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Default General News - Voting with your Wallet

January 30th, 2013, 15:20
In an editorial on Rock, Paper, Shotgun the concept of 'voting with your wallet' is explored taking the recent demise of THQ and potenitally future demise of Gas Powered Games as carriers for the story talking about the downside of it.
It’s never easy to say goodbye.
Sometimes, though, acceptance comes quickly. All good things must come to an end, after all. But watching THQ go from slow tailspin into inescapable nosedive last week just left me with this wretched knot in my gut. It felt equal parts unreal and all wrong. I mean, here was this fixture of the gaming industry responsible – especially in recent years – for some games I legitimately fell in love with (oh Metro 2033, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and Saints Row: The Third, let me count the ways) crashing and burning. And I was powerless to do anything about it. So I just looked on from the sidelines as a vulture storm of other publishers lapped up the remains.
Here’s the thing, though: much as it tears me up to see super talented heads roll, the part that really bothered me concerned THQ as an organization. Because ultimately, it did a whole, whole, whole lot of things right. Or at least, its publishing choices were correct by our traditional, gamerly views of correctness. I mean, the Activisions of the world steer clear of risk and novelty with the cold, calculated expertise of a professional figure skater. An evil figure skater. But while THQ certainly wasn’t innocent of dipping its bucket into a well of stagnation (hi, Homefront), it certainly did its fair share of rolling the dice. Metro 2033 was a shot in the dark, Saints Row evolved into a gloriously unique rainbow cocaine explosion of pure madness, reviving Company of Heroes in a climate where RTSes are (depressingly) near-dead financially may have been madness, etc.
But it died. It died horribly, a fact that can mainly be chalked up to one awful business decision. Kid-friendly doodle peripheral uDraw failed miserably on Xbox 360 and PS3, and – for a company that needed a boost while the digital era forced everyone out of their comfort zones – it was the beginning of the end.
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January 30th, 2013, 15:20
Of course, this brings us to another core tenet of the “vote with your wallet” creed: frequently, it refers to withholding money – not spending it. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Etc. But once again, we hit a showstopping snag. Other, less informed customers will often buy whatever “it” is anyway, and bad/derivative/objectionable ideas will live to fight another day.
You could say the same for most of every other type of voting.

To me, such kind of voting is not purely about ideals of the "party" I vote for. Its about my ideals. Even if my personal influence might is infinitesimal, its important to have more than just an opinion. You got to act on it, or quit fucking complaining.
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January 30th, 2013, 18:27
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
You could say the same for most of every other type of voting.

To me, such kind of voting is not purely about ideals of the "party" I vote for. Its about my ideals. Even if my personal influence might is infinitesimal, its important to have more than just an opinion. You got to act on it, or quit fucking complaining.
Voting is deleguation. That is when you vote that you lose any right to complain. Not when you do not vote.
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January 30th, 2013, 18:58
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Voting is deleguation. That is when you vote that you lose any right to complain. Not when you do not vote.
That seems exactly backwards. If I have a strong preference for one side over the other, and I work to support the side I like, and I lose, I'm not allowed to complain, but if I have a strong preference for one side and do nothing about it then I am?

Complaining can also be legit if you don't vote, e.g. in cases where you are presented with a slate of candidates all of whom you hate equally.
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January 30th, 2013, 19:26
The world turns by the flow of money so I don't buy into the author's one-anecdote-after-the-next argument at all. People voting with their wallets makes big things change. At the same time, we don't have much individual influence.

But in a free market you might sell a shoddy product or service to an ignorant consumer in the short term. But no craptastic product or service surivies the long term when there is competition that does it better in a free market. I could fill the internet with examples. The author has this totally backward where the short term sale to an ignorant customer is the rule rather than the exception.

Also, when companies create great products or services it is no gaurantee of anything. The money can roll in and when you can't fix stupid, it could fail anyway. But businesses in a free market will alway fail in the long term when they put out crappy products or services. That's the very nature of the free market.

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January 30th, 2013, 19:48
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Voting is deleguation. That is when you vote that you lose any right to complain. Not when you do not vote.
Well thats your opinion, and you are free to act on it.

On a more serious note, you always have the right to complain. Whether it is reasonable to complain when you do not plan to do anything about it or actually even support what you complain about… well, that does not work for me, at least.

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Complaining can also be legit if you don't vote, e.g. in cases where you are presented with a slate of candidates all of whom you hate equally.
Then, you should try to find alternatives. Or build alternatives your self. I dont see voting as a necessity, acting is.

