Jimquisition: Buyer Beware

Charli

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Orcboyphil said:
Grange Hill?! That takes me back.
Sorry Jim I didn't hear a damn word of your episode, gonna have to reload it anyway because I was too distracted by my brain going 'OH SHIT Grange Hill, that was a thing that happened eh'.

OWENR22 said:
Fantastic! Can we please have Byker Grove next week, Jim?
Do it.
 

Erttheking

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It's good old fashioned victim blaming. And the reasoning behind it is simple, yet kinda pathetic. When something wrong happens, people lash out, they're angry and they want to vent their anger at someone. Problem is, their complaints seem rather small and insignificant when they direct it at someone who they can't reach/ won't care what they have to say, so they redirect it into the victim, because the victim actually cares. People who victim blame, are making it about them.
 

maximara

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jehk said:
Yep. These corporations have us by the short hairs. It shouldn't be that way and the only real thing we can do is be aware of what we're buying. Go! Go! Libertarian paradise. :p
The one thing I don't understand is any other industry did what the computer game industry does you would have things like "deceptive advertising" and "fraud" being brought up to the point that the FTC and similar governmental agencies would come down on the whole mess and do something. Yet that doesn't happen. Why?
 

Adam Locking

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You're right Jim, in that people aren't to blame for incidents like Colonial Marines, and developers need to stop producing shit games.

On the other hand, there are members of this forum who still decide to buy always-online games on day one. People who have clearly been around, seen every previous launch, experienced bad launches and been warned not to buy day one. Then they do, and decide to start a thread about how they have no will power and couldn't wait the extra 24 hours to see if the thing is broken.

No, the majority of buyers are not "gamers" and don't have ready access to this info, but then there are those select and vocal few that seem incapable of learning from the past, and I find it very hard to sympathize.
 

Tiamat666

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It seems to me we already have quality control. We have Steam Ratings, Metacritic, Wikipedia and user comments. Really, in the age of the Internet there is no excuse not to be informed about what you buy. Sure, you may have to wait for a while for those ratings and feedback to pop up, but nobody is forcing you to buy right on release or even preorder stuff.
Even so, if you fail at being informed beforehand and buy into Shitty Product (TM), you should at least now have learned enough to avoid the sequel Shitty Product 2 (TM).

It's much better and easier to be informed now than it ever was. In the 90's you really had no idea what you were getting into upon buying a game box, and had to rely on word of mouth or buy just the right magazine at the right time. Those days are over.

But in general, I have to disagree with the whole premise in this episode. Ultimately it's everyone's own responsibility to decide where his time and money goes. If we make a bad investment, it's easy to push responsibility away and decry lack of proper institutions, but that feels like an ignorant, entitled attitude to me.
 

irishda

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Is it a defense of shoddy business practices or a reminder that consumers can't just blindly stumble around throwing money at things? "Shut up and take my money" was a satire of idiot customers who just throw money at products without researching them, not a rallying cry for people who thought an advertisement looked cool.
 

CBanana

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LameDuck said:
That's not really the point, though. It's about games being broken, buggy, stolen, missing files (like the game released without the main EXE file a few months back) or outright lying to the customer (like WarZ). You also have the issue of re-releasing a game that was originally released a decade ago and Steam placing it on the "New Releases" list, when the game is horribly broken on modern systems.

There are games like Ride to Hell: Retribution that are horrible disasters, but they are still mostly playable and it should be up to the customer to read reviews.
That's fair enough but under that system it wouldn't contradict my main point that under most circumstances, a buyer should be doing their research.
 

Thanatos2k

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Transdude1996 said:
One thing I'd like to ask is why haven't the television, movie, book, or music industry gone through similar happenings? And, if they have, would anyone mind providing a few examples.
Who says they haven't?

Television is slowly strangling itself to death as all other entertainment mediums slowly erode its total market share, and it's so fragmented now with 57849578 channels that average show quality has plummeted.

Movies are in a pretty similar place with games, where "AAA" copy paste blockbuster franchise sequel movies lacking any originality whatsoever are run entirely on hype driven marketing campaigns. (Amazing Spider Man 2, coming May 2 to a theater near you!!!)

Books are fading away and sort of sitting in the background by themselves.

