Different take on customers; The Outrage must subdue

Every hundred posts we take a different stance on customers and industry. Except something different from the usual.

Call it Cancel Culture, Outrage crowd or whatever you want, what gives the everyday street walker, an anonymous in a crowd, any right to call someone’s work to be cut, his job to be terminated, his daily tasks ended, simply because you don’t like what he thinks? Actions to remove someone from a their work or aiming to cut their method livelihood shows that there is no more room for discussion from whomever wishes to ‘cancel’ a person, they’ve lost whatever debate or matter there might’ve been at hand. At what point do you as a consumer, a customer or as a random person consider for a moment that going after someone over words or whatever he thinks, realise that you’ve become a monster? Men call others monsters, but never realise they’ve become such instead. This isn’t the abyss looking back or the like. This is just people turning bad in zealous drives. Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I hated writing that, but the outrage isn’t just like this. It seems to seep into the layers of global culture and stain it. Even steel will soak oils and grease into its being, and when worked on, it will be porous. No weld will have proper penetration. Only thing you can really do is heat it up and burn all the staining oils for a purer metal. Culture  is like an ever-shaping metal with new bits and bops added in, tempered again and again, heated to remove unwanted elements only to be added in again as we find something lacking. The ones doing the tempering and smithing are the people. Just as people who don’t know how to mix the ingredients in proper ratios will ruin the metal, so are there people who don’t realise how much they’re degrading the works around them.

Imagine having a small, vocal minority bemoaning something because of their believes or find offensive to someone, it doesn’t need to be them, and manage to either censor someone or get items from the stores’ shelves. I’m rather certain most of you can pick up some event that fits the description, for better or worse. All I can say to this is Stop it. We have come to a point in societies that people have become blind to issues at hand, and some have become fanatical about them. Climate change, while an issue for certain, has become such a matter to some that it depresses them. While not exactly a laughing matter, it shows how every day life has become boring and without challenges. Then again, what do you expect when people want governments to ruin themselves and their economies with Basic income? That there are people who’d devalue money and work itself by getting free living in exchange by simply existing within a nation. What’s Basic income? In short, a mode where the government gives some sum of money for people to live on for nothing. Finland tested this, and it failed. It was supposed to promote the people to find work that’d pay better and make their lives better during that time, but turned out it didn’t. 600€ is not a lot of money. For basically nothing, it is. That’s about the same sum students get for studying. There are of course other issues. The 30% tax hike for everyone would be rather massive, and devaluing money and work on the side would be rather hard effect on economy as a whole.

You can’t be serious, with technological advancements old work will be replaced with automation. With those advancements there will be new venues of work. Journalists used to laugh at coal miners and told them to learn to code, mining was a thing of the past. Now these same journalists have been kicked out  either because the Internet has made their physical paper obsolete or because their news sites spouted one-sided opinion pieces with no basis. Their time to learn to code. With each machine that replaces a miner, there is a need for a worker to supervise the machine, someone to maintain the machine, someone to paint the machine, someone to build the machine, someone to design the machine, someone test that machine, someone to teach how to use the machine and so on. There will always be new venues of work, but respect for the old ones should not be lost. Instead they should be celebrated and held high, especially those that require lifelong dedication to properly learn. Sadly, not even craftsmen or painters get the respect for their work they deserve. We have to take responsibility on our actions, and in case of people who’d rather sit on their asses home doing jack shit nothing, inaction.

I’ve previously discussed how every field of work should be respected on their own rights, especially unseen work that most of our daily lives are build on. Almost literally when it concerns builders and people who create the materials we rely our daily lives on. Those windows that keep the elements out didn’t just come from nothing, someone had to make them. You don’t really think about it or ever crossed your mind. The latest thing someone said on the Internet made you mad.

All this are flakes throw into the metal of culture and it is making it weaker and brittle. Catering to small groups to score social points has run books, shows, movies and games down to the toilet. To use Star Wars as an example, the original movie was about Vietnam War, but most people never noticed it. It is because the movie was its own work first and foremost, and whatever its message was laid underneath the front layer. This is pretty much opposite to Disney Star Wars that put the message first and is very clear about it, especially when then staff when on and put shirt saying The Force is Female, which is just utter goddamn bullshit. Why this? Because their clique, because there are numerous people who put the messages and what they say over the product itself. The Good Word has to be preached, it must be made known, at the price of the products itself, in this case Star Wars as a franchise, and at the expense of the customers’ wallet.

