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Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7

Editorial | June 5, 2013 11:54 pm

Don't expect any fancy formatting- I'm still without a computer, and 1/2 the population of the Internet can't be bothered just to spell words out on their phones!


When I was young, if you wanted a video game, you paid full price for it, unless you had a friend willing to let you have it. Sometimes pawn shops or goodwill would have something. If you were really lucky, Blockbuster would have a decent game- unless you had a mom like mine, who made me wait to check until Friday night. FRIDAY NIGHT!! There was never anything on Friday night!

Then came Funcoland, EB, and GameStop- and the used game market. Thanks to GameStop's huge success, the way was paved for mom and pop stores, gamefly, and my beloved Redbox. As game prices rose (and often the game quality didn't raise along with price), more and people looked toward renting or getting games used. Consumers moving away from new game purchases hasn't gone unnoticed by the gaming industry, though. Video game developers have been fighting for a portion of used game sales since they realized how much money there was to be made from it.

Microsoft has announced (and retracted- then re-announced, sort of) their plans to charge a fee to play games that are purchased used, and an additional fee for someone else playing it on their console. The whole discussion has been deliberately left quite vague on Microsoft's part, which has left gamers basically fighting among themselves the last few weeks. Sony has been similarly tight-lipped, aside from the big man himself speaking out saying that they have no plans to block used games.


The general expectation by consumers is, if they purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that's my expectation.

~Shuhei Yoshida






This deliberately ambiguous statement obviously tries to distance itself from Microsoft's used game backlash on the web, but is also worded in a way that leaves the possibility of having to pay to activate used games wide open. So the possibility exists of both major consoles reaming consumers and killing GameStop, gamefly and redbox in one fell swoop. Of course right now, it just leaves us arguing amongst ourselves.

Personally, I'm firmly against fees to play used games, blocking used games and things like "season passes." I believe the used game industry is a system that provides checks and balances to the gaming industry. If game developers don't provide a satisfactory game, they don't deserve the same amount of money for their game that say- Bethesda will bring in for an Elder Scrolls game. The used game industry provides consumers with alternatives to sticker price for games and keeps the gaming industry alive. I think anti-used support from consumers is based on 2 major thoughts, which I'd like to take a second to debunk:

1) "GameStop is terrible and their employees suck and I hope they go out of business!" GameStop alone employs tens of thousands of people in over 6,000 stores, and we're hoping those people become unemployed because we aren't happy with their profit margin? In what other industry would a bunch of giant corporations working together to create policies to shut down a market and put tens of thousands of people out of jobs be cheered for by the very people who will be most affected by those actions?? (In the interest of full disclosure, GameStop would most likely be largely unaffected by these policies anyway, as they say only 30% of their profits come from used game sales, with the other 70% from console sales, new game sales, guides and merchandise, and accessory or phone/tablet/mp3 sales.)

2) "It's great developers would get a part of the money." Well, besides the obvious fallacy to this logic (a huge portion- 70%- of the money GameStop pays customers for trade-ins goes right back into new games), let's use a real world example to see what we're actually talking about. (Yes, this is going to be a car analogy- here's why that's appropriate: cars are frequently bought used, only one person can buy them at a time, and they are more expensive and last MUCH longer than video games. That means car manufacturers are losing much more money than game developers, yet there is no plan to get rid of used cars).

What if you decide to buy a 10 year old truck for $6000, and you then have to pay Ford 1/6 of your purchase price to get it to run? Now your truck cost is up over $7000. What if your buddy then wants to borrow your truck to move and has to pay Ford the price your truck cost new for a weekend? He's paying around $30,000 for it, added to the $1000 you've paid and the $30,000 the previous owner paid to buy it new and Ford is up to $61,000 of for the same truck- that is only driven by one person at a time. In the case of video games, the profit starts even higher since they cost so little to make and sell millions of games at $60 a pop. Factor in ALL the dlc that games are getting, yes even people who bought the used games pay for it, and keep in mind that the server cost isn't any more to maintain, regardless of how many times a disk changes hands... How much support, exactly, is necessary for developers? There's not one other industry going to such great lengths to try to profit off of every stage in their product's life cycle. Consumers would never be ok with it!

