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Got the new Xbox update this morning. Checked out the new Avatar… 
11th-Aug-2009 09:07 am
unfiction anakin
Got the new Xbox update this morning.

Checked out the new Avatar Marketplace. Ooooh Steampunk! Cool! Brass goggles! I'll just... wait... what?
80 microsoft points???? A DOLLAR!?!?
Two bucks for a vest with leather harness?

Oh forget that!

Star Wars.... FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS FOR A LIGHTSABRE! You've got to be kidding me, I can buy a cheap plastic version for about that much.

Bullshit Microsoft. Bull-Fraking-Shit. I'm not spending more than 10-25 cents on a graphical representation of clothing that only appears when someone looks at my little simulacra.

Who's with me? Don't pay outrageous amounts of real money for fake goods.
11th-Aug-2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
And yet, the same people who object to this sort of nonsense think nothing of blowing $20 a month or whatever it is for some lame subscription MMORPG service which is nothing more than paying for the privilege of moving a lot of bits around in cyberspace and collecting the digital equivalent of Garbage Pail Kid cards, only with "cool" swords-and-sorcery or science-fiction themes attached to them.
11th-Aug-2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'll step up and take the bait here.

The difference is that with MMORPG's, you're paying for the interactive experience. Say what you like about it, there's a hell of a lot to do in World of Warcraft or other similar games. Sure, at the end of the day it's all virtual, but you're paying for the experience of it. And those items help you see and experience more content.

With something like the Avatar clothes, literally all you can do with them is look at them. They aren't part of a game, they don't provide you with any sort of interactive experience - they're just clothes for dressing up a virtual doll.
11th-Aug-2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
I suppose I can see your point. And really, paying for the transitory experience of playing 20 hours' worth of WoW or StarCraft or whatever isn't really all that different, conceptually-speaking, from paying $9.50 for the transitory experience of sitting in a darkened movie theater and watching someone else tell you a story on a big screen, or spending $15.99 for the transitory experience of buying a bunch of glued-together pages with words on them and sitting down and reading it through from front to back one time. At the end of the day, you're paying for the experience, interactive or not.

Where I can't quite figure out why people would bother, is with these games where you pay for "upgrades" or "experience" or "gear", or whatever. I mean, paying a PREMIUM, over and above the base subscription fee, for that. I mean, presumably, that sort of thing shortcuts the alleged pleasure of being able to collect that stuff for yourself, and so you're basically paying, not to EXPERIENCE somenthing, but to be able to AVOID the experience, right? That so totally does not seem worth it, to me.
11th-Aug-2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
It's just a matter of being able to access more content without having to go through the slag of getting the gear the hard way. One of the reasons I stopped playing WoW is because it got to the point where, in order to see more content, I needed better equipment. In order to get better equipment, I had to go through specific dungeons, and defeat specific bosses who would have a say, 20% chance of dropping the piece of equipment I was looking for. If they didn't drop it, then I had to do the entire dungeon over again. And most of the time these dungeons required 5 people to go through, so it wasn't just like I could do it myself over and over again. I'm not saying I would have bought the gear, had I had the option, but this is a case where I can see someone paying for the privilege of not having to run the same dungeon over and over and over again in hopes of getting the gear they need, so they can go ahead and reach the new content they're trying to see. And honestly, I think that 20% is high.

The other reason people will pay for "premium" gear is that often MMORPGs have a player-vs-player (PVP) component to them. So in this case they can pay for better gear, which allows them to exert their superiority over the other players who didn't pay for the "premium" gear.
11th-Aug-2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Blizzard is a great example of a company that doesn't specifically monetize digital goods. They do it to keep the playing field level. I feel like companies in the US are still experimenting with how to monetize stuff like this (the avatar store, etc) and most people, like we see here are adverse paying for this.

Compare that to Korea. Digital goods in games there is much more social acceptable.
11th-Aug-2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
The whole idea of paying for avatar clothing just makes zero sense to me. They could charge a penny and I still wouldn't see the benefit. Personally, I'd like the option to not have an avatar at all.

11th-Aug-2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
Hells Yes. This kind of stuff drives me insane. It's horse armor all over again, but even worse.
11th-Aug-2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Seriously. At least the horse armor protected the horse.
11th-Aug-2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
I would never pay money for clothes. I just use the free stuff.

At least, I will until I start winning points on 1 vs 100...

Which will be like... never.

$5 for a light saber? Dude, does it come with... You know. Services?
11th-Aug-2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Hah. When I got the update a week+ ago I specially wondered if you would be buying it. Anyway, I railed against the machine right along with you until I saw Monkey Island clothing. In a sad defense, I payed way below par value for my MS points.

14th-Aug-2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
I'm totally with you. At least XBox has been regularly adding more free clothes/accessories for your avatar to wear. PS Home has been around for how long now? A year? And there are still only 6 free shirts to wear. SIX.
14th-Aug-2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Uh, the anonymous comment waiting to be screened is mine.
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