The music industry is filled with garbage, as it always has been.....then again, no one buys music sight unseen. There's a whole bunch of ways to hear it before you buy it, and hearing it is the entire experience.
 

Eve Charm

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Alright I agree different strokes for different folks and what one person considers a bad game isn't a bad game to someone else, but how do people stand up and defend BROKEN AND LIED TO?

Are you telling me there are people that like seeing the game they just bought was really 15 years old? or like their saves getting deleted in BF4, or like NOT EVEN BEING ABLE TO PLAY THEIR GAME cause DRM or hell even hitting enter, Or screen shots and demos that AREN'T the ACTUAL GAME but say they are?

A game being bad is one thing, Arguing that buyer beware of crap that shouldn't fit to sell in the first place is another.
 

Abnaxis

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Aardvaarkman said:
Abnaxis said:
I knew waaaay more people who owned the magic little few-hundred-dollar box that makes the picture games come up on the TV than I knew people who owned the two-thousand-dollar desktop machine with a shabby monitor that many times required you to dig into config files and compilers to play anything (it sure did Wheel of Fortune and Yahtzee good, though!)
I understand the situation was probably rather different in the US than it was in Europe and Australia, for example. But I did mention "home computers" as they were called back then. Things like the Commodore 64 were not significantly more expensive than consoles, and they also could be hooked up to the TV set. I also don't think they were that much harder to use - and some console hardware of that era was notoriously flaky and troublesome (most consumer electronic gear was somewhat flaky in the 80s).

For example, many of the home computers of the time took game cartridges, just like the consoles, which didn't require any more fiddling around than a console did. So, I'm generally not referring to the IBM-PC style of computer (although those were used for gaming, but typically in wealthier households, and not until years later - more late-1980s).

With a multi-purpose home computer costing only a few hundred dollars, and a single-purpose game console also costing a few hundred dollars, it wasn't a difficult economic for many families to buy the home computer that could play games and do a bunch of other useful stuff, than to buy the much more limited console in a similar price range. Again, I know that game consoles were relatively more popular in the US and Japan, but in the rest of the world, the reverse was often true.
I suppose we just need to chalk this one up to differing experiences then. From my perspective in the US, I noticed probably 4-6 consoles for every "home computer," I ever saw, and the computers I had experience with were way more fiddly. Also, not the first one could connect to a television.

Aardvaarkman said:
P.S:

Abnaxis said:
All the issues (compatibility, useability, exclusivity, adaptability) were about a millions times more important in the day than they are now, from a consumer standpoint.
I'd strongly disagree with this one. At hat time, there was no "standard" Operating System or hardware for home computers. There was a multitude of competing proprietary systems - far more than there are today. And "usability" wasn't something that was taken for granted. People expected that they had to learn how to use something like a computer. People even expected to have to build their own hardware, or learn to program them.

It was like the days when a car owner would expect that they would have to learn how to do mechanical maintenance in order to be a driver.
I'm confused, because you say you disagree, then reiterate my point. Plug and Play standards were a gleam in Bill Gates' eye. Getting a mouse to work in a game usually required an hour of fiddling and cussing. When faced with the choice between swapping out floppies on a beige box that may-or-may-not work with your non-standard hardware after hours of fiddling, or slapping the cartridge into the Atari and playing on your couch with a joystick within minutes, most people went for the Atari. Compatibility, useability, exclusivity, and adaptability all gives consoles an advantage over PCs now, but the advantage was WAY BIGGER before.

Also, horse puckey to "every owner was expected to have to learn." That was only true because the only adopters were enthusiasts.

Again, the computer gaming market certainly existed back then, but I really don't think we can lay the blame for the Atari crash to "people just bought C64s instead."
 

weirdee

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Aardvaarkman said:
SilverStuddedSquirre said:
The point is, that the Industry mounding Dinosaur Shit in my way to having fun should not be acceptable on the basis that shovel technology has vastly improved.
I agree that shit shovelling should not be tolerated, and that the industry should be taken to task.

