Give the consumer some credit!

It seems Nintendo are looking to re-brand the 3DS.

Many assume this means the 3D functionality is being taken away – not that I am in a position to argue that as a bad thing, since I do not use the 3D function on my 3DS (I can’t see most of the very badly done 3D anyway). But the real reason – according to the media – is thatNintendo feel the 3DS is confusing with the DSi still on sale.

It’s worse that in the past month or so, Nintendo have done a “This is not DS, this is Nintendo 3DS!” advertising, forgetting the issue is the 3D gimmick cannot be shown in advertising. But it is this idea of the average consumer not being able to tell the difference that really irks me.

If you are a Daily Mail reader, may I humbly suggest you now drag your cursor up to the back button and not return, because this isn’t going to be pretty.

The problem is we give a larger voice to the minorities in the world today – this is partly because we all have a complex over past misdemeanors and prefer not to trample over the toes of already dwindling cultures and beliefs. This is perfectly valid, and I understand it.

The thing is, we’ve failed at deducing the right point where we cut this line off, and it’s brought us all to this point (being from the UK, please fill in your regional alternatives as and where appropriate) where we see an image of a woman gleefully gurning on the front page of a paper proudly declaring that she’s squirted out six kids and hasn’t had to work a single day in ten years. We see an image of a man who blew his hand off trying to get a faulty firework to go off. We see racially-motivated stories of a black person still fighting for reparations for our involvement in the slave trade.

The thing is, the woman is the minority – she’s part of a small number of people who abuse the benefits system. But we assume, because of the leading headline of this story, that this is more commonplace than it actually is, and therefore EVERYONE on benefits is cheating. We assume the man who blew his hand off is one of many – and yet, he is a minority of very silly people. I have some sympathy for his predicament, but seriously – you were holding and shaking a faulty firework that hadn’t gone off when you lit it? I’m sorry, am I the only person who thinks, “What a pillock!”?And the guy demanding reparations for the slave trade still – why? The majority believe that good has come from it – and who do the reparations go to anyway now? I’m really confused how that works.

We as gamers hear stories from time to time of people who go into a store and are sold the wrong game, or console, for their Christmas present. First, that’s why you retain the receipt, and two – this is so rare now that I prefer to believe that any confusion now is down to the shops playing dirty, not the consumer being clueless.

If a mother is trying to buy “the new DS” for her kids, I can assume that she’s seen the ads, or can flick through a catalogue or even, you know, ask her kids to explain which one it is she buys. Here’s a clue kids – Santa doesn’t always know the difference, make sure Mummy knows which one you want!

Stores, too, should be able to assume that when someone comes in and says “I want the new DS!” they are talking about the 3DS. That’s assuming the person can’t tell themselves – or pick up a box and read the back blurb. You know, any one of dozens of actual ways to tell the difference without actually buying the wrong thing in the first place?

As Gamers, we’re guilty of being incredibly patronising to the Casual market and non-gamer. This is of course why the Wii has sold close to 100 Million units and the 360/PS3 the 50/55 million units. Nintendo opened up to a wider market. The genius of this was that it exposed this very troubling “gamer” attitude that is cynical, sarcastic and bitter towards anyone who doesn’t play games they like, or play games the way they do. And now it is that exposed, rotten core that once again is making it seem like “Rebrand! It’s confusing and relates to a failure! Wii U will fail like the Wii with that name!”

Thing is, Wii didn’t fail. 100 Million units and over a billion in hardware profits alone suggests that the Wii certainly didn’t “fail” (another overused Gamer term now). It just didn’t pander to the rotten core of gamers who are bitter, twisted and overly cynical. This of course makes them mad, because this means that the world doesn’t revolve around them, which means that it’s an automatic “fail”.

And it’s deeper than that. Gamers of old are now employed in the industry, spouting the same nonsense but in positions of greater relevancy and power. And this means that the small minority of gamers who clearly wouldn’t be happy if Lara Croft herself crawled out of the screen to give them the happiest private party of all with her pouty lips are getting more and more of the power to change things back.

Thing is, I don’t want them to change back. Regardless of what people think, I like the industry as it is right now. I like the fact that we have such a wide array of games, such a wide market, such a wide choice of machine. There is something for everyone, and it’s moved on from something sweaty teenage boys do in their rooms from 8pm of an evening to something we can all do and enjoy.

And that’s just it – it’s something everyone DOES enjoy. And because everyone has a reasonable idea and view of gaming and the gaming market now, the chances for mistaking Modern Warfare 2 for Modern Warfare 3 are all but gone – the only people who will do this are the minority, who will bitterly complain but it cannot hide the fact that 3 is a greater number than 2, so the clue was there that 3 was the latest edition.

Equally, I doubt people will confuse the Wii U with an actual Wii. I doubt people will confuse the PSP for the PSV, and I certainly doubt people are buying a DSi confusing it for a 3DS.

The point I am making here is – people are not as stupid as we are led to believe. We live in a media bubble that lives for TOWIE and Jersey Shore, proclaiming this is real and normal – when it couldn’t be further from reality if you shoved in an alien abduction. We live in a media bubble that proclaims TV Soaps reflect real life – and yet, again, you could have Mr Blobby move into Coronation Street and it wouldn’t really affect how fantastical it really is.

We live in a media bubble that loves to mock us – the little person – and so we all snigger along and pretend we’re part of this “elite”, looking down on the majority of people and sarcastically joking about them.

Problem is, the majority of people now believe they are in that “elite”, and it’s those of us looking up at you who are pissing ourselves laughing at how pathetic your snide comments are, how laughably skewed your perception of reality is and how you can justify your awful behaviour abusing people who clearly only need help or advice, like the nasty anonymous trolls you are mocking an 18 year old girl on a reality TV show for being fat, when she is a size 12. Does it make you feel bigger? More powerful? Or is it, as it looks from this side, a pathetic anonymous abuse of power that instead of the media whipping up, should be quashing it and exposing it for what it is – bullying, plain and simple.

The reality is this – people have bought into this fallacy that they are better than anyone else, and therefore your rights come first over any other persons rights, even if they have to sacrifice theirs.

It’s a sad, sad attitude to have… and I almost pity it… Almost. But not quite.

Instead, we need to look beyond the hype, beyond the media bubble, beyond the typical perceptions and trolling the internet has become accustomed to and reach for the greater truth. That anonymity simply makes people say and do stupid things, and repeat them, ad nauseum, over and over, in the vain hope that eventually, said enough times, it can be true. Even though it never will be.

I don’t expect anyone to believe me here. Of course not. I am but one small voice on an internet filled with millions of voices. I am opinionated, but that doesn’t mean I am a cynic. I believe in the human race, the human condition, and the great journey of life – that we continue to learn, every day, until the day we die, even when it seems we haven’t.

I simply hope that people remain open-minded and ask themselves why they don’t see more cases of people buying the wrong machine if it is such a prevalent problem?

Because I doubt it is. The rebranding of the 3DS may simply be because – as I knew a while ago – the 3D is awful. The 3D effect has been so poorly used on the 3DS that I, for one, am rather surprised the machine hasn’t been recalled. The rebranding may simply be because they are taking the 3D away – therefore, it isn’t a 3DS, is it? Why sell it as a 3D system when the 3D has been so poorly implemented so many times? It doesn’t add anything – true, it doesn’t detract, but it certainly isn’t adding anything.

But of course, you can trust the media, and gamers on the internet, to find some way to make it about the stupidity of the common man.

Even when it simply exposes their own.

C’est la vie.

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One Response to “Give the consumer some credit!”

  1. Marinda Torgerson says:

    Hi dude! I quite agree with your thoughts.

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