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TheManchild avatar 10:38 AM on 03.14.2012  (server time)
The Shrill Cry of Spoiled Consumers


Actually, I think that's about as clever as I'm willing to be this morning; that word basically speaks for itself these days.

While a legion of goofballs cried all week long about how some 3D space RPG didn't end in the way they expected it too, I was playing Contra 3 on hard mode, trying to finally get the ending I so deserve to see. I know it isn't a big deal, it lasts maybe 30 seconds and is little more than a couple of pictures and a congratulations. But for those days, that is what we had come to expect. In the first Super Mario Bros. we were rewarded with having to play the whole fucking game again an infinite number of times until we got bored and slashed our own throats. But we sucked it up and dealt with it, because really, who cares?

I have never played a Mass Effect game, simply because they look about as entertaining and exciting to me as a punch to the groin. I could butter you all up by saying something about how I respect Bioware, and how Mass Effect is probably good if I gave it time, but no; I can't think of a single Bioware game I actually sat all the way through and enjoyed to the last. I dunno, did they do Baldur's Gate? If so then, at the very least, I WANTED to love that game, but I didn't. It probably makes me a worse person, and certainly a less informed gamer. But fuck all of that shit anyways.

I don't need to love Bioware games or even RPG's to understand a simple concept; life is about the journey, not the destination. The fact that so many people felt Mass Effect came to an unsatisfying conclusion makes me question one thing; how much did they really enjoy it to begin with? If it had been a fun riveting experience, a thrill ride set over three long, satisfying games, then why did a simple ending piss everyone off so much?

More importantly, why do any of them feel entitled to their own custom conclusion based exactly on their personal wants and needs? It doesn't look like a bunch of loyal fans getting screwed out of something owed to them; it looks like a bunch of whiny little consumers who think that raising money out of spite for Childs Play and spewing vitriol on forums will get them anywhere. I am not sure how much overlap their is between these assholes and the people who were hurling shit at one of Bioware's lady writers, but it really wouldn't surprise me considering how smug this recent bunch of spoiled babies has been acting.

Personally, I am glad Bioware is giving them the stiff middle finger on this. Asking someone to literally change their personal creative vision because you simply didn't like it is one of the most arrogant, childishly insane propositions, and one that is completely laughed at in any other medium. If it were to become a reality, it would set a real nasty precedent. We already have a sea of people crying about a chicks hair color in their favorite game and getting away with it, people swamping companies like Nintendo with millions of requests for RPG's on a system that is effectively dead, and even millions of dollars in donations dictating which designers get to make games. Some of these things could be construed as positive, but there is one real bit of nastiness behind it all; a gross display of irresponsible consumerism.

Part of what I do in my free time is hang out in retro centric forums, specifically places like Sega-16. Recently there was some controversy there over a homebrew developers new system for developing games. Essentially, you would pay for a kind of fake "currency" which you would then use in any amount of your choosing to essentially decide the direction the company would take on their next game. So if you donated, say, five hundred dollars of this currency, and your "bid" was the highest, they would make the game in the genre type you had selected, even getting down to the details of how big the Sega cartridge itself would be. Myself and a few others were questioning this idea, and were a minority, for one simple reason; having your fans decide what you should make is generally about as effective and inspired as asking a four year old what he would want to see in a film. The suggestions were varied and some of them were good, but how can their be any kind of motiviation or creative spark on the part of the developers when they are literally being paid to implement certain ideas?

The more frightening part is how many people were immediately willing to part with large sums of money just to see this happen. They were paying money to later pay money for a product they had had paid to see designed. In reality, the game payed for itself based on their donation, so they wouldn't have to fork out an extra 50 bones when it was finally be released, but the concept is still so bizarre for me, and indicative of, at least I feel, how careless some people are. There is the meme of "shut up and take my money" which is a fairly accurate tongue in cheek depiction of just how obsessed we are with our material possessions. Just like everyone else, I have had moments of weakness where I payed an inordinate amount for what ended up being a fairly stupid decision on my part; it's only natural, and something everybody does from time to time. I just feel sometimes it gets out of hand; to the point where we feel our money is worth more than the end product, such as an already lengthy and well made game where, because of some stupid ending, we get all up in arms and demand retribution.

What people fail to realize is that these companies owe you nothing, they don't care what YOU want. When Nintendo announces they are releasing Xenoblade, it isn't time to kiss their ass all day like Operation Rainfall might want you to think and starting tossing your money away on Nintendo shit. They did it because they saw a potential fiscal opportunity, all at the expense of a bunch of loud mouths who wanted them to "shut up and take their money." When Nintendo saw just how many people were willing to pay it forward, they were licking their lips and swooping over us like vultures. And at the end of the day, Xenoblade and The Last Story are not going to change lives. They are going to end up being decent games like any other which will promptly be shelved by most, and sold off by a few previously over excited few. There will even probably be a bunch of dickheads like the folks at Bioware who let the hype get to them, who expected the second coming of Christ, and who will be ultimately disappointed and bitchy that what they got was just another half decent RPG.

They will do it because people are spoiled. When they finally get the bottle they are crying for, they will cry because there is no chocolate milk in it. You can give them everything they ever ask, but they will only keep wanting more. So kudos to Bioware for being exactly what they are; yet another developer looking for your hard earned money, and trying to create a decent, memorable product along the way. Kudos to Nintendo for cashing in on an opportunity, and thoroughly milking a bunch of chumps who have more cash in their hands then they do in their bank account.

It's only deserved because these people are practically begging for it. The fact is, you don't HAVE to give them what they want, whether it's a new game or a good ending to a new game; because they have a constant hole being burned in their pockets, they will give you their money regardless. There were so many people bitching about how "ME3 is gunna SUCK" way before it ever came out, yet every single one of those cocksure hypocrites payed 60 dollars for it anyways, bitched about how bad it was, yet will probably buy every single piece of DLC ever created for it. They'll do it because they are consumers, because all they know how to do is consume. If the people bitching about ME3 had such a problem with the story, is it too much to ask that they try to create something of superior value?

Yes it is, because you can't buy that kind of ownership at a store. And for some of these people, that is all they are capable of doing.

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