Last time we were a bit late, so let’s be few posts early with this one. To those who are new, Different take on Customers flips the pro-consumer stance I usually have and discuss the other side of the coin. This time, I’m calling all consumers dumb idiots. Yes, even you. Especially when you’re walking around with your smartphone and ruining national treasures.
The recent news about Dutch officials wanting to sue Niantic and Pokémon Company for the ruination of their windswept beaches. This is retarded for three different reasons, the first being that neither aforementioned companies are not responsible of what people do when they’re outside hunting Pokémon. They should sue the people for behaving in a destructive manner because those people are responsible of their actions. You don’t sue an ice cream company because somebody stole ice cream from a vendor a gun manufacturer if somebody shoots a guy. Somewhat weak comparisons for sure, but gets the point across.
The second reason is that Dutch officials themselves are responsible for shitting things up on the beaches. Few months ago Kijkduin got a Pikachu pole, revealed by none other than Rachid Guernaoi of D66 party. Hell, according to a news report, the officials at Kijkduin marketed the place as the official Pokémon Go of the Netherlands. The idea was to boost the local economy, as the beaches seemed to get a lot of rare Pokémon for whatever reason. The officials essentially wanted to take advantage of the situation. It seemed to do the trick, attracting lots of people who would buy fries and soda while trying to catch whatever monsters they could muster. Hell, even the local police Tweeted about the pole.
The promotion worked like charm, and the beaches were swarmed with Pokémon Go players, which boosted the economy, but also began to destroy the sands because customers are idiots who don’t think what they’re doing as long as it’s self-serving. Both the players and Dutch officials are idiots who didn’t stop thinking twice what the hell they were doing. Kijkduin’s officials should’ve stopped twice to think what they were getting into. That is the third reason, shifting the blame. Dutch officials took no efforts to protect the beaches or put up any sort of supervision to control that the players would not screw the place up. Because the realisation came too late, they opted to sue the companies. I highly doubt their case would’ve stood in the court, seeing Kijkduin and Dutch officials themselves promoted the place to an extreme extend. The whole deal is ridiculous bullshit. Carry your own responsibility, Kijkduin.
It doesn’t help that few other places have requested to remove Pokémon spawning from their area. The Pokémon themselves are not the problem, it’s the people playing the game. They are a good case study of consumers who have no self-control and simply run anywhere to get what they want. This can be compared to women trying to shop clothes at a flash sale during Black Friday or when somebody shoots another for their brand new game console. People with certain cars and mindset may have a tendency to speed far past the allowed limit, while someone with a knife may start slashing somebody.
Companies produce goods that make all things possible. As long as an item is used in its intended and recommended way and the consumer is conscious that he is not harming himself or others, everything should be good. That’s the assumption. In reality, either because of ignorance, stupidity or intention almost every piece of equipment is misused to some extent, causing possibly dangerous situations. A beer bottle was never intended to be used as an anal toy, but that’s a fetish you can find videos of. Companies need to consider these things in a serious manner and build their products so that even when misused they could still be safe. So yes, a company producing bottle would need to make their bottles sturdy enough with as little sharp edges as possible in order not to cause any sort of cuts from their product, because people will misuse the bottle, especially if it’s shaped in a certain way.
It doesn’t help that people are ignorant of the products they use, unwilling to educate themselves to use them and gain knowhow. Understandable, not everyone can invest enough time to understand what’s the difference between file and a program, but for the love of God it would do some good.
Let’s be fair, people aren’t dumb. We just don’t think at times, and when we do, we usually think beside the point or make the wrong call. The consumers of game industry are no different, and we can’t blame the industry for their consumers’ actions. Unless they are actively promoting and telling people do damaging actions, the onus is always on the consumer or those on the general consuming end. The deal with Kijkduin and Pokémon Go frustrates me because there are nobody gaining any benefit from the current situation. Kijkduin will see less visitors now while their beaches are already fucked up, Niantic had to remove the spawns from there and the players lost a great spot where to catch some rarities. All because the Dutch officials rode the wave but didn’t think things through at all. Customers never do.
I produced a knife at one time for a customer. Not a fancy one by any degree, one of my early ones with a very simple design. The blade wasn’t too good either, but it did its job and cut well enough. I had to spend more hours on producing a leaflet on knife care, which I have to renew now and then. On top of that, I had to explain the customer how to take care of the knife, oiling it at least every month and so on. Few months later, I heard back from the customer, asking me why I had made the knife so sharp. Her son had cut himself open accidentally while he was using it as a screwdriver and she blamed it on the knife.
Providers can’t change the fact that their products will be misused or could be used as a justification for bad behaviour. It’s something we all need to live with and take precautions as needed.