Disney has no faith in their product at this point. Rumors are saying Disney and JJ have been leaking different drafts of the movie and its endings to estimate which cut and ending would be the best. We’ve come to a point where the movies just has to be successful enough no matter what. Isn’t this what you want though? Far from it. Disney Star Wars has no heart or soul. Its dead, Jim. Congratulation outrage crowd, your politics killed one of the major franchises out there. The Hollywood clique lives in a bubble, and that bubble only listens to small crowd. Disney and JJ are only now getting how badly they screwed Star Wars up, with each new movie making less and less money, with Solo movie faring the worst thus far. Star Wars movies used to be driven by Lucas, and all story ideas in the Expanded Universe more or less needed his approval. Not so with Disney, where nobody has any idea what’s happening and when. They have free range. While this might work with some franchises, Star Wars ultimately was the soul child of George Lucas, and really everything that has come after Disney’s purchase should be treated as bad fanfiction. Even if the rumours of Lucas being part of the newest movie’s production were true, it really is just a PR stunt. The franchise is dead in the water, kids aren’t interested in it when its direct competitor, the Marvel movies, has taken its place. For better or worse.

This isn’t just Star Wars though. It seems like we’ve abandoned creating anything new. All the old shit sells the most and no creator seems to be pushing for something new in of itself. Easy outrage, easy products, convenience over all. Nobody is wanting to push the envelope, but then again, why even try when Marvel movies get shit done by recycling decade old ideas? We could vote with our wallets and go our ways to encourage new things over everything old, but we are people of habit. Which is also why you see politics being pushed into these long-standing franchises. We’ve come to a point where political ideologies and approaches have to be installed into every franchise and media about to ensure correct way of thinking and censoring what is not appropriate. People can’t leave others to their own devices and enjoy their thing. No, they have to enjoy the right thing.

We all need to calm down and begin to behave ourselves. Doing things by the book, if nothing else. Civil discourse seems to have become a lost art, and the more we move away from harmless words to harmful actions, we’re going to make the steel of society brittler with each hammer blow. I dare say we were making nice headway to open society that could accept things not preferred, but instead we’ve taken U-turn to fucking it all up.

Consumers letting to make best of themselves

Electronics is one of the better places to look for when trying to find consumer actions that are based solely on PR and brand loyalty. This is a topic I’ve talked few times around before, but with our 900th post, it’s time to take a different take on the consumer.

Anything has its hardcore fans that are willing to sit tight and spend money on the brand whatever it is. Be it emotional connection, great PR, lifelong ties to, whatever. The most important bit is that the consumer is hooked in and stays hooked. Apple is great in this. Their products themselves are not the best quality, don’t have the best designs and overall wouldn’t fare all that well in direct comparisons on the same level with other manufacturers. Apple’s marketing has managed to turn their PR and ad campaigns into a great social engineering project, where sale an alternative lifestyle rather than product itself. Apple’s marketing slogan between 1997 and 2002 Think different embodies this to a tee as an alternative style. You can argue however you want on the pros and cons of Apple’s PCs and phones, but when you start comparing Apple’s products to e.g. Microsoft’s, the way they sell the lifestyle to the consumer leaves no question which one has consumers worshiping them.

Just like in any field of life, no consumer is an expert in all. While some people may know ins and outs of cars and how to pick up the best value car, the same consumers probably wouldn’t know the best value clothes. Value in itself is a great marketing motif that any and all companies utilise. I’m sure you’ve seen Best Value being slapped around somewhere, but never found out how the value is counted. Consumers know that the advertisement is false to a degree, but accept that it most likely means more bang for the buck. At least it should. In case of most low-tier products, it can mean higher quantity of goods over quality, meaning the 700g chicken sauce you bought that cost as much as the 400g one tastes terrible and has been diluted with water.

As such, each and every corporation knows what sort of consumer they have and how to strike true with them. If you consider yourself immune to marketing, consider how you get your news and what your political views are. Politics and moral stances have always been one of the best ways to sell your stuff to someone, especially when it comes to information sources. We naturally hover towards information sites that either deliver news we care most about, or just give the best kind of news we want to hear. Even this blog is fault in this, seeing I tend to use sites like Nichegamer as sources. However, I do try to find the originator, if possible, in order to combat this personal bias. It is easy and even natural to lose yourself in this bubble and consider people outside as some sort of dumb opposition. This sort of Them mentality is rather often snidely encouraged for the sake of trying to tie the consumer further to the source.

Am I slowly painting a picture of consumer being gullible bastards? Yes, everyone in their own unique ways. It’s a science how to affect any demographic in the most favourable way and marketing has been taken to the next degree to the point of consumers nowadays not even realising when they are being advertised at. While legislation often limits how we are advertised at, the fact that your favourite character drinks Coca-Cola does affect you at some level. Repeat that a number of times and your association with the brand will become softer.

