Corrupted video games, hacked consumers

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By Bill Molina

By Bill Molina

Video games may be violent, they may teach you compassion, they may objectify women and they may show you true romance, but one thing they are not is cheap.

Gamers have been paying top-shelf prices for these games for years only to be misled into buying defective products and lifeless creations. This must end if the gaming industry wishes to share the esteem of other mediums of expression and art.

Gamers can be a fickle lot, and wading through an endless swamp of terrible games over the years has its effect on people.

For every video game masterpiece ever played, there have been thousands of players who have regretted wasting their time on a game that was clearly unfinished or rushed out the door to meet a deadline.

Consumers are the lifeblood of the video game industry, and to continue to allow inferior products to crowd the shelves with no accountability is unfair.

Perhaps it is time for the people behind the desk to take heed of its core demographic again.

Any XBOX 360 user is familiar with the red ring of death, that randomly appears without warning and renders your console a lifeless paperweight, requiring you to send it back to Microsoft so they can repair it and mail it back to you.

Fully aware of the stability flaws in their product, they still managed to be the first next-generation console on the market.

Although, in retrospect, many angry gamers would be more than willing to wait for a complete product they could fully enjoy.

Stopping to consider that XBOX 360 users are charged to buy their wireless internet connectivity, DVD and HDDVD video playback, controller batteries, and a monthly XBOX Live fee to play online, the picture becomes a bit clearer and much more frustrating.

Keeping consumers ignorant to the truth resulted in record high profits, as well as record high dissatisfaction.

The controversy over “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” not being able to cross over guitar peripherals on the Playstation 3 made gamers furious worldwide.

Meanwhile, developers Harmonix and MTV Games continue to butt heads over where the blame lies, and gamers get lost in the ensuing arguments.

That’s what happens when you trust MTV to bring you rock-and-roll. But for Harmonix to act the same way is another example of just how little regard they have for the consumer.

Don’t forget that you could easily spend more than double the asking price for Rock Band if you bought all of the downloadable songs they have available online, which don’t all cross over to the sequel, “Rock Band 2.”

Some songs do, but you have to pay a fee to access them, even though you already paid more than necessary to play them in the first place and already own them on your hard drive.

When added to the poor design behind the faulty guitar it comes with, it shows they didn’t have gamers in mind.

Sadly, even video game journalism is suspect to corruption and greed. Reviewers have been accused of accepting payment or “courtesy gifts” to give bad games good reviews.

This payola ruins the credibility of not only the writer and their affiliates, but also the gaming industry as a whole.

False reviews are plastered all over the media. Such over exposure can mislead gamers into purchasing inferior and incomplete products, and gaming is not a cheap hobby.

To keep from wasting hard-earned money on sub-standard quality titles, try and keep the following in mind when regarding your next purchase.

Use more than one source for your video game reviews, and make sure none of them are “official.”

For example, avoid “Official XBOX Magazine,” or “Playstation Magazine.” As it is in their best interest to get you to buy their products, they don’t actually care about you.

Be wary of sequels. Like New Coke, the formula may seem similar, but there may be darker forces at work that only want your money.

Movie/Television licensed and Anime/Cartoon licensed video games are a match made in hell, as little good has ever come from this match up.

If readers only pull one bit of information from this article, please make it this one thing.

Do not believe the hype, ever.

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