To some extend "complaining" can actually be acting, in terms of getting some attention for a problem. But if you complain and do nothing (or even the opposite) it shows a severe lack of integrity. And since we're talking about entertainment: self-control.
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January 30th, 2013, 20:41
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
Well thats your opinion, and you are free to act on it.
It is opinion and what? Telling than climbing on the roof and jumping down, free fall, is lethal is also opinion. So what?

Voting is deleguation.
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January 30th, 2013, 20:45
I agree with bost responses so far on this thread.

The off topic belief that not voting does not give you the right to complain doesn't take into account that it may not be a result of apathy but convenient ignores that it may be a protest, usually of the system in general or the lack of a choice. The communists routinely tell people not to vote. "I will note not vote" as a protest doesn't usually work as I've seen except in Brewster's Millions.

Back on topic voting with your wallet doesn't always work. I wouldn't buy Dragon Age but they keep making the dumb things. People keep buying Dungeon Lords because they are at Walmart and by the cover it looks like a game people might want.

This article really doesn't make much sense until he starts to talk about it in the sense of Kickstart.

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http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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January 30th, 2013, 20:47
Originally Posted by khaight View Post
That seems exactly backwards. If I have a strong preference for one side over the other, and I work to support the side I like, and I lose, I'm not allowed to complain, but if I have a strong preference for one side and do nothing about it then I am?
Wait a minute. It implies that voting changes the outcome anytime.

So here something else:

the side you support is elected even as you did not vote: complain about what in this case?

The side you support is not elected even as you did not vote: complain about what in this case?

The side you support is not elected even as you did vote: complain about what?

The side you support is elected even as you did vote: complain about what?

It is when you do not vote you have a right to complain. Not when you vote.
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January 30th, 2013, 22:40
I generally like RPS, but about once a week someone on there feels the need to blather about something (usually violence in video games) for three or four pages without saying much of anything.

How is there a downside to people not choosing to spend money on a game? It's a Capitalist system. If businesses that can't sell their product didn't go under, where would they get their funding, from government? And why on earth shouldn't they go under if they can't sell games?

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January 30th, 2013, 22:49
Let's see… I bought Dragon Age II, played it and was disappointed. That's when you complain, when a product doesn't live up to your expectations. By then, it's too late to vote with your wallet, because you have already bought the product.

Me buying Dragon Age II, on the strengths of the first game, is a wallet vote for the game. I can complain all I want, but there is no way to undo the vote.

Of course you don't need permission to complain. Anybody can complain. But you are in the best position to do so, when you find yourself having cast the wrong vote.
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January 30th, 2013, 22:50
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
If businesses that can't sell their product didn't go under, where would they get their funding, from government?
Yes, obviously. See GM, Chrysler and the vast majority of the US banking system for recent examples. Or you could take the 38 Studios route: take the funding from the government and *then* go out of business.

Originally Posted by screeg View Post
And why on earth shouldn't they go under if they can't sell games?
Because we're now living under a corporate fascist economy instead of a capitalist one, and businesses with enough political connections are "too big to fail"?
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January 30th, 2013, 22:58
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
The side you support is elected even as you did not vote: complain about what in this case?
I'm not sure what you mean by "support" here. Does it imply action or a mere preference? The two aren't the same. I might, for example, prefer one candidate over another in an election where I'm not legally entitled to vote (say it's in another state). Or I might live in Europe and have a preference for one US presidential candidate over another. Etc.

Strictly speaking you *always* have a "right" to complain. That's a straightforward implication of the principle of freedom of speech. Your complaints may or may not be credible, of course.

I think complaints become more credible when the complainer acted to try to bring about their preferred result and failed. If the complainer did not act to try to bring about his preferred result when he could have then he faces the obvious question "If you care so much about the outcome why didn't you try to affect it?"
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January 31st, 2013, 00:23
we're off-topic this thread a little much methinks.

I've started a new thread on voting and not voting here

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…post1061182137

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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January 31st, 2013, 11:53
One could "vote with the wallet" into the other direction, too :

Buy Indie products, or those from small developers you like very much (and don't want them to drown).

Or, in other words : Not going to Walmarkt, but instead to the small grocery store in your area. The prices might be higher, but at least you'll know that you'd support diversity

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January 31st, 2013, 12:28
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Voting is deleguation.
So what?

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
One could "vote with the wallet" into the other direction, too :

Buy Indie products, or those from small developers you like very much (and don't want them to drown).
Very good point. Not buying bad products is only one part of that idea. Supporting concepts that you like is important, too.
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