Internet ads are one thing. Another is are the companies’ own PR sections and dedicated corporations that specialise in long-term advertisement and social consumer engineering. One or two members of these groups can simply begin to use an image board, a discussion server or the like and begin to argue for the product they advertise for. This sort of invasive and subverting strategy works much better than direct ads partly because it is unexpected and partly because discussions tend to be trusted more. With direct marketing you know what to trust and what to expect. On a forum, you’re on a far less sure ground who is there to discuss and who is to sell you stuff. This should be expected on forums and sites ran and maintained by companies themselves. After all, you’re there mostly to be promoted at, as far as the staff is concerned.

Then again, we leak so much information of ourselves in daily Internet use, that corporations have no trouble deciding what to advertise to us. Consumer behaviour has become extremely easy to gather and predict.

It’s not all that hard to keep the consumer hooked to you, once you’ve got them in. You just don’t need to make any stupid decisions that would damage the image of the product overall, and you’re golden. The recent brouhaha about Battlefield V is a good example how a company can try to change the product in a way that should in theory appeal to another audience through changes that made the base audience unhappy. Don’t go around saying that if your customers don’t like it, they shouldn’t buy it, Unsurprisingly, wallet voting has worked and now the game’s been delayed in order to add more authenticity to it.

The most important thing after you’ve hooked the customer is to keep feeding their more goods to spend on. The whole thing DLC really is to keep raking in the profits after the initial launch of the game, or just give the core title free and milk the money out from everything else. After all, the consumer will pay for what they value, even if in reality the value is not there.

For the customer, it is a bliss and blessing to be able to buy something they crave for. For the seller it is nothing short of normal and standard business, and they can always cook up more stuff for you to buy and them to market you at in equally many ways and forms.

Consumers, after all, are easily lead. All of us.

Different take on Customer: few centimeters of millimeter thickness

Every hundred posts on this blog I turn things around and take a good look at the customers and take the providers’ point of view. Y’know, for a change. There 809 posts on this blog currently, including this one,  so I’m slightly over the mark point. Nothing unusual, I sort of stopped following how many posts I have after the second hundred was fulfilled. Kinda laughable.

In recent weeks I’ve been wondering how little people care about others’ work. Without a doubt we care about the work our friends and close ones do, and tend to go our way out to agree that certain jobs are just undervalued and these workers get criminally low wages. Nothing new under the sun, we’re a selfish lot.

I’ve come across this more than once, especially from people who consider their job to be of utmost importance. The people at high places, if you will. Some who consider their work to be culturally significant to the point that society could not function, or that their contribution to how healthcare should be run (rather than working in healthcare itself) makes them somehow above some rotting welder.

Welder, who in the end, is responsible for your every day safety in cars, elevators, staircases and even to you home piping and certain structures. Or the cleaner who has to go through every nook and cranny when you leave the office and cleans your desk and windows, the same cleaner who has to deal with your shit you leave in the hallway. Or any other people who build and design the stuff you use every day and never give a thought about. Why should you, in the end? You never see them, you rarely interact with any of them. Perhaps it is this lack of contact and having no real information how terribly awful conditions some work places have, comparatively speaking. You’ll curse whoever it is who is responsible of taking care of your water running and keeping it clean, yet do we ever give any appreciation.

That is not to say all invisible jobs are out of the way. Cleaners are an example of people who we do see, but do we even say hello to them or wish them a good day? Small gestures like this do matter and make people feel worthwhile.

As astonishing it may sound, but there are so many people who don’t know how to clean. While having a coffee break, I had a chance to listen an old veteran giving a lesson to few new aspiring professional members of the cleaning industry. An extensive knowledge on chemicals is required and how they react not only with each other, but with oh so many materials that’s it not even fun. Especially when the Western standards of cleanliness are at their historical high. That, and the fact everybody seems to wait the work be done in record time without cutting any corners, really should make anyone appreciate these poor bastards a bit more. A documentary film Bread and Roses gives some insight how little cleaners are valued, and while it does concentrate on the situation in change of the millennia Los Angeles, things aren’t much brighter elsewhere.

But the customer is always right and providers should fulfill the customer demands. Well, until the provider points out how stupid the customer is and how he is unwilling to pay enough for the work and materials required, or demands a work that could not be done with the equipment and facilities at hand. And of course, they just insist on at least trying, for them. Anecdote be damned, but again a good example would be a random customer who brought his supposedly aluminium built oil base from his Volvo. The very moment he produced it in front of our staff, we could say it could not be done. The shine and colour was not that of aluminium and we would only fuck it further, if we tried fixing it. I don’t know what the hell it was, but it was magnetised alloy for sure. Working on a material you have no idea what it is composed of most likely will ruin the piece, and naturally said he was well aware of this. Well, when he came back and we showed how his piece had gone to hell thanks to the metal structure collapsing under normal TIG welding, he went on the usual customer rant on ruining what was his.

