WARNING: This is a rant heavy rant.
I like how the flair up of attitudes - what with emotions running high around the Sim5 launch and all - caused a little bit of a stir with some sensitive folks - who basically stepped into the spotlight and talked big about how people should calm down.
Well, requests to 'calm down' were more like insinuations about how the gaming public will be known for being testy, opinionated, hateful, spiteful, and a slew of other adjectives with net-negative connotations.
There was a post on the landing page that was something like We need to stop letting hate define us. OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT I DON'T KNOW.
Big business doesn't really foster the pursuit of new ideas, a formula that works is going to be worked until dissolved into a generic sludge that can be made malleable into many shapes and flavour.
There is a technical and profound reason why its appropriate for gamers to be outspoken about their distastes. There are several systems in place to reduce margins for error considerably and they stretch across the most shallow points of the internet to the deepest of deep-web code chains.
1.) Game data is collected and monitored where there is infrastructure for it.
The community pages for Little Big Planet, Joe Danger 2, and source stats for your favorite shooter of choice are the superficial tissue paper thin coating that surrounds an incredibly complex and perhaps even intrusive data collections.
This is another point that I don't see anyone really thinking about in terms of what has been said about the PS4. I thought it was incredibly poetic that someone stepped out on stage during the announcment conference and talked about freedom, secuirty, and their personal prosecution by the authorities for protesting. It was a very strong and obviously personal moment – which seemed almost out of place at the conference and has since been made fun perhaps because it came off too strong and almost like a non sequitur without a punchline. It resonated with me as a strong juxtaposition. The framework of the PS4 has been integrated to openly broadcast games at all times with the ability to be 'directly controlled' by an outside source. This also means the gameplay data is probably also going to be fully recorded as the gameplay will be fully monitored in HD. I'm sure it can be toggled but it can also give license for those amazing contracts we see at the start of most big name games. Those contracts that protect against liability, allow personal information disclosure, and allowance for game data to be collected, notices that online content may expire at anytime, etc. Usual stuff now.
Why does this matter? It matters because developers have license to aggregate data so they can cater to their audience dynamically. Do they? Not too many HotFixes are made public so we can't say for certain. Maybe this is just a gripe made out of paranoia, but I think its a valid point that will make more sense latter. I'm building and argument cake.
2.) Perpetual BETA stage development, community tools, forums, the whole E-Shabang
When you join a closed BETA a lot of the time in the disclosure releases/contracts/T.O.S. - Those forms most people don't read and usually click OK to as quick as possible so they can get to their game; contain terms which state all communications in game, through the community and forum, and other mediums connected to the game become owned by the property holders – all ideas, concepts, and essentially every word you write/express through the service and game become owned by that game and it's creators/contract holders. That means they are free to assimilate every bright idea or remark people have about the content as they play it.
Now this isn't a bad thing at all. It helped make StarHawk a really oiled and focused multiplayer experience. Too bad it didn't see great success.
Cake icing for the second piece is in place. It's a hate cake btw. It'll taste good I hope, we'll see.
3.) Third and final point – the second piece of cake and the icing to coat the whole spiteful and delicious mess. - Gamers and people who care enough to lash out are outspoken about what could, needs, and should be considered for improvement in the case something doesn't meet expectation.
Now, there is room for liability going outside of a contracted, licensed, or official services for ideas or suggestions to be assimilated. It's risky but there is room on the part of developers for plausible deniablity if someone has a gripe about their ideas being incorporated without compensation. But if cops shooting up a car killing innocent woman in L.A. tells us anything – it should tell us apathy and the ability to bury shit on the internet is easy as fuck. Also, apathy.
So basically this cake is done.
I prefer to use red icing on the lettering, I think I'll just write 'HATE' and 'ANGER' on it. Red is good. Actually, fuck I messed up. I should have made it look like hands praying, or no...
HOW ABOUT TWO HANDS, CLASPED TOGETHER
LIKE THEY'RE HOLDING EACH OTHER
Hand Holding: The Industry
There are dozens of recipes that taste good, hundreds of thousands of complete cookbooks, a plethora of spices and wonderful flavors to incorporate, I've made this cake dick flavored.
Everyone is clear what they want and while you can't make everyone happy all of the time, it is so frustrating to see and hear the rattling cages of the pissed off canaries that sing the song of our people. It isn't really demands that are being set - mind you a lot are set, sure, but you can only head desk so hard or facepalm so much before you break your face and hurt your desk.
Finding something disappointing is personal and explainable. Feeling stolen from, likewise.
But in an industry as observed and controlled as gaming - usually big fuck ups or bomb titles are without any real explanation and this doesn't just leave something to be desired - that's short term. In the long-term in lowers expectations. Hate is a positive thing, being outspoken is a good thing. Buyers remorse however is not because the monster has been fed and it will go onto breed if enough people feed it - without fail. So buy smarter and talk about the best games you've played, maybe more games will be made like them if anyone is watching - and people - especially in this next generation are always going to be watching.