Thursday, January 6

If this is all a dream...

then don't wake me up.

It's 5am. I had a dream that films were now distributed to cinemas digitally, and that directors could continue to edit films and patch them after their release. "How was Tron?" "eh, the latest patch ruined it..." or "How could you like Tron!?" "You should watch it again, it's gotten much better since release." In my dream I saw Inception again only to find an additional scene had been added explaining whether the movie was a dream and JGL had been completely replaced by NPH. Needless to say it really ruined the film.

When I think about the way video games are distributed, released, sold and controlled and compare it to any other medium I can't help but be angry. Do you think people would tolerate having their films edited for Australian audiences?* Or books not being sold in your country because their was no translation deal? Oh this album is $30 in the US, but for the same songs in NZ you have to pay $110... Perhaps DLC is a way for studios to work around stringent release schedules set out by producers, but it feels like a slippery slope that leads to a compromised product that still releases for full retail price.

I also had a dream about the college Wargames Club contacting me because they wanted to sell off the Warhammer 40k miniatures and books I had donated to them years ago. In the dream their treasurer carefully went over the remaining 'assets' and emphasised their lack of real market value. My teen years labors ultimately weighing in at around $3,000**. I know this dream was sparked by something my father said over Christmas. My parents often bring up what a shame it was that I made a large charitable donation (absolutely all of my stuff, down to the paints and dice), after all the time and effort and misguided love I put into those hundreds of figures. When I did it I felt really good about it, but seven years of 'good parenting' have made me feel miserable about my loss of material possessions. Particularly on a day like today, when I'm trying to plan a wedding with $7 in the bank and a documentary idling in edit.

Something that identifies gamers, that sets them apart, is their ability to take their time and invest it in play without hesitation. 75 hours on Rogue Galaxy? 75 hours of my life where I was doing what I love; Awesome. My parents look at the time invested in my hobby and try to see some kind of financial gain but the truth is that every minute I spent bend over my hobby desk was not spent working; it was entertainment. Sure it was creative, otherwise it would feel like a waste of time, but it's only insulting to try and put a price on the time I spent simply enjoying myself.

I'm having a similar issue right now (and I'm sure a lot of people can relate to this one) with Warhammer Online. The game is entering it's autumn (fall) years and even the US server I'm on is looking pretty boring. Some of my guild have moved to the European servers where the game is still fresh and the population very high but horrid lag discourages me from following. Most of the other guildies have unsubbed and are waiting for the release of ToR. But being a little more casual I've only just gotten my characters up to the top (not including the level cap increase they recently added GG) and it feels like a waste after all this time not to enjoy the power I have ground out. At least for a while. But I hear stories from friends selling characters to EU players for decent amounts of money, money I could really use, and this then forces me to take a look at that account and decide what's more valuable. $250, or being able to hold the fruits of my leisure time in my hand instead of just a memory? But just like my miniatures, the potential to pick up and play is always there. Reconciling that with the reality that I won't is the hardest part.

*Okay I realise a lot of television gets edited for US audiences, but I also know that the people who really like the shows/films *ahem* work around that.
**Based on Games Worshops truly evil inflation of prices, to replace my collection today would be something more like $15-20k


lauren said...

Just caught up on the posts I hadn't read yet. Entertaining and insightful as per usual!

sunny said...

Thanks for being my number 1 reader!

Particularly considering the other blogs you keep up on :o