Again, how could have he known? Nobody gives a damn about what their furniture or cars are made of, as long as they’re sturdy, safe and look good enough. Damned be any worthwhile values. That is a customer’s right of course, and providers can bamboozle customers as much as they want. An informed customer wouldn’t let that happen, but who gives a damn if we’re screwed over little if we seemingly get what we want.

I had a series of posts some time ago on how we really should start appreciating each other’s works a whole lot more. We could go in a circle how one field of profession requires another set of multiple fields to exist right beside it, but that’s rather useless. Anyone with some brain cells left should already know that one man can’t do everything. The simple fact that the screen you’re reading this from requires multiple production lines to produce the plastics, glass, electronics, metals, someone to make the moulds, producing the pieces, someone to design it, someone to test build it and so on and so on.

All this goes for all customers. We’re all woefully ignorant on other fields. Sometimes out of simply not knowing they exist, or just don’t give a damn about them. However, just remember this little bit next time you think you’re undervalued; your life hangs on few centimeters of welding of few millimeters thick each day in multiple occasions, and nobody around you who is dependent on those same small seams never even realise these welding exist in the first place. You’re blindly trusting that the man who never gets thanks from anyone else but his boss, if even then, to do a job enough to keep you safe.

And this guy was probably drunk or had a terrible headache from night long drinking. Makes you hope he didn’t fuck up. Better not look at the seams at all, on the second thought.

Different take on Customers; Dutch officials are stupid

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.

Different take on customers; Educate yourself, please

We’ re at around 600 posts, so it’s time for another take on customers. These posts don’t follow the usual norm as the perspective is from another direction.

You know what grinds my gears the most at times? When a customer comes up to me and begins to dictate what he knows and how I should do things. While I want to say Don’t tell me how to do my job, I am willing to take advices from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Yet, when you get a whoever from the generic mass telling, for example, how a commercial pilot should fly his craft, we all recognize that as complete and utter bullshit. A pilot has a license to fly, whereas John from the office who mostly walks his dog out, gets completely pants down drunk every Friday and has absolutely no interest to understand one thing about flying.

Recently Geospatial Information Authority in Japan interviewed foreigners in Tokyo’s Asakusa to determine whether or not symbols and pictograms on the maps make sense. The end result was as you’d expect; They didn’t know what some symbols meant and were bothered by Manji.

I’m sure everybody knows the proverb When in Rome, do as the Romans do. This is something that will never cease to apply as long as we have cultural differences and we will have cultural differences until the end of time. It pisses me off on a personal level when people fixate the Manji with Nazi Swastika. Just go it over, the swastika and suwastika date back to ancient Egypt and Byzantium.

Oh this’ll make the thumbnail for this post look so damn good

The Nazi Swastika these foreigners were bothered about is, first of all, standing on its sharp edge rather than standing flat. The Hindu Swastika is the closest thing above, but even then you’d have to be uneducated not to make the difference.  It’s a universal symbol that has appeared in multitude of cultures in multitude of ways. Nazis essentially spoiled the symbol in the Western world, and if somebody doesn’t know enough world history to make a difference between Third Reicht’s symbol and the rest of them, they need to go back to school bench.

There’s actually pretty damn good and lengthy article on the Finnish Air force’s swastika and how it’s been misunderstood, well, by anyone who hasn’t read his history books well enough.

When a foreigner in a country he is not native to finds a something that resembles something they have been, in case of Nazi swastika, essentially indoctrinated to relate to evil and wish it to be changed, they can fuck off back to where they came from. You don’t go to another nation and tell them what’s bugging you in their cultural iconography, that’d be asinine.

This load of bullshit is because of the upcoming Olympics in 2020. Certain governmental officials are afraid to hurt the foreigners’ feelings, and I’ll say kick them out if their feelings get hurt by such petty things. Political correctness be damned. Concentrate on more serious issues at hand… and where the hell they’ll be able to have Summer Comic Market that year.

Granted, sometimes you do find a person who is able to see things from a perspective you are blind to. For example, a craftsman may be too rigid with his works, stuck with his routine. Having an outside view on some aspects may help with the whole thing, but what the hell would your normal customer know about metallurgy, welding and tensile strength?

I eyed this book few years back, it's pretty damn nice
I eyed this book few years back, it’s pretty damn nice

I should give more credits to the customer in this regards, they are ultimately the ones that drive product design onwards, even thou more often than now their input is mostly trivial or unusable. It’s insanely hard to get proper answers from a customer on what they would like to have, mostly because they have absolutely no idea what they want. Combine this with the popular bubble space people tend to build for themselves and you got a recipe for someone who does not dare to challenge himself with new ideas nor looks for them. Picking up that history book would be a good start.