What I am questioning is this idea that it is a bigger problem today than it ever has been before. I think we're actually spoilt for choice and quality today. There are so many options available on the market, and there are so many ways to research those options. So if you're playing a lot of broken, shitty games, then it might be worth considering your purchasing decisions or research.
corollary: shit HEAPING technology has also advanced

there are things to be worried about now that people aren't even aware that they should be worried about when they look at things that they aren't intimately familiar with

"well you didn't ask, tough luck"
 

ThunderCavalier

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While there is some logic in having the quality control/reviews of companies actually BEING CREDIBLE and not being these pandering industries where you can't trust a single word that any professional reviewer says, especially if a game's ads are plastered all over the company's website, I don't necessarily agree in that LPs and the like shouldn't be used to judge the quality of a game.

If anything, they're a nice complement to reviews, if not a good way for you to gauge your own interest in a game. Not only do you get to see raw gameplay footage done by people that are legitimately playing the game and not tailored gameplay footage by the company (that may or may not be forged), but if you know the given LP personality and whatnot, you can decide whether or not you would be interested in the game given on whether the LPer in question enjoys the game that they're playing.

... Why yes, I am a Total Biscuit fan. Why yes, part of my views are influenced (if not directly are) his [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpmeOB0Zyu0], but I completely agree with his viewpoint there. Many people have their interests and biases, and a LP is one of the best ways to determine if you like a game, purely if you share the same interests as the given LPer and he happens to like/dislike the game.
 

Rellik San

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Pallindromemordnillap said:
Jimothy Sterling said:
Pallindromemordnillap said:
...sorry, did I miss why the Record Breakers theme was being used?
Well, it sure as shit ain't the Record Breakers theme, for one.
...isn't it? I see people saying its Grange Hill but I remember that music being completely different.
Depends when you were a kid, it's the 90's Grange Hill theme specifically.

Aardvaarkman said:
The question is, beyond physically damaged or otherwise defective games, how does regulation relate to other issues in games, such as glitches or bugs? That would be very difficult to define and regulate legally, most companies would just try to work around that with a EULA. But there probably should be some legal limit to how much they can wash their hands of liability for buggy software. But I don't think too many legislatures have much interest in regulating software in that way (unless it comes to censorship of content, of course!)
I think the worst offender is the little nugget in the EULA that states, should the software damage any information or hardware on the machine, the publisher will not be liable for such damage. Now I understand such disclaimers with overclocking machines... but when simply installing software requires that level of protection on the corporate end, you know something, somewhere is seriously wrong with that. Hell I once had to completely replace my RAM because Fallout 3 fried it... even with the expectations of bugs in a Bethesda title, that's a little extreme. But again this also leads into with PC Gaming the minimum spec debacle where apparently the game running at 5fps on all the lowest settings is acceptable. In general the industry truly is lazy in terms of quality assurance, I mean even CDP Red have to release 2 versions of their games to quash the bugs.
 

FancyNick

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I mostly agree with you on this one Jim. I do think there is some consumer responsibility with our purchases but releasing and selling products that just flat out don't work is absolutely shameful. There is an argument to be made for where the line is in regards to quality expected vs research but the games need to actually play before that particular discussion can start.

Side note: I liked the change up in the song. Are you planning to change them every week now or is it the new theme?
 

Aardvaarkman

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Abnaxis said:
I suppose we just need to chalk this one up to differing experiences then. From my perspective in the US, I noticed probably 4-6 consoles for every "home computer," I ever saw, and the computers I had experience with were way more fiddly. Also, not the first one could connect to a television.
You never saw any home computers that could connect to a TV set? That does seem unusual, as that was typical of computers designed for the home market, as dedicated computer monitors were quite expensive. Most models outside of those designed for business were able to connect to TVs.

Abnaxis said:
Aardvaarkman said:
P.S:

Abnaxis said:
All the issues (compatibility, useability, exclusivity, adaptability) were about a millions times more important in the day than they are now, from a consumer standpoint.
I'd strongly disagree with this one. At hat time, there was no "standard" Operating System or hardware for home computers. There was a multitude of competing proprietary systems - far more than there are today. And "usability" wasn't something that was taken for granted. People expected that they had to learn how to use something like a computer. People even expected to have to build their own hardware, or learn to program them.

