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Desc:A young gentleman airs his qualms about the free-to-play gaming migration
Category:Video Games, Humor
Tags:Gamers, pokemon, eBay, hardcore games, no he is not serious
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Comment count is 13
It creates the expected back and forth in the YT comments.
I wanted this to be about a hoax auction for an actual Pokemon, but I guess you can't really get away with jokes on eBay like you could ten years ago.
My favorite eBay auction was "a shipping container with Ten Ethiopian Children" that me and my friends bid on during Computer Programming class.

I miss classic eBay.

I'm pretty sure I've already described it twice, but my favorite was when a guy I knew back around '99 or 2000 put his personal resentment for humanity up as a 7 day auction and it was at over ,000 when they pulled it on day 5.

I liked "Jar of Piss".

They have violated the sanctity of the Shiny Goat or whatever.

I was wondering what was so awesome about Shiny Pokemon since I keep hearing Pokemon fans ramble on about them. I figured they must have amazing special powers, like maybe their basic level one attack rips the continent they're standing on in half and throws one half at their opponent.

So I looked it up, and it turns out Shiny Pokemon are identical to normal Pokemon, except they're a different color.

Sounds like a good emotional investment!
infinite zest
But she's got a new hat!

Complaining about professional grinders on eBay is like complaining that you don't actually need to play videogames anymore if you can just watch the endings on Youtube.

I write that sentence and I don't know exactly where I'm going with it beyond "the experience of playing the game should be the payoff and just because some lazy gamers want to take shortcuts doesn't mean you have to".
I mostly agree with you; however, monetized shortcuts can still be a serious issue - at least when the game designers themselves are the ones doing the monetizing. The problem with formal pay-to-win schemes is that it puts pressure on game designers to create demand, usually by putting up ever more frustrating roadblocks for players who don't want to pay extra. GTAV is a perfect example of this growing problem - the game's payouts are clearly balanced in such a way that a normal player will not be able to unlock all the things he'd like to do in anything like a timely fashion.

It's a form of "libertarian paternalism" - the designers present consumers with the illusion choice, which is not really a choice at all. Either you shell out an additional twenty bucks to get enough cash to buy a condo and decent car, or you grind through nerfed missions for two hundred hours and hope the servers don't "accidentally" delete your character. Without a cashcard scheme, Rockstar would have no problem setting the awards to ten, twenty, maybe even thirty thousand dollars per mission. But with cashcards, it suddenly becomes in Rockstar's best interest to make the game as tedious and unrewarding as humanly possible for "skinflints" who expect to get a fully functional product after merely paying retail.

Still, when it's third-party grinders doing the monetizing, you're right, it's not really that big a deal. Especially when the game does not rely on a competitive PvP component, which I assume is the case with this Pokemon title.

infinite zest
Back in the day, you had to buy a Nintendo Power or Gamepro (or be smart like me and copy down the cheatcodes in the grocery store), or at least know a friend who knew the codes, so I think the basic goal of milking more than the suggested retail price of a game has always been instilled in developers' minds.

However I say this knowing fully well that I've dumped enough quarters into "Medieval Madness" over the last 15 years to just buy the fucking thing..

Oh, sure. Milking more than retail out of your customers is a dream that all businesses have had since forever. That doesn't make it any more fair, or any less of a concern for consumers.

What's more, pay-to-win schemes are fundamentally different from other, more traditional forms of milking (like releasing tie-in merchandise or offering 1-900 help lines). Older milking schemes were based on the principle of offering gamers extra goods and services to spend their money on. The core product, the product the gamers bought, remained untouched. Pay-to-win, however, is based on directly manipulating the product itself; what you bought is not really what you *bought*, as it's functionality is limited by design, with full functionality locked behind additional pay walls. In a sense, it's as if gamers are no longer buying goods - rather, video games (as a commodity) are beginning to occupy a weird grey space, somwhere between goods and services. It's like an convoluted rental agreement, where consumers need to drop an initial payment upfront, and are then expected to pay more in order to continue using their product in the manner that would be covered by more traditional goods-purchasing agreements.

One thing I'm curious about, and I don't actually know the answer so if anyone could help me out I'd appreciate it, is how the designers behind our current crop of pay-to-win games respond to third parties offering similar services? For example, games like CoD, who offer major PvP leveling incentives for players willing to spend extra, how do they react to "pay-for-friend" services, like coaches, bodyguards, and professional grinders? Or a game like GTAV, which offers in-game money for real money? How would the designers react if a player was to start offering ingame money at rates that severely undercut Rockstar's cashcards? And if these companies respond negatively to such practices, have there been any legal challenges? Anti-trust complaints, or something?

infinite zest
I'm assuming it works a bit like the NFL Gameday Channel or whatever it's called; the NFL is fully aware that bars and restaurants with big HDTVs will make extra money if they're the only bar in town with a region-specific game, and that the normal sponsors, as well as the venues themselves, will lose money in the exchange that the independent bar undoubtedly profits from.

I'm not fond of pay-to-win either, one of many reasons I prefer to stick to older games and play them on physical media. I was under the impression that Nintendo doesn't sanction or profit from monetized POKEMON grinding, though, to be honest, I have never gotten around to playing a single POKEMON game except for dicking around in POKEMON SNAP, which hardly counts, so I really wouldn't know.

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