Speaking of these safe bubbles people are getting themselves into, what the hell is wrong with people campaigning against products they themselves will never buy? GTA V was pulled from stores because Target’s shelves in Australia, because sex workers thought it’d, and I quote “the “sickening game” encourages players to kill prostitutes,” which is, of course, total bollocks. Killing anyone else than whores in the game seems to be OK. These people weren’t going buy this game to begin with, but Target had to bend over because it seems Australian escorts use their services enough to warrant such an act. Games don’t encourage or educate into violence, the only people who think so can’t make a difference between real life and fiction. Who the hell allows their child to play GTA V to begin with? It’s R-18 game, at that point people have already learned the base morals they’ll use in later life.

This sort of bullshit has gone far enough to scare companies. Koei Tecmo is not releasing Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the West because of outcries, and I am afraid it’s not going to be the only one. It’s infuriating to see a group of people, who are essentially not the target audience or intending to buy the product, campaigning against it. It’s understandable, but they could be concentrating on something that actually matters. Virtual tits and ass never hurt anyone, unlike certain events in real world.

The Internet rage culture has gotten way out of hands a long time ago. Rather than concentrating on things that make you mad, concentrate on things that make you happy and what you enjoy. If you enjoy complaining and looking into stuff that makes you feel bad and mad, that might be a sign of some trouble.

Both GTA V and DoAX3 examples stem from people thinking what games do rather than knowing. Research on matters is always recommended. Of course, if it doesn’t fit their narrative, they ignore it. There are countering researchers, like one saying that games are linked to aggression but not to criminal behaviour, which is different from violence. Parenting, or the lack of it, has more influence on children than games, I have witnessed this myself few times over.

 I’m everyone has already thought the ironic bit or two in this post. Don’t worry, we have some TSF stuff coming later this week.

Different take on customers; People love clowns

Every hundred posts we take a different stance on customers and industry. Except something different from the usual.

One thing that is absolutely stupid with customers is their inability to realize who owns rights nowadays. It is the person who pays for them. In the creative industries, more often than not the company owns what the people produce. This is largely a standard in the creative industries. Movie companies own the rights to the movies they produce as they pay for the writers and directors to make them these products. This applies especially to video game companies, where they employ people to create these games. It’s their damn job. It has always been about money and it will always be about the money. You own what you pay for. Except Steam users.

People are saying Konami is taking Kojima’s baby away. That is nothing short of horse shit. Kojima may have been the creator behind Metal Gear and yet you need to remember that it has been a job for him. He did it because he was employed by a company to make games for them to sell to the customer, not for himself. If you want to own what you do, you make it yourself. Now Kojima has all the possibilities to exercise his freedom to put  a new company and have free hands to do whatever he ever wishes. Of course, it may end up being absolute shit, as any and every creative person needs to be reined in to cut the excess far and rot off from the product and fry it to perfection.

The whole recent thing about Konami’s and Hideo Kojima’s downfall is an example where there is an idol worshipping cult following one man and his wish to make money on the expense of these cultists. These people have been sucking Kojima’s dick to the extent that Kojima has been waging a power struggle with Konami, that much is evident from the recent events. It’s easy to see how Metal Gear games have been eating most of the budget Konami has been able to sustain, and seeing how Konami almost became Kojima the Company, it’s no wonder either one would’ve fallen.

Do Kojima’s fans even know what he does? He has been mainly the idea guy behind the products that carry his name, the guy who directs and writes them. He has been in the role that is essentially a project leader and less the person who sits down and makes the game, i.e. programmer most of his life. Don’t be mistaken, his contribution is important and vital, but he would never had the products without the people who actually got their hands dirty with the games. Then of course you can question his writing, as it is cliché as hell and extremely derivative from Hollywood movies. Of course, you can even question if the Solid series is even all that good when you have hours upon hours of FMV, a prime example being Metal Gear Solid 4 with its laughably small gameplay time compared to the insanely long movies. It’s no wonder his ego has grown across the years with the fanboys backing him up every time, while other projects have been killed in order to save money for Kojima’s next brain art. Konami could release that ready Bomberman game and make good money, but it seems that at the time they didn’t care about that franchise.

