Saturday, September 17, 2011

From Dawn till Dust

I've noticed that when it comes to DLC of late Xbox Live has based their marketing strategy more and more around exploitation of people who must have their "Shiny" now. What I mean here is people who can't resist purchasing the newest releases being strategically targeted by Microsoft. I could complain about how patience is virtue, but rather than pick on individuals I'd rather talk about a common social attitude people have when it comes to new media.

I can't speak for you, the readers, but I tend to visit a variety of message boards, forums as well as do a bit of chatting with fellow gamers. A none-to-uncommon occurrence I see is the insatiable need to devour new games, novels, movies, ect. as soon as humanly possible. Then, following said orgy, start posting about it all over the net. For those who are slow to pick up new media they feel left in the dust, unable to participate in threads or or even read posts for fear of spoiling things. The most extreme example of this I can think of is A Dance with Dragons, a 1000+ page tome which a lot of people read through in a day just so they could chat it up 24 hours after the book hit the shelves. Granted that example comes from literature, but the same holds true for video games. It's a kind of societal pressure intentionally or unintentionally created by a media hungry crowd.

I don't know where this phenomenon started, but I became aware of it back when the first of the Star Wars prequels was announced. Looking on TV I could see hundreds of people lined up weeks in advance to see George Lucas' return to that galaxy far far away....need I mention that I walked into the theater they morning after midnight release and sat through the film along with only a dozen or so others hassle free? Granted for those who waited it was a social event and getting to hang out with people with like interests is enjoyable more often that not. That said there are some major pitfalls for doing this kind of thing in the world of video games. Look no farther than those who bought the 3DS for an excellent example. If that's not enough for you consider titles such as Dead Island, From Dust, Call of Duty and an unfortunately large number of Bethesda games. Early adopters have a tendency to get burned by launch prices, buggy gameplay, online issues and surprise DRM.

So, for those who post "Late to the Party" in forums don't feel ashamed or worried. There is still plenty of enjoyment to be had and in fact it might be better for you than it did for those who rushed to get it first.