryjedi.wordpress.com/  The #oneaday Weblog of Pete Davison called I’m Not Doctor Who.  We have been ‘chatting’ via the Comments page of his Weblog – which covers a wide range of categories, personal, musical, photographic, creative writing, and especially games with a focus on Role Playing Games (RPGs).  He recently created a list of older and current games that he thought were worth playing.  I responded:-

Talk about great minds thinking alike, Pete! I’d been sitting here thinking how I need to revamp my website. I am sick of double-publishing – it wastes my time and is superfluous. Then I thought – hey, what if I just write and publish them as Pages? Leave the Blog out altogether. Then I could use the Blog to just publish the ‘Bah Humbug’ moments I keep having about games and their providers/designers/publishers et al. I thought maybe I could make a ‘Bah Humbug’ Category – then I thought that that wouldn’t get to the people who need to see it. I thought I am sick of writing the same ol’ stuff about game after game that are the same ol’ games! I want to say what I think about them really – not just giving people a bit of an idea whether I think it is good or not – which I do very honestly. I think I’ll write a sticky blog saying that all future games can be found in the Pages list in the side-bar – it is already hugely lots many longs lol – and maybe even add a few more and/or delete some Categories. Then use the blogging for ruminations, speculations, cogitations, and just plain venting!  I’ve been doing the occasional Blog about ‘Games I’ve Rejected’ and have thought it’d be a good idea to write a list of games I really like – then I opened your last blog and there it was – you had done the same thing.

He then wrote a blog about the way Game Publishers are taking advantage of Gamers – one of the things I get vocal about – which you can read here  http://angryjedi.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/oneaday-day-777-why-im-not-buying-mass-effect-3-why-its-okay-if-you-do-and-why-we-should-all-just-bloody-well-get-along/#comment-2984

Read on through the beginning of this blog past the initial references to the RPGs because you will see some really articulate comments about the Gaming Industry – and he has worked as a Reviewer of the Industry for quite some time.  For those who don’t want to follow the Link this is the piece of his blog that made the biggest impact for me and others who also commented on it.

I’m a consumer. I have no interest in the company’s bottom line or what the shareholders think. I want the company to provide the product that I pay for in complete form without expecting additional handouts from me starting from day one. That’s not being “entitled”, that’s being a savvy consumer. Whenever I make any purchase, I choose whatever is best going to fit my needs. I wouldn’t choose a TV that didn’t come with a remote, a car that came with no wheels, a book that had chapters missing or a DVD for which half the content was missing. So I will not purchase a game which isn’t complete in my eyes, because I’m looking for an immersive experience that will allow me to escape to another world for a few hours. Nothing breaks that immersion like being informed that you could go on this adventure if only you pop in your credit card details and click “Confirm”.

As such, I will be voting with my wallet from now on, and however good a game looks, if it makes use of this sort of exploitative business practice, I will not be purchasing it.

My response was:-

WOW!  So well put, Pete.  I agree totally with your views, even though I don’t play your particular style of games.  But the same thing happens in the Adventure/Hidden object games as well.  In fact only yesterday I voiced my usual complaints – which include the fact that if they don’t give us games worth playing we won’t buy them – as I set up a new Category called ‘Jud’s Soapbox aka Bah Humbug!’  I so often feel like launching into a vent session, but then pull back because I’m a little scared that people might think – “not that again!!” and turn away from me in droves.  lol  Mind you that’s a little hard as I don’t yet have droves of viewers/readers or whatever the blogging audience is called. By the way, what does DLC mean?  I understood the other anachronyms but not that one.  Well I think I did. I would like to add a Link to your Blogsite from mine – is that okay with you?  . . . . There is now something called ReBlogging which I don’t quite understand.  Does it mean I can lift parts of this wonderful Blog of yours and quote it with a URL link beside it?  I need to check it out with WordPress – no doubt they have an answer somewhere.  But I won’t do it if you don’t give your permission. It’s just that you are so forthright – you say it as you see it – and I’d like to send my Viewers your way.  I say it as I see it too, but have backed away so much from lengthy Reviews. Keep them coming angryjedi – may the force be with you.  Jud

He replied by giving me permission to reblog his site if I wished and to add his Link which I have done.  I will also add it to the Sidebar under Links of my Home page.  He gave some really useful information here:-

Hello! And thank you as always for your fine comments. Venting is therapeutic, and as long as you don’t get into personal insult territory, I don’t see anything wrong with editorial pieces calling publishers or developers out for their behaviour. In fact, it’s something I wish sites would do more, but most of them fear souring a relationship with PR agencies over something like that. Others make a career out of it — Jim Sterling of Destructoid is a particularly notable example. I feel it’s important for these discussions to keep happening as they’re a growing trend. If no-one raises these issues people become complacent. Some people are quite happy to accept what’s going on and that’s fine, but that doesn’t mean that people who feel strongly about it shouldn’t speak up.