What is even more stupid is that the fans seem to think nobody else could do a Metal Gear game, which is absolutely laughable idea. There are four examples of Metal Gear games that have little to none to do with Kojima and all have been taken in with great acceptance. Snake’s Revenge was first sequel to the MSX Metal Gear and was met with high praise. Fans have done pretty good job by rewriting history with the Internet, but they don’t stand a chance against people with memory, much like how Zelda fans want to rewrite Zelda II as some sort of awful game and a black sheep of the series, despite it being a huge success. It’s only the younger fans in both series who are pushing this kind propaganda, because that doesn’t fit their world view. The AC!D games had nothing to do with Kojima, and despite their different gameplay nature they sold relatively well considering they were on PSP. Portable OPS was the first Metal Gear game that was met with incredible hatred from the fans because Kojima’s name wasn’t attached to it, showing that they are easily swayed if one person isn’t associated with it. The game tried to shove home console Metal Gear on handheld and suffered from it, and its follow-up Peace Walker is actually less a Metal Gear game than its own thing. This brings is to Rising and how the series has changed with the time. Every game series, outside certain exceptions, have changed significantly throughout the years and will continue to change. There are times when new franchises are made under the same overall brand name, much like how Solid is different from base Metal Gear, so is Rising from Solid.

If you want to talk about game series that have sucked after the original creator has left them, consider the following; game industry sees constant staff changes. A creator may be programmer early on, but later kicked up to become a producer, thus having less to do with the actual production of the games than their overall visage. Miyamoto is a prime example of this. We know of his interviews that he made some coding in Super Mario Bros., but after the he most likely never has touched a line of cone, but has been directing them. Nevertheless, Mario games without Miyamoto’s involvement have been more or less big successes, especially the Game Boy Mario games.

Metroid is a series where you had the original creator killed by a car accident and was given to a whole different company to produce a 3D Metroid. We can argue whether or not the Metroid Prime series is better or worse, but we can’t dispute that at least the first game managed to deliver top notch 3D Metroid experience.

Then you have Mega Man, a series that had its original creator not even being involved after the initial design phase. Inafune has stated that Mega Man as a concept and design was ready before he was brought in to take it to the end. Inafune has been the person working longest with the series, and yet the most important changes to the series and its success should go to those who have worked under him. Then you of course have Minakuchi Engineering and Inti-Creates, completely different companies from CAPCOM, making excellent Mega Man games with Inafune in the producer’s seat. Minakuchi Engineering did better job with Mega Man IV and V on the GameBoy than CAPCOM’s own staff with Mega Man 5-8, or Inti-Creates with 9&10. Of course, people love Inafune and were willing to give thousands for his totally original piece of work that would have been produced anyway, and it ends up looking like crap.

Devil May Cry is an example, where the high staff changed after the first game, and then proceeded to make the best games in the franchise. DmC by Ninja Theory is the exact opposite, where people who didn’t give two cents about the customers or about the franchise got free hands to butcher it. You can mostly put that on Inafune and his wanting to have Western developers to make CAPCOM games. Thank God that Irregular Hunter X FPS game never came to be.

But of course, consumers want to idolise those people and think they are their friends. Of course they act like they’re the customers’ best buddies, because that’s good PR. They don’t care about you, they never had. They only care that they can keep their work and get your money. It’s business, it’s work. You have to make a living. It’s easier to become superstar developer with immense amount of fans looking up to you, as this give you leverage over the company you work for. A cleaver customer would be able to see through all this and look at the product itself rather than the clown marketing it to you. Fan boys are willing to dish their money into anything these clowns slab their name on, even if the product is laughably poor and that’s just sad. Of course, you are completely free to enjoy poorly made products, nobody is taking that away from you.

It’s a common kind of psychological phenomena, where the customer thinks a company or an individual is their friend because they make speeches or advertisement that promote a product in a way that hits the spot with them. It’s a well planned show, a rehearsed one. The words are chosen carefully as are the expressions and movements. It’s a show. All they care is to make a product good enough to make that living.

But of course, the customer rarely can even make a difference between a designer and a designer. Ask them what design is, and the chances are they’re either making shit up or call it art. Of course you can ask them to define something more specific, like what is product design, visual design, production design, service design and so on. Design is a mess, so it’s no wonder only those who work in the industries can get what design in itself encompasses. This of course has the trouble of customers and companies making shit up like responsible design, which is more or less a mindset that should be included in any design than its own field.

Outside graphic and visual designers, it’s more or less uncommon to see the designer to do the actual work himself. In production, like with games or movies, you have loads of people working on the product and you should never underestimate the amount of work these people do. It’s a collaborative effort through and through, and it is a travesty to see one person getting all the credit. But hey, why should the customer care? All they want their product and to have nice clown to love.

I’ll be honest; it feels a bit weird to “celebrate” 500th post like this, but it’s already a tradition. Next time; Nintendo NX and how Nintendo is doing on the rights tracks again.