Unfortunately, where there's money to be made, there will be companies willing to do whatever it takes to get a piece of it. Why they have decided to take their money from the consumer end rather than digging into the profits of places that sell secondhand games is a mystery. Why we allow it is a bigger mystery. Perhaps gamers, long considered to be super intelligent nerds and geeks, aren't as intelligent as we would have everyone else believe. Maybe we're largely just like everyone else and we follow blindly. Anyway...

ON TO THE NEWS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!!

If you've been thinking to yourself that your game library could use some more controller free Disney games with Queen and Bruno Mars on their soundtracks, you're in luck! Harmonix and Disney Interactive are collaborating to create Fantasia Music Evolved! In Fantasia, you play as a plucky young single mother with a checkered past who just wants to sing the new apprentice to sorcerer Yen Sid, and will be using the Kinect to interact with the music and world, and- honestly, that's about all I get from the press release- the game doesn't seem to have a point. Hopefully coverage of E3 with hands on game demos will lend more clarity to what exactly players will be doing.

The maddening (for me) phone game Doodle Jump will be coming to XBLA this summer! The addicting game will be ported to the big screen with one twist- it's for Kinect. Called Doodle Jump for Kinect, the game will forgo a controller and force players to move the doodler by moving left or right, flapping their arms, and making arm gestures to shoot balls. I've got a few hand gestures I'd like to shoot for this one... No idea if this will be like Angry Birds Trilogy that allowed but didn't require Kinect. Either way, for only 400 points, it might be worth a buy for the humor of watching other people play it...

If you've been wondering what Square Enix has been up to, wonder no more! The video game behemoth has announced they will be releasing Murdered: Soul Suspect later this year on Xbox 360 and PS3. In this action/adventure game, players will take on the role of private detective Ronan O'Connor as he investigates the case of a lifetime... His own death. (Haha that was actually on the press release and it was too good to not use). Using special ghost powers, Ronan will question other spirits in limbo as well as gather information from people back in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. Surprisingly, this game doesn't sound like it will suck. Here's the fantastic announcement video:

I'm looking forward to finding out more at E3!

Armored Core V: Verdict Day- a tip from our friend VH:

Quote by Vermillion Haze:


A new game in the Armored Core franchise has been announced. It has a JP release date of Sep 26th.It has been confirmed that it will be released in NA but no date has been announced as of yet. The new game promises to fix most of the matchmaking woes of it's predecessor and includes unprecedented 20 on 20 faction battles!



Next time you call a game garbage, you might be talking about a treasure! The Canadian publishing company Fuel has obtained permission to dig through a landfill in New Mexico, where terrible, old Atari games are rumored to have been buried. That's right, they're exhuming ET. The game best described as "you play as a slimy space penis" is worth digging under 30 years of garbage for. New Mexican garbage, so 30 years worth of corpses of REAL aliens that has been sitting in uncomfortably warm conditions. Good luck to you, good sirs. I will not be joining you, or even thinking about this again. ;)

Ever wanted the thrill of feeling the bullets pierce your chest as you play? One day, if the Oculus Rift hits the mass market, there may be a peripheral to help you make that happen. The As Real as it Gets suit (ARAIG) is currently in development, and still taking funding via kickstarter to provide constant mobile surround sound and tactile feedback to gamers. If you want to get your hands on one, a pledge of $325 will net you an ARAIG when they begin manufacturing. Whether that will be cheaper than the store price is unknown...

Kids are dumb. Unbelievably dumb, and they seem to be getting dumber. While a certain Mississippi senator would have you blame women in the workforce, China has the real answer. Video games. If they don't make you a violent mass murderer, and they don't make you morbidly obese, they will make you dumb. D-U-M. Stupid. There's not a lot to say to that, so I'm going to leave that link there and walk away.

That seems like a good stopping point, so thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed! As usual, here's the fine print!!! <3, Kat

Fine print:
As always, the views expressed in Kat's Korner are mine alone and not meant to be representative of the staff or members of xboxamerica.com. Feel free to agree or disagree and discuss with each other, but there will be absolutely no flaming or personal attacks. Yes, even if they really are stupid, fornicate with their mothers and have several children with their siblings. Suggestions or subject tips are always welcome, and can be left here, in my shout box or pmed to me.

