When gamers start ranting in forums and website comment sections, they spare almost no one. They make the same war cries every time: The media is too easy on the industry; publishers are milking the same old franchises in every way they can; and greedy retailers and digital-rights management (DRM) are killing the secondary market. Everyone except the "hardcore" are to blame.
Gamers need to wake up and stop supporting many of the issues they complain about.
We all have our preferred media outlets. Mine happen to be Giant Bomb, 1UP, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
I tend to disagree with some writers from various sites. So I don’t read their reviews. It’s no big deal…we just have different opinions. I don’t make a habit of visiting other websites just to insult them and their writers.
Don’t like IGN’s features? Think Gamespot is biased? Have a hunch that someone gave a critic a suitcase full of money to write that positive review? Then don’t visit those sites or buy those magazines. You’re just giving them page views. Your troll comments don’t hold any weight; however, your clicks — or lack thereof — do.
The same goes for any series you’ve had enough of. I have several friends who complain about how sick they are of Call of Duty but purchase each annual installment anyway. I’m done with the series and haven’t bought an entry since Modern Warfare 2.
Now, I’m not saying that supporting those games is a bad thing. If you’re a Call of Duty fan, then by all means have a blast with them. If, however, you frequently rant about a series or its downloadable content (DLC), then stop being part of the problem. Don’t give the publishers your money.
You can argue that for every person who doesn’t buy a COD game plenty of others do. But this isn’t about Call of Duty, Madden, or any other specific titles. Call of Duty and Madden have annual sequels because they sell well every year. Gamers complain about the lack of innovation as if there’s a secret ban on new creative works.
On the other hand, when titles like Alan Wake, Beyond Good and Evil, and Psychonauts emerged, they didn’t sell well enough to immediately warrant a sequel.
While Bastion and Catherine did well commercially, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective and Child of Eden didn’t. Innovative and creative titles are out there whether in retail, digital-distribution channels, or the indie market. But gamers don’t always look hard enough to find them.
It’s easy to talk about "voting with your dollars," but how many of us actually do so? I no longer buy anything from GameStop. It sometimes takes a little more effort to get my hands on older games, but I’m willing to sacrifice some convenience knowing that I won’t pay near full price for a used title.
GameStop and Best Buy aren’t your only choices when it comes to purchasing and trading games. If those are the only options in your area, then online sources such as Cheap Ass Gamer and Craigslist can help you. It doesn’t take much more effort to do business with places that won’t give you the shaft.
Be conscious of the trends your purchases support. Your dollars are what businesses really listen to, not your thoughts. I might be getting sick of DLC and "online passes," but my writing that doesn’t mean anything. This post might reach a couple thousand people at best. What matters is if I actually do something about my disdain for these trends, so I’m going to cut down on purchasing DLC this year.
Some issues wouldn’t be so rampant if more gamers are as critical as they are online when they’re actually making purchases. The next time you rant about "sequelitis," a game review, or the war on the used market, think about whether or not you’re putting your money where your mouth is.
What are some trends you're not happy about? Do you have any personal boycotts? Feel free to share below.
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