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Computer games - Market failure

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aervew Posted: Tue, Oct 11 2011 10:27 AM

Computer games - Market failure The modern computer game industry is example of market failure. Games lack depth and mechanical challenge, the stories are lame. Everything is designed around a 90 IQ impatient teenage brat that will be unable to consume any advanced content that games of 90'ies had. The result? Games that sell well and reap profits, but lack artistic value and will be forgotten in a few years unlike the classics 15-20 years ago. The case is evident - the situation is that of a failure of free market: corporations reap profit and short term enjoyment of consumers, but long term social value and replayability is diminished and artistic value eroded. Solution? State appointed committees that determine and finance production of games with deeper artistic value. The long term enjoyment of consumers of this product will compensatae the financial cost of it, and provide the solution of quality game production that market forces have failed to maintain.

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MaikU replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 10:43 AM

cool story, bro.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 10:47 AM

MaikU:

cool story, bro.

QFT

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 11:10 AM

Surely you're trolling, Mr. Xarthaz!

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Autolykos replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 11:10 AM

gotlucky:
MaikU:
cool story, bro.

QFT

QFT

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Bert replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 11:14 AM

I guess you never played Doom on SNES.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Anyone else waiting on Skyrim? Looks beautiful

 

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James replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 12:17 PM

Nostalgia doesn't remember the failures...

http://www.cracked.com/article_16824_6-most-retarded-gaming-consoles-ever-released.html

Anyone else waiting on Skyrim? Looks beautiful

No, I need a new graphics card for that.  I think there should be a government planning committee to stop the rampant advance of technology faster than my wallet can keep pace. /s

I'm actually still playing an extended realism mod for a realism mod for Rome Total War, which came out like six years ago.  It's about as niche as you can possibly get, and all thanks to the free market. :) 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 1:15 PM

NPCG - National Public Computer Games...

Clayton -

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John Ess replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 1:54 PM

The government is involved in a lot of those military games.  Those always have a lot of artistic value.

And NASA made that game Moonbase Alpha.

 

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 3:33 PM

To argue in the spirit of the thread:

Computer games - Market failure

In fact, government failure. The state prevents an exploration of reality by setting us up in a utopia. Anarchy (obviously chaos) should be instituted so that we get to learn first hand what real life survivalism is like so that computer gamers can make better games. The government is out of touch with the consumer. Regulation is hurting the industry by protecting it from tribal warfare.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 3:33 PM

Anyone else waiting on Skyrim? Looks beautiful

YES!

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Didnt Mises write a nice little book debunking this whole premise that: 'we have shitty stuff now compared to back then because of the market.'

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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Mr.Ploppy replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 4:51 PM

Anyone else waiting on Skyrim? Looks beautiful

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9eGtyqz4gY

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If government was involved in the games industry it would be a lot worse. On what do i base this ? On the evidence from other industries where we see government involvement. I would like to know on what industry do you base your opinion that government would increase artistic value? Artistic value is subjective and that is definitely something that would be thought up a tyrannical democracy. Low standards and high prices is synonymous with socialist/fascist service.

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Eric080 replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 6:23 PM

This is probably what parents in the late 80s were saying about their kids' leisure preferences.  "Why aren't they going outside or reading?  Why is my kid playing as an Italian plumber that powers up by eating mushrooms that stomps on mushrooms with teeth and fights a dinosaur and fights plants and goes through tunnels to rescue a princess who is surrounded by little guys with mushroom hats?  Society is in peril!"

 

I think there's plenty artistry left in games.  Nintendo still churns out interesting games with their main characters (granted I haven't played them lately, but things like Paper Mario are creative).  Bioshock would be an example of a deeper game.  The Halo series was very popular and had a compelling story line.  Games like Sonic the Hedgehog were popular in the 90s and isn't a "thinker's game" whatsoever; it's a hedgehog with super speed that tries to defeat a Mad Scientist.  It doesn't mean it's not fun or that it's not worthwhile to play.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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Bert replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 6:36 PM

I can say that games today are crazy.  I don't own a new system, but the graphics on games for PS3 and Xbox are nuts, and I've seen my friends play them and they are getting more life like with more in depth plots, but I don't plan to spend any money on new games except for new cartridges.  I just beat Super Mario 64 about 2 weeks ago and I'm disappointed, I thought when I get 120 stars I'd get to ride Yoshi, not just meet him.

