The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I grew up with the Donatello (the above is Leonardo) pillow. With little legs and arms this is the best pillow design ever.
Multimedia entertainment is not a new concept. Way back when as a small child I adored the
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons on the television, I played with the
action figures on my parents' porch, I slept with a Donatello (the purple one)
pillow that had tiny arms and legs, I lounged in my TMNT sleeping bag and once
even tried to put the accompanying TMNT tent together, I begged for VHS tapes
of the live action movies, I replayed the TMNT on tour tape cassette in my
Walkman over and over (yes the TMNT and April sang teaching me my early
lessons in tolerance with song lyrics such as "you may not be green and have a cool
shell but you'll be you and you'll do it so well"), and of course, my first
dedicated video game player was a portable handheld that featured a single 2D
side scrolling TMNT game that I adored.
Older, but maybe not wiser, my mother long ago threw away my
ragged TMNT wallet that was bundled with a backpack and fanny pack (it was the
nineties, you had one too) and I began spending my own money. In college, I fell all into Buffy the
Vampire Slayer television show by the now no longer obscure Joss Whedon, I cultivated
a DVD collection of the original folding cases, not the cheaper snap cases, I
bought the soundtrack for the musical episode, and I began a small but proud
action figure collection. While
searching a pile of used Playstation 2 games I happened upon a Buffy video game, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, and I immediately snatched it up. Now I
read the series in its comic incarnation and while I adamantly refused to pick
up the various Angel spin off comics I could not resist stepping into the recent Willow miniseries.
I really tried to play this game, I did but this flight simulator beat me instead.
Later, I became enamored with the SyFy Battlestar Galactica 2003 reboot. Again, I bought the series on
DVD even searching eBay diligently for the special editions of seasons 4.0 and
4.5 that are accompanied by a replica of a character's dog tags. I convinced myself that I did not want another
action figure set but I was not as successful regarding the multiple Battlestar
Galactica comic miniseries. In a
different pile of used Playstation 2 games, I nabbed a Battlestar Galactica
game as soon as I spied the familiar name.
Actually a fun game that put me back in the Buffy-verse for just a little bit more.
The Buffy PS2 game is actually decent fun that accomplishes
its task of providing a fresh but familiar way into the universe. I got stuck without many healing potions
against the very difficult Anyanka boss and her horde of bunnies. My time with the PS2's Battlestar Galactica game was much shorter. I am an absolutely terrible flight simulator
gamer. The controls simply do not
connect between my mind and fingers.
Inevitably my flights are short and fiery affairs. Despite wishing that this time would be
different, my time with PS2's Battlestar Galactica ended quickly.
As gamers you may guess my next example in this series of
multimedia entertainment examples, Defiance.
"Watch the show, play the game" nearly reverberates off of my television
screen while I watched the pilot episode on SyFy.
Despite the multitude of solid reasons for why I have not picked up this
game I found myself bemoaning my ill fortune muttering to myself, "I am
watching the show but I cannot play the game."
I am watching the show but I can't play the game. My life is in ruins.
Before the game and show launched I had a series of clear
reasons why a day one purchase was not the best use of my money. As a console based MMO the game will
certainly experience various bugs, lags, and other glitches that require
patches during the early days. I have no
friends who are playing the game to play online with. I am an MMO beginner who is excited at the
premise of console MMOs but I have a lot to learn about playing the genre. I still cannot use my hearing aid peripherals
as a headset for Xbox 360 online play leaving me choosing between either
in-game sound or live chat.
But the show advertises, "Watch the show, play the game" and
that advertisement slogan is working. I
really want to play the game and discover the ridiculous universe simultaneously
in both mediums. Plus, the game is not a
flight simulator; I have a chance at being proficient with a game that I can
share with others.
Given all of the above, I am left weighing whether or not I
would enjoy that game at the $60 price point.
Without hands on experience with Defiance, I am unsure if the gameplay
itself is enjoyable to me. The ability
to feel how a game plays myself rather than reading endless previews, reviews,
impressions and watching gameplay footage is the final determination in the
decision of "do I or don't I?" for game buying.
Game pickups are a gamble but I am much more inclined to gamble with a
few dollars rather than $60. The high
price point results in higher expectation coupled with either higher enjoyment
When life raises questions, Calvin and Hobbes has the answers. In this case, sometimes the idea as seen in real life is not the same as the idea in your head.
