A while ago there were bunch of news reports on SONY raising the price of the PlayStation 4 in Canada by fifty dollars. As a person who hadn’t given any thought about the difference in currency in North America too much, even thou I’ve taken advantages of that as an imported, this time it zinged me pretty harshly.
Some people across North America have taken this as an issue. Yet, raised prices isn’t anything in new in Canada as stated in the linked new article. I find it strange that this has seen rather large scale news coverage and people have been getting up to arms against it.
Which is stupid. Well, from both SONY and from the people complaining.
Contrast this to Europe. A Ps4 in US is $400, and for Europe the recommended price was… 400€. Anyone who knows the difference in value between US dollar and Euro should be rising their eyebrows here. If the difference in market and weaker Canadian Dollar is the reason why PS4’s price was raised, why isn’t the price raised in the US for the same reason? 400 USD, at the moment, translates into 289.984€. 400€ converts into $551,755. That fifty dollar raise in Canadian market? Nah, that’s nothing. A hundred euro/dollar difference between continents? Now that’s complete and utter bullshit and that can’t be blamed on market differences or in the value of currency.
So OK, the EMU area has seen some serious problems in these recent years thanks to certain nations lying their ass outs in their economics reports and want to pull other countries with them down into the ditch they themselves made. I’m looking at you Spain and Greece. Still, Euro as a currency has managed to stay ahead USD in value and has more buying power than USD. At one point it was the US that demanded the price of oil per barrel to stay as USD rather than Euro, which means that Europeans can buy oil cheaper from US and sell it more expensive to them. Dunno what’s the logic there outside the apparent It has always been like this. I’m not all that well educated on the intricacies of oil economics, so if you are, do tell me why oil is still mainly traded is USD rather than EUR world wide.
But this leads to the proper subject here, which is the Internet. Internet is world wide thing, it is not bound to one nation in terms of people who are able to access your content, unless there’s special restrictions. By definition, the World Wide Web is world wide. There should be no artificial restrictions on who sees the material you put out on the web. On the other hand, there’s a lot of good news sources that practically dismiss the rest of the world completely. By this I mean that places like IGN and so forth concentrate most of their material on US related news rather than taking account,well everything that happens within the field of the hobby around the globe. Then you have bunch of French sites having important interviews only in French, even the interview itself was most likely conducted in English. Then you have all these bullshit Game of the Year events, which may have games that were released in the States in current year, but was released somewhere earlier or will be released somewhere else later. This sort of America centric approach to things is bullshit over and over.
While that’s mainly complaining about video game journalism, which doesn’t deserve to be called journalism and has gone from trash to less worth than garbage, even Wikipedia articles reflect this to some extent. Often I go to check some small information there, and the only things that are listed are US related matters, unless the matter itself is specified to certain regions. Then I have to spend hour or so just to find that tidbit on some obscure and less than reliable site. Sometimes I just know going to library or resorting to my old books is the faster way to find the information.
While it may sound that I’m bitching about this, the point really is that Internet has no nations or boundaries. The content needs to reflect this. You also need to be prepared to take in replies and material from outside your own country boundaries. It takes effort and resources to put up a valid international news network, and it’s no wonder majority of electronic gaming journalist are shunned by real journalists, even by those who work on the shittiest of gossip papers. Somebody called me a journalist once, and that was one of the better laughs I’ve had.
It would be nice to see worldwide comparisons and similar issues raised to further compare and contrast the issue at hand. I can’t fault for local news agencies doing news about local issues to local people. That’s all fine and dandy, I’m not going after these people for something that’s good. When an international issue is raised on sites that are seemingly international and then stare their own bellybuttons, that’s when things are just wrong. And yes, IGN and similar sites don’t really advertise themselves as being international to begin with, but there’s some extra rub right there. The thing is, sites like that are essentially world wide and invite people around the world, but when you get down to it, they’re just regional bullshit in the end.
From a service design perspective, it is a daunting task to create a service to cater world wide crowd. However, the idea is simple; do what seems to be bind people together across cultures. Electronic gaming seems to be one of these things, even if it is in rather limited fashion. International sites take a lot of effort and resources, so of course there’s only a handful of people willing to give it a go. Why should they, when they can just write what the publishers want and advertise Mountain Dew while they’re at it? Oh yeah, that journalistic integrity and all…
Not to toot my own horn, but there has been times when I’ve been asked why I keep this blog in English when the matter pops up. My argument is that the people who I write are not bound by any nation, and anyone who wishes to read my texts should be able to do so, as long as they don’t mind non-native English with all the intricacies it brings with it. This idea seems to have worked, as I have reasonably international crowd; the only places I haven’t had any readers from include handful of African and Asian countries. And I thank all of you. Bleh, that was too soft even for me…