400+ posts; Different take on customers with Monthly Music; Les Misérables

After finishing my first foray into Honorverse with On Basilisk Station and loving every page of it, I began wondering what kind of attitude would I have towards the H.Harrington series if I had started with a later instalment in the series. The first novel is very slow and methodical with sparse action and even then most of it is rather one-sided, but even then the pages kept rolling onwards. As I understand, the later novels are far more action packed, which may or may not add more colour to my newfound interest in the series. A well-written novel, sequel or not, is able to convey the story, characters and events to old and new readers alike. Veterans of a series will, of course, get more kicks from referencing past events while new readers get the necessary background information in an intrusive way. Of course, reading the previous parts can be very much recommended, but even then a skilled writer is able to convey the world and its details in most camouflaged ways to the reader without pages after pages of exposition.

The same applies to films as well. A sequel can and should be able stand with its own two feet and be taken as it is, but just as with literature, a sequel movie needs to be made a standalone entity that can be accessed without prior knowledge. Star Wars Episode IV is a great example of this, as Episode III didn’t even exist at the time, and yet we got all the information needed to be invested in the story and the world. I would argue that Empire Strikes Back is the same way, and through my years of exposing people to Star Wars, I’ve seen this true.

Then, if we are to compare and contrast computer and video games to literature and films, shouldn’t they be kept to the same standards?

Take a moment, dear reader, and listen to Basil Poledouris.

If the upcoming Honor Harrington movie does takes a proper form, I would like to hear something Poledouris would’ve composed. There is strength in there that mirrors Honor’s own character

With the release of Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes, there has been some attention to IGN’s… less than objective article about what’s wrong with it. Google it if you have you feel need to, but it’s not worth the effort to read all the way through. However, there has been a point that got fans of the series stand up, which was that the writer of the article didn’t understand the overall things why she should have given a damn about what happens to a character named Paz. That, and the age-old devices of defiling someone else’s body, but that’s not I’m going to get into.

Rather, it’s the fans reaction of demanding people to play the previous games to know who and what these characters were, and my first and foremost question after seeing this was Why. If we indeed want to make comparisons between literature and films, I would expect any and all games to be an entity of themselves,separate pieces of a whole puzzle in their respective series. I see no reason for fans, the customers, to go out of their way out and demand that people need to go back to previous instalments in order to enjoy the latest piece. No, this is a reason why hardcore gaming crowd is so venomous to the industry, and their way to worship a person or a company and their product to the extent that they are willing to turn a complete blind eye to a serious flaw within the game.

If Ground Zeroes indeed doesn’t give Paz characterization that would allow new players to create an emotional bridge to her, I see this is a failure of the developers. This seems to be the case.

I do hate raising an issue of games and storytelling, because games still don’t tell a story. Their film clips and text dumps do. They’re like an aftertaught that was there in the first place, a thing that ties arbitrary gameplay sections together. But for now, I’ll set aside my animosity against the thought. Let’s even forget that games are supposed to be games foremost and let’s avoid talking about the game itself.

How many people played Metal Gear before Metal Gear Solid? Vast majority of people across my friend circle started with Solid, and be it either ignorance or something else, they never saw a reason to play Metal Gear, Snake’s Revenge or MG2 Solid Snake.Personally, I did start with the NES Metal Gear, as during the time I had no clue what MSX even was. I doubt many people did, and calling other players to do otherwise might be hypocritical in moreways than one. A willingly turned blind eye to the serious flaws within Ground Zeroes storytelling has caused this uproar. It is nothing but shoddy writing and fault of the writer if characters are not fleshed out enough. This is different kind of bad writing Metal Gear series is usually known for, as fans are open to make mockery of it themselves as well.

And these people, like most who call themselves as hardcore gamers, should shut their traps and weigh what has been said and evaluate it properly rather than go intoblind rage in their forums and messaging boards. If I may use strong words here, that most likely will convey far more extreme emotions than intended, these customers are despised little shits that need to go out and get something worth living for. The very reason I put this harshly is because these little pricks are the main reason the game industry is having hard times, and why there has been very little to no significant progress with new games and the mixing of arcade, console and computer to an impure degree has turned once promising industry into a miserable and pitiable heap of raggidy dogs fighting over the same damn gnawed bone rather than peering over the fence and seeing all the possibilities there are. It doesn’t help that the gnawed bone itself screams and kicks for attention, unwavering on its status as an untouchable being and yet wanting to be splintered in the glorious and high teeth of the dogs.

Rather than going the way of my previous hundred marks and their take on the customer, I have less hope here. Customer types are easy to be dealt with under proper methods and procedures. However, when including the human element, the customer group can become very loathsome and undesired people. I hold no contempt towards these people in person, but they argue for the case of anyone having to always go through the past productions in order to enjoy the current one. Rather than antagonizing a fellow consumer for a matter than they disagree with you, these people should see that there are more ways than the one the writer/developer does and there’s no reason to lick their boots in hopes for more. Yet, they gladly take the blue pill and stay in the rabbit hole. This is, by far, and I quote; Absolutely fucking retarded.