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Archived: Article Discussion: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7

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Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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interesting read! I dont get the Ford math part. how did it go from 7000 to 30000 on one borrow??
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Damn, so if games make you stupid that means only complete idiots have more Gamerscore than me? :yes::yes::yes:
Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Excellent like the rest, great article Kat!!
Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by Minioger:


Damn, so if games make you stupid that means only complete idiots have more Gamerscore than me? :yes::yes::yes:



idk about that.. thats pretty rare considering that very few people are above your gamerscore.. but youre not that far off lol :laugh:
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After doodle jumping onto 30 monsters in one game on wp7, I'd be glad to never see Doodler again. That is all.
Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by isaidgofly:


interesting read! I dont get the Ford math part. how did it go from 7000 to 30000 on one borrow??



Good catch ! That was supposed to say "new" not used. Referring to MS' candid original statement right after E3 that if a friend wanted to play a game you bought used, that he/she would have to pay what it cost new. I was estimating $30k, because I think if a truck is over $5k at 10 years old it must have been a pretty nice truck! ;)


Quote by Minioger:


Damn, so if games make you stupid that means only complete idiots have more Gamerscore than me? :yes::yes::yes:



Yup, you're the dumbest staff member by far... :p
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But... That makes Crawford the smartest.... This logic is obviously flawed.

Edit: Nevermind, it would be Jackson. The logic is perfect. I too suffer from mildly high gamerscore retardation.
Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by AJ:


But... That makes Crawford the smartest.... This logic is obviously flawed.

Edit: Nevermind, it would be Jackson. The logic is perfect. I too suffer from mildly high gamerscore retardation.



Magically AJ has more Gamerscore than me now! :laugh: I couldn't read the article, I'd be interested to see a real study to see how video games affect intelligence. Frankly they can't be worse than television as studies have shown that you have less brain activity watching television than when you are dreaming while asleep...lol.

I get the thought that video games might make someone seem less intelligent, especially when you play with all the toolbags that frequent CoD. But does Call of Duty make you dumb or is it simply Call of Duty attracts dumb people :laugh: (sorry CoD fans).
Re: Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by Minioger:


I couldn't read the article, I'd be interested to see a real study to see how video games affect intelligence.



Why couldn't you read the article?
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Quote by Meta:



Quote by Minioger:


I couldn't read the article, I'd be interested to see a real study to see how video games affect intelligence.



Why couldn't you read the article?






lol.


but as always, a solid read.
Re: Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by Minioger:



I get the thought that video games might make someone seem less intelligent, especially when you play with all the toolbags that frequent CoD. But does Call of Duty make you dumb or is it simply Call of Duty attracts dumb people :laugh: (sorry CoD fans).



I thought only studs played COD. Every time I've ever played, I run into someone who says they banged my mom.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Quote by Meta:



Quote by Minioger:


I couldn't read the article, I'd be interested to see a real study to see how video games affect intelligence.



Why couldn't you read the article?



Ummm... Meta, check out his gamerscore. I'm guessing he can't read anything with multi-syllabic words.

The Chinese study didn't release any facts besides them saying kids who play video games are dumber than kids who don't. No numbers or anything.

Basically, they asked 5th graders and high schoolers whether they believe in reincarnation (the kotaku article says reincarnation, but translating the website from Chinese comes out to ressurection, which makes more sense)- and more high school kids said yes. So they are saying younger kids who don't play video games nonstop have a better grasp of death and know dying is the end, whereas stupid gamers think Phoenix downs can revive them or something.

Here's the Chinese site that discusses it: http://shipei.qq.com/c/games/20130531002529#TencentContent

I think the whole thing is summed up by this commenter.



XD
Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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Re: Used and Abused! Kat's Korner- episode 7
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As always, great article, Kat. Well worth reading. :D

The study by the Chinese - would that be classified as an editorial or an opinion piece? A study based on no research or methodology and without any sort of stated numbers; what else could it be?? :confused:
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Resist.