As far as games being intelligent, I do believe there's a certain level of thinking involved, but keep in mind they are games.  They are for enjoyment and entertainment, and the skill and level of thinking all vary.  To this day my favorite video game is Super Mario RPG for SNES.  You don't have to be an intellectual titan or anything to beat it, but I love the story line and it's fun.

Right now I await the day they put Doom on Wii...  Maybe I'm just jaded or something when it comes to this stuff.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Clearly someone hasn't played Portal 2.

(...yes, I just played Portal 2 this weekend. It freaking rocks)

Obviously this is (intentionally?) stupid, but there could be an interesting discussion concerning the current gaming market, particularly the console market. Essentially, most all of the large developers believe that the demand for their games is due in part to graphic capabilities, but according to my own subjective interpretation, there are rapidly diminishing returns when it comes to graphics. Production times expand and/or content is squeezed, budgets explode, there is increasing reliance on downloadable content through shady practices, etc. I think we see consumers reacting as expected to these circumstances, as indie games through Xbox Arcade and PSN are quite popular, and of course there are cell phone and browser games. I wouldn't be surprised if the big gaming corporations are starting to feel the effects of bigness and bureaucratization, worsened by the technological reality at this moment.

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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Praetyre replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 8:34 PM

I thought I was the only one who ever wondered about this. I could count the number of games worth giving a damn about produced since 2005 on my own 10 fingers, and the number of good modern simulator games were I a quadruple amputee. I've heard the "nostalgia" excuse a lot, but while, yes, there were crappy games produced in the 1997-2002 and 2002-2005 periods, the actual good games were far more numerous and orders of magnitude better than the good games of the post 2005-period. Compare SimCity 3000 to SimCity Societies, Majesty to Majesty 2 or Heroes of Might and Magic III to the excuses parading around as "sequels". You don't need any of the hacks parading themselves as gaming "journalists" (not that most real journalists aren't hacks either) to tell there's something deeply wrong with an industry where the only thing on the market is mumorpugers and first person shooters, and where $20 expansion packs that gave you 30% more content have been replaced with $10 "downloadable content" that gives you 0.01% more.

The thing that confuses the issue a lot is that people are always thinking of console games when they think of famous games from the past, and (due to the aforementioned stagnation), they think all PC games are Doo.. dang it, Call of Duty and Everq.. World of Warcraft. But then you miss out on every other genre under the sun; RTS games (Command and Conquer, to it's credit, seems to have emerged from the 90's almost like Austin Powers from cryogenic suspension), simulators (SimCity is one, but there's also Dungeon Keeper, Theme Hospital, and the whole Impressions city-builder series) and I'd be here until Exit Mundi calls me if I tried to describe RPGs.

I put this down to a combination of IP-stagnation (most modern day mods are far better made and well written than the games they base themselves on) and the overall dumbing down of Western culture by multiculturalist ideologues, the creation of a permanent welfare underclass and egalitarian fanaticism. There has been a similar stagnation in the film industry since 2008, though that one's obviously a bit easier to explain.

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Oct 12 2011 11:19 AM

"cool story, bro."

 

cheeky

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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limitgov replied on Wed, Oct 12 2011 11:38 AM

market failure?  I guess you never heard of a computer company called valve?

Do you suggest government should make computer games instead?  Cain't wait for that...lol

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James replied on Wed, Oct 12 2011 12:18 PM

Do you suggest government should make computer games instead?  Cain't wait for that...lol

You need wait no longer!

http://www.americasarmy.com/

Seriously, it's shit.  It's such shit.  If you go insane from how shit it is and shoot your drill instructor, the game actually PUTS YOU IN A CAGE.  Jesus.  I thought that was what the objective was.

 

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Oct 12 2011 12:32 PM

Grand Theft Auto: The Standard Oil Threat

Bankers May Cry

Final Fantasy: Freedom

Communal Fortress 2

Elder Scrolls and Species: the Fight against Extinction

Super Cash Bros

 

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aervew replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 6:29 AM

Wrong in your points. America's army has a solid user score on more popular gaming sites, a lot better than most of the private  corporate games developed in the last few years. It is a statement in what it does. It aims at a result, and the enjoyment of the gameplay is consistent with what it tries to do. So, it is a success.