The larger frustration is that games, as are DVDs and CDs,
cannot be returned if purchased new. If
the game just does not click with your gaming preferences the used market is
the only recourse if you have a physical copy.
If gaming companies convince a gamer to turn over the cash for the
initial game purchase there is little incentive to care if the gamer does not
enjoy the game because the product cannot be returned for a refund. The money is irrevocably in the developer's
and publisher's pockets. Certainly gaming
companies want a good word of mouth for their products for follow up purchases
such as microtransactions, DLC, and future games. However, a gamer's vote is cast upon spending
the initial money regardless of the gamer's ultimate like or dislike of the
Jesse Schell's, Schell Games' founder, proclaimed in
February 2013 that a free game demo harms sales. The "try before you buy" becoming "buy to
try" business plan remains controversial and fuels an ongoing loop of gamers
unable to sample games without spending money, whether a rental or
purchase. The money spent regardless of
the gamer's personal opinion about the game is tabulated as one more voice in
support of the game because money talks.
This business plan fuels the hype machine. Pre-release games exist in a netherworld in
which the game is the most epic experience known to mankind until us gamers
play the characters ourselves and experience how all of the developer's lofty
ideas translated to the gameplay. Until
we play the game we are soaking in the hype.
With so few games offering free demos we purchase games without demos on
the premise that the un-played game is better than games that we sampled until
we discover that the game is just that, another game.
The big questions is, will these new features work as advertised?
The next generation may make this problem obsolete, Sony's
announcements for the Playstation 4 includes the famous "share" button that
will purportedly allow gamers to not only instantly share screenshots and video
but to "take over" a friend's game to provide assistance or to wreak havoc. The details are still unclear but if this
allows a game takeover without the buddy having a copy of the game then "demos"
via our buddies' gaming libraries are possible.
During the Ouya's Kickstarter craze in the spring of 2012 a
major selling point for Ouya was a required free portion of each game such as a
demo. With disappointments currently
arising over the Ouya's limited technology especially in the context of the
next console generation promising so much more but final opinions await the
revelation of the system's gaming library.
Yet, originally the very promise of free portions required for each game
in the catalog to a "try before you buy" system helped fuel a Kickstarter
campaign that raised $8,596, 475 when the original goal was $900,000.
On the other hand, the burgeoning free to play market on PCs,
smartphones, and tablets is the polar opposite of the console game lockout
without money spent. A multitude of
games and apps allow for an initial download with a variety of popups
suggesting real money expenditures to progress faster or to open up rare and
boosting items rather than a straightforward option to unlock the full game. Consoles and the PC/app technologies
are opposite financial ecosystems but both want the same goal, to separate
gamers from the contents of their wallets.
Obviously "real" Buffy fans own the DVDs, the comics and all of its spin offs, the action figures including the Sunnydale library play set, the novels, the board game, the play cards, and the Bronze coffee cup.
Defiance as a traditionally PC gaming genre, an MMO, is a
genre that is more and more adapting gaming's buy-in costs to the changing
market. Many MMOs are now free to play
allowing for play time without purchase before paying full price for the
complete experience or real world money providing the experience with bonuses. Defiance entered the console market as a PC
gaming genre but with a console pay scale, $60 to enter, no if ands or
buts. I understand supporting a
developer with $60 especially with the ongoing costs of maintaining an MMO but
as a gamer new to the MMO genre jumping in with no hands on experience is a
risk I cannot afford. Unless those "watch
the show, play the game" commercials convince me to finalize the game purchase
before the commercial ends. In the meantime, my wallet is
hoping that no Defiance based comic book is released, I would be unable to
Just yesterday I saw Jurassic Park 3D in the movie theater. The twenty year old movie as a story stands up well along with the remastered graphics and transition into 3D only made the heart stopping T-Rex better. Maybe now I will download Telltale Games' Jurassic Park: The Game just to stay in the universe for a little longer.
Thanks to all who read through. Time is limited and I appreciate all who stopped by.
What is your favorite multimedia franchise?
Do you prefer to play a game before purchasing? How do you demo games?
Are you playing Defiance? And/or watching the show?