And to add just to be sure; I don’t do April Fools.

Different take on customers; for the love of God learn how to use it

Why does this program ask me this? What is this message that Windows is showing me? Why can’t my phone do this? Why can’t I tweak my Mac for better performance? Why is there a virus in my computer? Why won’t this computer work? These are questions that I’ve heard too many times, especially the last one.

Self-repair manifesto
is something I expect everybody to follow to a limited extent. The idea of can’t fix it myself, can’t own it is a bit extreme for the common folks out there, but it has the correct core in there. While I agree that some things are beyond the repairs of a mortal man and better left for fixing gods at your local shop, I’m truly expecting people to know how their devices and household items work. A surprisingly small amount of people know how their vacuum cleaner or microwave oven works, and that’s a bit alarming. In cooking, if you know how stuff works and what they do, cooking becomes both easier and much entertaining in its own rights. Then again, cooking for one isn’t the most riveting thing to do. Trust me on this. 

I recommend everybody to open some of their devices and just take a look inside what they have and just take a look at what they have inside and familiarise yourself with it. See where the power switch is, what kind of chip is attached to it, what things are in the way and how they’re all connected. Using a reference guide on what certain parts are helps a lot. For example, knowing what is a capacitor and what it does helps on the long run. If one blows up, you might want to learn how to solder in order to replace one and fix the device by yourself. Soldering isn’t hard to learn, but just like everything else, it takes some training to get the idea and become good at it.

With computers in the software side I can only blame people who never wanted to know how their system works and just want to use it without anything getting in their way. Windows Vista’s infamous security system which asked if you really wanted to do something was a direct result of people not understanding what they were doing. If something is made foolproof, it seems that its utility is almost completely lost. This in most cases also prevents the user from making tweaks and adjustments for the device as they see fit and modify it as they like. It’s pretty stupid to think that the more simplified systems get, the more text and holding the users’ hands we get, which just pisses other people off.

Windows 8 is actually a good example of this. Where Microsoft wanted to go with Windows 8 was to have it more open for the common folk who were using tablet, but what they designed was one of the worst interfaces I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a horrible GUI (look it up), even for tablets. But no, certain groups within Microsoft thought that it was best idea to make everything more simple and easier to understand, which ended up with the version we have. Honestly, Windows 8 is horribly designed, especially in home PC use.It’s just so awful to use, switching between two views and neither is completely supported. Microsoft really dropped the ball here.

And you know the reason why Microsoft thought Windows 8 was a good idea? Because there is a bunch of stupid people who just don’t want to learn how to use the goddamn operating system. In other words, the customers are stupid enough NOT to want to get into what they’re using.

I’ve said that I’ve got nothing against Apple products, I just don’t like how closed they are. But for the love of Quantum conductor, they are not any better than the competing product. You’re just too damn inept to learn what to do with them. Most Apple products, like the Macintosh PCs, are a good example of decent balance between openness and closed system; you really can’t do anything to change or tweak it, but on the other hand everything works just fine most of the time. If something goes wrong, then you’re screwed and need to contact Apple services for help. Oh but with PCs everything just crashes all the time. First, I hope you realize that Macs are PCs as well. Second, no they don’t if you know what the hell you’re doing. No buts.

Things just get more closed and stupider the more the customers refuse to understand what they need to learn in order to use different products. It’s insanely grating to think that we used to pop in a VHS cassette and press play. That worked. Now we pop in a DVD and I hear people asking how they can get into the movie. There are DVD menus that are clearly telling you what to do, and I still get a call every single week from selected people asking me how they get proper subtitles. [What in the name of fucking god. Even I never did that.Edit] It was so easier with older media. Modern media, for better or worse, asks the user to get into what the hell they’re doing.

Then again, people still don’t know the universal markings for PLAY and PAUSE. For the love that 00-Unit has for us, please learn those at least. Standardised markings exist for a reason, and that reason is to make your daily life easier.

But no, when customers are dense motherfuckers who refuse to acknowledge that there’s something wrong in them, the shit hits the fan harder than a G-Bomb. And we’re supposed to design these people a product that would be easy to use. Existing products WOULD be easy to use you would just read that one damn comprehensive manual and apply that knowledge to other similar products with little effort, trying and research. I will continue to develop and design better products for your use, but you need to meet me half-way and put some effort in there as well. Otherwise don’t blame me when I design you a house that works like 1984 police state and dictates everything you do and how you do it in order to ensure that things work as intended.

I hate that analogy. A product should be something we all can use as we want. Misusing a product or using it wrong is customers’ fault and nobody else’s.

Then again, we have shitloads of free information on the Internet and in the libraries for t people to use, and it feels like nobody is doing any goddamn research.