Metacognition: Things That Frighten…

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts.

What are things that scare you in games?

That’s an easy one.

Microtransactions.

Image result for scream of terror

Well, to be a little more specific: microtransactions and incomplete games shipped so DLC must be purchased.

I mean, it’s easy to say that jump scares or creepy music that is designed for terror or the various tricks that developers use to make their games scary are all contenders for things that frighten me in a video game. I mean, sure. No one likes when things pop out at them. And yeah, scary things are uncomfortable to be around.

Image result for captain obvious

But I digress. I was talking about DLC and microtransactions.

The reason they frighten me is because they indicate to me that there is an imbalance in the industry, and as of yet there is no real solution. Let’s face it, games probably should cost a little more (and it hurts my head and wallet to say that), in order to cover all the great graphics, epic stories, and new technology that we all want. But gamers balk at paying more (mostly), so all sorts of ploys have been developed to cover those costs in the form of DLC.

But the part that scares me is that it looks predatory. It looks anti-consumer to charge what is seen as “full price” and then charge a little extra in order for the consumer to receive the “full product.” I’ve talked a bit about this before but while using DLC and special editions and all the et cetera that goes with that topic might seem nice in theory – a clever way to raise the price of video games without upsetting too many people – in practice this is confusing at best and exclusionary at worst.

And when people feel excluded, that’s not a good place for anyone to be. It’s bad for the individual, sure, but it’s also bad for the community. But that’s a topic for another day.

What about you? What scares you in video games? Tangible things like ghosts and spiders and building tension to a frightening reveal, or conceptual things like poor plot and bad controls? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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6 comments

  1. What’s really scary is that this could lead to streaming games becoming the norm, and people think that sounds like such a great, cheap idea because they don’t stop to think how it’ll just go the same way video streaming services are going, with every different company starting their own separate service, which altogether will probably end up costing more than we pay now, but gee look at all the games we now have but don’t play!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have a problem with the defence of micro-transactions being “it’s either that or a more expensive base price”.
    EA brought up the excuse about being broke if they don’t include these and yet when they had to take them out of Battlefront from all the backlash they ensured their investors that “this wouldn’t affect their profits”. Meaning they are making a profit whether they have micro-transactions in or not, they just make less of all the money.
    Meanwhile you got games like Horizon Zero Dawn that don’t rely on any micro-transactions at all and still look graphically inpeccable.
    Hellblade goes a step further by being made by an indie developer that created triple A graphics and sold their game for 40$ instead of 70$.
    Games don’t need to cost more to make a profit. Publishers just need to be smarter about where they spent their money in. “Shit, we need Robert Downey Jr. for 3 seconds in our Call of Duty ad or else no one will buy Call of Duty” or “let’s blow our budget on ads for the star wars game because people don’t know what star wars is and need to be reminded”.
    You know those budgeting tips we normal people get to not splurge on stuff we don’t need so that we can afford living in near poverty? Maybe these bigsuit-money-manticores sit in their space yachts wondering why they didn’t make all the millions from their products yet, should apply some of that wisdom to their business practices instead of trying to manipulate us and make us believe they are living off of bread and water.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it’s a complicated topic, no matter how one slices it. Yes, games should live within their means, so to speak, but the price of games hasn’t gone up much in the past few decades and yet costs definitely have. I do agree that companies should spend more responsibly, and no I don’t think publishers are on the verge of bankruptcy, either. “Not affecting profit” is a big, sweeping statement, and I’m sure you heard the Jimquisition rant that included the information you gave me, but telling shareholders that profit won’t be affected doesn’t impress me in this instance. Of course the company wants to assure their investors that everything is fine. And perhaps they had other income avenues that would have kept their stocks from being affected too much. The fact remains that, for instance, the cost for making the Witcher games has increased five-fold since the first game, and yet the price only went up by maybe 10 or 15%, not 500%. Can game companies get by at $60 a pop? Sure, yeah. Should the companies use their money better? Absolutely. But does that mean that there aren’t other factors that go into this? No. Brick and mortar stores (like GameStop, which I know everyone hates) would go bankrupt if it only sold new games. When it’s advantageous for sellers to not sell new products because they’d not make or lose money, there is something wrong with pricing.

      This isn’t to say you are wrong or right, but I think there is a lot more to this story than either you or I have access to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep. You’ve picked out the scariest thing in gaming ever. I hate that DLC is a norm now, and that I actually bought some for Dragon Age Inquisition, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3… my worst nightmares have come true! 😱

    Now I’m trying to hold out on the inevitable “Complete edition” of games that happen months after launch. Those have ALL the DLC and are ~$20 cheaper than the shell of the original game was on release day. It pays to wait these days!

    Liked by 1 person

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