DLC = DownLoadable Content — additional add-on content available for a game, usually after its release, but in some obnoxious cases (see: Mass Effect 3) available on release day, typically for a fee. These tend to be small add-ons that have replaced the traditional “expansion packs” of yore.

My reply was:-

So do you think that Collector’s Editions are also classed as DLCs?  I don’t see the point in creating Games plus Collector’s Editions of the same game.  Fortunately now they bring out the CEs at the same time so you can choose to buy the standard game or the larger CE.  But there is always the feeling that you have missed out on important content if you choose the Standard.  I have already blogged about the unfairness of the pricing of the CEs – sometimes the content is worth paying double, but many of them give just a short extra gameplay, which is cheating.  What they don’t realise is that we could give a rats about the Concept Artwork, the Wallpapers and Screensavers.  The Strategy Guide is a must and should be available in the standard game for when you get totally absolutely gut-wrenchingly bloody frustratingly STUCK!!!  Most Gamers are honest with themselves and only resort to Hints/Tips/ and Strat Guides as a last resort – so why keep the help from them.  And the most important thing is the Bonus Game – the Extra Play – the rest of the bloody story, or its background story, or its lead into the sequel!  But though I break the rule many times and give in and buy them, they ar not worth paying double for. Er  . . . sorry  . . . um  . . . nuninu . . . So back to my question – do you think . . . etc?

No doubt by now you get the gist of this.  I will Update this blog when I get his reply to that question.  I can only suggest to you to check out Pete’s Weblog – I don’t always keep or even read all his blogs – some of the games are not within my range, but I read most of them, especially his wonderful creative writing work, his WASTELAND DIARIES novel, and his music.  He’s introduced me to the soundtrack music of PERSONA 3 and 4, and FINAL FANTASY Games – he plays keyboard well.  I am Following his blog, which he writes every day.  Well worth it.

UPDATE:   6/04/2012

Here is Pete’s reply as promised.

DLC is typically used to refer to bolt-on content for the game itself such as the “Bonus Game” material you describe above. Concept artwork, wallpapers, screensavers and the like are generally just referred to as extras or bonuses. But yes, the issue of Collector’s Editions rears its ugly head alongside that of DLC on a regular basis. In the case of Mass Effect 3, the game under discussion here, a whole character and his narrative arc was excised from the base game in order to be given to owners of the Limited Edition release as a “free” bonus (for paying $20 more, and also getting all the usual art book etc nonsense) — or alternatively, standard edition holders could pick up this extra content for an extra $10 on day one. The main issue people were upset about in this case was the chopping out of important story content — the character in question is extremely significant to the long-running lore of the Mass Effect series as the last surviving member of an alien race thought to be extinct for the past two games — and the selling of it back to gamers on the same day that the base game is released. For those who chose to purchase the standard edition (or unable to find a copy of the limited edition), this effectively meant that they had to pay $70 instead of $60 to get the full experience. An article on popular PC gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun noted that the absence of the content was noticeable if you didn’t have it — there’s a prominent gap in your “Squad” menu, for example, and a room on the player’s ship is conspicuously empty for the whole game. (They did, it must be said, also note that while the content itself was a worthwhile addition to Mass Effect 3’s story, it didn’t live up to the “gosh-wow” concept of its premise, making players’ meeting with this supposedly extinct alien race a bit of a letdown after two previous games of mystery.) Let’s not even get into the fact that the very concept of a digital “Collector’s Edition” is ridiculous. What’s inherently more collectible about this bunch of zeroes and ones than this one? 🙂

(C) Copyright Jud House and Pete Davison 7/03/2012; 6/04/2012

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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One Response to RUMINATIONS WITH ANGRYJEDI aka I’M NOT DOCTOR WHO

  1. Pete Davison says:

    Thanks for the linkage! You’re the second person to have drawn specific attention to my “I’m a consumer” paragraph. I find it quite difficult to understand why more consumers don’t feel this way. As the people who buy the products, we have no obligation to keep publishers in business or hand them as much money as possible just because they say we should. If a game is worth buying, we buy it; if not, we don’t. No obligation there. If obnoxious business practices cause a company to have problems, well, then that’s their fault, not ours.

    Consumer perception is an important part of business which seems to be dismissed out of hand these days. If consumers perceive that they are being wronged somehow, then that is a problem, and it will likely take time to regain that trust. I know I am certainly very wary of titles from EA (publisher of Mass Effect 3, the game under discussion in the blog post you linked to) from this point on, and will avoid giving them money where possible!

    These things go in cycles, though, particularly with the big publishers. One year EA will be all smiles and rainbows and Activision (publisher of the Call of Duty series) will be “evil”. Then the next Activision will be inoffensive and EA will be “evil”. The following year you’ll probably see Ubisoft trying their hand at pushing the boundaries of what is “acceptable”.

    The trouble is, a lot of people are simply unwilling to give these publishers a beatdown with their wallets by not purchasing products that feature unnecessarily exploitative business practices. A sense of “obligation” — of “having” to play the latest and greatest titles — puts paid to that. It’s not the way things should be, however big the business is getting.

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