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Hype- Good, Bad or Bleh?

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Anyone who's been playing games for a while knows that sometimes, there's a new game that's gonna come out and even before it's in the Alpha stage, the game is getting so much coverage, it's virtually impossible to ignore the impact of the game. It might be years away from completion but there's still people looking out for it every passing day.

I remember when they announced Duke Nukem Forever back in the late 90s, and so many people would vouch for it, it was ridiculous. Now, a decade later, people are much more lukewarm about the game to say the least simply because the hype hasn't really lived up to the facts.

My question then is to people, is Hype something to really focus on, or should people wait until everything is complete. For another example, I remember Starcraft Ghost is going to be so good and they even let people play some of it at the Blizzcon years ago but now it's scrapped. Obviously all the hype didn't help that game because it's done. What about Starcraft 2? It's basically impossible to ignore that game and people are swearing that it's going to be so good and the best game ever made simply because the first Starcraft was and is, monumental in so many ways.

For Starcraft, we've seen how good the game is. There are progamers who live off playing it and battle.net is still filled with thousands of hungry players playing games. Can Starcraft actually match this? The bar for that game, can it even be attained? I mean, it's so high, it's probably impossible to really get it. Starcraft has been successful for a decade. How many games have been able to do that? Can you imagine playing Starcraft 2 until 2020? Really?

For the near future, most eyes are glowing with glee over Fallout 3. This is just another example where the Hype, might not be able to be justified. The bar once again, is set very high. If Fallout 3 can meet those expectations, don't be surprised if it's declared Game of the Year immediately. But if it can't, what does it mean? Does it mean it's a failure? Does it mean that the hype was worthless or misguided?

Let's say that Fallout 3 turns out to be a pretty good game. Not an unbelievable game that everyone should play and have hordes of fans swearing by it, but just a pretty good game. How will that affect the sales the reception it gets a week after it releases? Will the sales go down a lot or will the initial hype have it sell so many copies in the first few weeks, even if it's not a blockbuster game, it will have blockbuster sales? What if it's a downright poor game? Will the game sell more copies than it deserves or will the negatives reviews stymie their chance of making Bethesda more money?

To be honest, I'm not sure how hype affects the perception of the game and the sale of the said game. I think it would be rather naive and basically impossible to pretend that hype doesn't affect people's decisions on buying a game or liking the game more or less. If we set the bar too high, we can unjustly and unfairly give a game a worse reputation than it deserves because we are comparing it to the hype. Conversely, a game with no hype can be declared a hidden gem but if it was under the Final Fantasy name or something huge in the gaming industry, it might have only been average.

I'd like to take a more balanced approach. Yes, I am looking forward to Fallout 3 but I'm going to play it first and see how it is. If it's fun, I'm gonna play it a lot. If it's not, I won't play it. Hype in the end is only hype and it's hard to know whether or not it's a good thing. Hopefully, people can see that and just enjoy a game for what it is, not what it was supposed to be or not.

What the bailout means to you and gaming.

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For some people in the world, the passing of one of the greatest bailouts in American history is a startling revelation. It is a sign that the economy is not as strong as some had touted only months prior and many economists are now saying that the Americans, and possibly other parts of the world will begin to suffer a recession that may be even comparable to the depression of the 1930s. So what does this have to do with gaming and you? I mean, it's just some bad mortgages and stocks going down the tubes right? I personally don't have a mortgage and I don't have any stocks so I'm pretty much immune right? Think again.

Now, I am not an economist but I understand the basics of it and hope to shed some possible light and some predictions of the coming months and years to the gaming industry.

Currently, with the passage of the bill, the American people now will have to foot the bill of another $850 Billion dollars. Now the Government can not tax the people for it because there would be revolt in the streets. Their argument is, without the insertion of credit and bailing out these large corporations, that the American economy would collapse. I believe they are dead wrong and remember, they were the same people that said that the economy was in fine shape just months and years prior. Sort of like letting the inmates run the asylum. They cause the problems and they come up with the "solution." Now, I totally agree that if the government does nothing, there will be lots of problems. Banks will close, jobs will be lost and the standard of living will plummet but propping up by debts will only prolong the pain. If we do nothing, it will be very painful, but we have to let the bad debts liquidate and the idiot investors, punished for their speculations. We will than have a recession but now with the passing, it will be far worse later. We might feel better for a couple weeks, but you'll see when the market falls again.

We are supposedly living in a capitalist society. If so, why is the government nationalizing many of the companies? Why are they stepping in and trying to save those who made bad choices? That is not capitalism, that is socialism.

No matter what they do, a recession is going to come. All the government can do is prolong the inevitable and cause the healing to take much longer. There should have been a recession with the dot com bubble burst in the late 90s, but they artificially inserted credit and printed money to stave it off. Then, after 2001, there should have been another, but they decreased the interest rates again and put more liquidity into the market. This continued and encouraged people to make bad investments and spend much more than they had.

So what does this all mean now, that's it done?

People are going to have a much lower standard of living. The first things that are gonna get hit are the big luxuries. Car sales are way down and there are over two million homes that are empty right now in the United States. People will buy far less cars, houses, plasma TVs and computers.

The next thing to get hit, is the secondary necessities. What I mean by that, are the necessities of life to live comfortable such as gas for your car, eating out, and bottled water. Anything that can be substituted with more of your work instead of paying someone else is going to start occurring more and more often and not because people want to, but because they have no choice.

Along with these, going out to the movies, enjoying a night at the comedy club or buying a video game will also fall off many people's radars simply because they are so extravagances they can not afford. A video game only costs 60 dollars right now, but wait until the government prints a couple more trillion dollars and you will understand what inflation is going to really feel like. I think people prioritize eating over gaming. At least I think.

My predictions for the gaming industry are not good. All of their stock is going to fall dramatically. There will be job losses and many of the developers and publishers will be far less likely to take on risky projects and long projects but they will need a return on their investment sooner. Consumers will not be able to buy as many of their games and so they will have to make sure that the games they put out, are going to appeal to the fewer people that can still afford them. If they continue to pump out horrible games, (Wii library anyone) consumers will simply turn away. Remember, it is a luxury.

Are MMOs, going to be able to charge people 15-20 dollars a month? Yah, they can, but fewer people will be paying for it. Are consoles going to be 500 dollars and video cards 600 dollars? Yah, they can, but once again, who will pay for it when the standard of living is going to drop so dramatically in the coming months? And just try to remember, that with in the increase of the money supply, those actually prices will skyrocket to market value. Ask people in the Philippines if most people even think about buying a Playstation 3 or the next Nvidia card. Not likely.

The culture of the time is to get stuff and to be entertained. There's nothing wrong with that, but you have to work for it. Capital has been and always will be produced through savings and production. Currently, the United States is the largest creditor nation and the trade deficits are so large, that other countries realize they will never get paid back. The Americans have been borrowing to consume for too much and for far too long. Now the massive Recession/Depression will come and there's nothing you can do about it. The gaming industry is gonna get hit hard but the truly innovative will survive and those games that do come out, will be much better quality than times past.

Though the future is uncertain, it is certainly grim.