It was like the days when a car owner would expect that they would have to learn how to do mechanical maintenance in order to be a driver.
I'm confused, because you say you disagree, then reiterate my point. Plug and Play standards were a gleam in Bill Gates' eye.
Now, I'm really confused, because plenty of home computers has plug-n-play hardware well before Gates and Microsoft had any influence on the industry. The IBM-PC and the hardware that Microsoft supported were years behind the rest of the industry when it came to anything "Plug'n'Play." In fact, it was often the proprietary systems that enabled easy connectivity (of course, Microsoft's software is also proprietary, but has become considered something of a proprietary standard).

From memory, Plug'n'Play was Microsoft's effort to catch up, and the name was incredibly ironic, because it didn't work as least often as it did.

So no, compatibility was not such a huge issue back then, because nobody expected different brands of computers to be compatible with one another. And usability wasn't such a huge issue, as most electronics has pretty serious usability issues - whether console or home computer. That is not the case in today's age of the easy-to-use smartphone.

Abnaxis said:
Getting a mouse to work in a game usually required an hour of fiddling and cussing.
Maybe on Microsoft or MS-DOS systems it did, but on other systems it was usually a lot easier.

Abnaxis said:
When faced with the choice between swapping out floppies on a beige box that may-or-may-not work with your non-standard hardware after hours of fiddling, or slapping the cartridge into the Atari and playing on your couch with a joystick within minutes, most people went for the Atari. Compatibility, useability, exclusivity, and adaptability all gives consoles an advantage over PCs now, but the advantage was WAY BIGGER before.
No, it wasn't. Before MS-DOs and Windows took over the PC market, that stuff was a lot easier. In fact, you could plug your Atari joystick into most home computers and it would just work without any special configuration. And you could just slap a game cartridge into most of them, and get a better game than you would with the Atari.

The usability advantage of the console really wasn't that big, as consoles at the time also tended to have plenty of their own problems with flaky hardware and troubleshooting. But the capability advantage of the home computer was massive compared to the console. It opened up whole new worlds of possibilities. Meanwhile, today's smartphones and consoles can do most of the things that dedicated computers can do, such as browsing the web and watching streaming video - so there isn't such a big advantage to owning a computer.

Abnaxis said:
Also, horse puckey to "every owner was expected to have to learn." That was only true because the only adopters were enthusiasts.
Absolutely untrue. Plenty of people ended up learning computing who were not already computer enthusiasts.

It was completely normal for families who were not nerds, geeks or enthusiasts in any way to buy home computers. These were marketed to ordinary families. Just look at the sales figures of home computers from the 80s. They are way too big to only represent enthusiasts. If they were only for enthusiasts, they would have only been for sale at specialist computer stores. But they weren't. You could buy them at the kind of mainstream department store where you would buy kitchen appliances.

Abnaxis said:
Again, the computer gaming market certainly existed back then, but I really don't think we can lay the blame for the Atari crash to "people just bought C64s instead."
But you also can't just lay the blame on "quality control" or any other single factor. It was a multitude of factors, including the economy, and the home computing market. I'm not sure why it needs to be simplified to a single factor, when there was a whole bunch of stuff going on.
 

vallorn

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Orcboyphil said:
Grange Hill?! That takes me back.
Aye, I just looked at the screen in confusion when that started up, It was funny when I figured it out though.

And agreed Jim, Buyer Beware BUT the buyer needs undiluted, accurate information on what they are buying to make informed choices.
 

Gigano

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Oct 15, 2009
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Well, I think most of the criticism of consumers isn't so much a defense of the industry, as it's disgust with people who'll complain as persistently and as loudly about their gripes with a $60 luxury item as they'll do.
 

Rellik San

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weirdee said:
Also, horse puckey to "every owner was expected to have to learn." That was only true because the only adopters were enthusiasts.

Again, the computer gaming market certainly existed back then, but I really don't think we can lay the blame for the Atari crash to "people just bought C64s instead."
Yes... because 5 year old me with my ZX Spectrum was definitely an enthusiast programmer and not just some kid who wanted too "control cartoons". But even for that, I had to learn basic command line structure... and if a five year old can grasp that, what excuses does anyone else have? Even when I got my Megadrive, the variety and complexity of games like Darkstar kept me playing on the Speccy.