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limitgov replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 7:50 AM

"Wrong in your points. America's army has a solid user score on more popular gaming sites, a lot better than most of the private  corporate games developed in the last few years. It is a statement in what it does. It aims at a result, and the enjoyment of the gameplay is consistent with what it tries to do. So, it is a success."

It only exists because it uses the game engine from privately made games.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 9:06 AM

aervew:
Wrong in your points. America's army has a solid user score on more popular gaming sites, a lot better than most of the private  corporate games developed in the last few years. It is a statement in what it does. It aims at a result, and the enjoyment of the gameplay is consistent with what it tries to do. So, it is a success.

It's easier to make a great game when you don't have to earn the budget you use to make it.

Tell me, Xarthaz - do the ends always justify the means to you?

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Justin replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 9:32 PM

Interesting premise:

My only main problem with this is that you are calling games you remember successful.  It's games you remember.   You cannot say that quality games are less present now than they were then.  It's simply untrue.   The games that exist outside the mean are more easily recalled along with the feelings you had about them.  You are seeing what's called, regression the mean.  The better your experience with something, the more easily this regression will be noted.  There is also not less quality games out there.   There is, in the worst case scenario, the same number of quality games produced every year.  But, video games are the largest entertainment industry in the history of the world.  That means there is a lot more attempts at making money it in, and with that increased number of options, many are poor.   So, it seems worse than it really is.

At what point does it seem like a good idea for the government to fund the arts, or in this case, artistic video games?  Government is so inefficient, that they dump a lot of money on the arts already, despite it being the largest privately funded pursuit.  

 

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aervew:
Solution? State appointed committees that determine and finance production of games with deeper artistic value. The long term enjoyment of consumers of this product will compensatae the financial cost of it, and provide the solution of quality game production that market forces have failed to maintain.

Surely you have to be joking.  The Government is supposed to gauge creativity?  You do realize that most bureaucrats and elected representatives are there because they are otherwise unemployable, right?  What creative energies would these committees tap into?  An IQ of 90 would be considered genius to most of them.

aervew:
The long term enjoyment of consumers of this product will compensatae the financial cost of it, and provide the solution of quality game production that market forces have failed to maintain.

It is not for you, and certainly not for the State to judge what the quality of a product should be, what it should cost, or how much we should invest in its development.  Each of us make that decision when we buy something, an infinitely more efficient process than some committee, centrally planning everything.  If you really want the quality of products to improve, I suggest you find a way to convince mass numbers of people to raise their standards in a way that does not involve me subsidizing one more thing I do not use.

I really hope that this was some kind of satire, but I'm not laughing.

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ulrichPf replied on Mon, Oct 24 2011 6:26 AM

Are you seriously saying that there are no good computer games out there ? I can give tons of new games that are great artistically and stimulate the mind as well. During the Victorian times most people did not read the great classics of the time, they most likely read the penny horribles, but that did not require the government to make laws to produce great books. Great works will always be produced and need no government to do it.

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Chyd3nius replied on Mon, Oct 24 2011 6:31 AM

Grand Theft Auto: The Standard Oil Threat

Bankers May Cry

Final Fantasy: Freedom

Communal Fortress 2

Elder Scrolls and Species: the Fight against Extinction

Super Cash Bros

The Elder Scrolls VI: New Hampshire

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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Justin replied on Mon, Oct 24 2011 7:37 AM

This is some kind of troll thread.  Government can't write the driving manual well, let alone dictate what is and is not good for a game.

 

Here is a good example of the market in action.  Take the game, Call of Duty: Black Ops (codblops for short).  It is the most successful videogame of all time, by a large margin.  It has moved over 20 million units worldwide.  So, by that measure, it is the most successful game ever made.  By the margin of exposure, more people have played that than have ever played a lot of other games.  And by the financial metric, it is the most successful game one could make.  Some people will take this game and it will be their best game ever.  Others argue that the sales are so large because they worked to appeal to the most common denominator, and have not made an exceptionally good product.  Some would say they have even produced a poorly made title that does not deserve the praise it gets.  

My point is:  The only metric any government would have to go by would be the money it made.  In the fashion of government, they would then demand all games be made like this because it's the most profitable and they will get the biggest share of this (you didn't think of this, but they will surely have their hands in everyone's pocket on this, they always do).  Only, that would be the end of the video game industry.  All games becoming that would mean it's end.  Government is not innovative, that is why they just keep throwing money at the same failing programs, ad nauseum, and nothing ever gets better with those programs.  

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