The Grammys and my Disdain Thereof

My sister was watching the Grammy's pre-show or something tonight, and while I only caught a glance of around, say, two minutes, it was regardless still plenty well enough to uncage this deep, passionate hate for that repulsive slime that seems to boil over without fail every year. While at the moment, I really do need to return to my studying, if given the requisite time, I could rant about the show for pages.

Do any of you share my feelings? To those outside Los Estados Unidos, how do you feel about any sort of equivle that your country may have.

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How Does "Being Overrated" Work?

Yesterday I was at the record store and I simply could not make up my mind on what to buy. There were three CD's I had in mind, all of which were fantastic albums that I really should already have had in my possession. Namely, they were The VU & Nico, Animals, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. I asked the clerk what he thought I should drop my money on, and much to my surprise, upon seeing the Sgt. Pepper CD, he spat a "The Beatles are overrated" with loathing, foaming repugnance so thick I could see the viscous green bile building up behind his teeth. He dished out his comment as if to say that being "overrated" was such a great cardinal sin, an irrevocable damnation that would curse the Beatles for all eternity, but I'm not sure I understand. Maybe my definition of "overrated" is different from most people's, but I think of "overrated" as a term to describe something that earns praise beyond that which it deserves. While that is fine, I don't see how that discredit's a work; there will always be people that take it too far.

What do you think? Is my definition wrong?

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Impulse: A Look Into the Pricing of Video Games

Impulse: A Look Into the Pricing of Video Games

Video games, as a business medium, have very much been growing and maturing since the day they were conceived. However, this growth and development, previously marked by steps like the birth of the arcade scene, the humble beginnings of the home market, and the generalization of home consoles with the Fairchild Channel F, very much came to a stop in the last decade or so, as the $60 box became very much the only way to consume most titles. That as it may be, recent years have hinted at the downfall of this once time tested tradition, as titles and franchises that would otherwise survive (such as Red Faction) cower in the floundering model's great wake. It seems these days that only the AAA mainstream titles and the super cheap indie games can survive, a far cry from the generations past. With these problems and more facing the video game market, it's no wonder that the Free-to-Play model rises from the ashes and, if all goes right, may end up the business model of the future.

The first nail in the $60 box's coffin is its utterly absurd price. Compared to other entertainment mediums such as print, music, and film, charging $60 is completely farcical. According to my cunning Amazon research, one can expect to pay around $10 for a paperback book, $15 for a DVD and $10 for a CD, a far cry from the price of a new video game. Why is this? The reason, I postulate, is simply because game developers have but one avenue of revenue, the game itself. A musician, for example, is able to sell his work at $10 because regardless of what all albums he sells, he can still make money preforming live. A game developer, on the other hand, can not do this, because if everyone were to pirate or just not buy his game, he would generate a total of zero dollars. With this comparison, it becomes clear that games need to find an alternate means of funds if they want to thrive in the way that films and music do.

Age of Empires Online was one successful Free-to-Play game

Free-to-Play offers such a model. When the barrier of entry for your product is nonexistent, you can cater to a more impulsive audience, rather than make your product a calculated purchase. As any music collector will tell you, because of the low price of an album, even the most unknown of artists can still get their works heard because for $10, why not? If games could operate under this "Why not?" mentality, publishers would feel less pressured to make guaranteed sales, stifling creativity. Such a market would be better for the consumer, who could enjoy a wide range of unique titles, the publishers, who could freely ship whatever they wanted, and the developer, who's vision would always remain intact.

Advertising can be an effective way to make money, but companies walk a thin line

Another such method of generating income could come by in game by way of in-game advertising, provided that it is handled tastefully. If used to flesh out the world rather than to annoy the player, in-game advertising could again provide another means for developers and publishers to meet that golden $15 price point. However, companies that go this route walk a thin line and must be careful not to go to far with their adverts. Such flagrant actions can detract from the quality of the product as a whole and damage a company's integrity.

With all things considered, I believe it to be self-evident that the Free-to-Play game micro-transactions and in-game advertising will continue to be popular, at least for the foreseeable future, given how apt it is in the current game climate. Hopefully, developers will continue to create many wonder full titles that utilize this system going forward. Truly, this is the age of Free-to-Play games with micro-transactions and in game advertising.

I thought this picture was funny and summarized what I was saying pretty well, so I'll just leave you with it.
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The Late Nineties: Were they Good or Did They Suck

I, as someone who feels a great lingering sense nostalgia for the late nineties, always assumed that everyone else felt the same way, until recently. You see, the other day, I was talking to someone about the artistic merits of the song "Millennium" by Robbie Williams, when he chimed in with "Man, the late nineties really sucked". Naturally, such a sacrilegious statement caught me off guard. The late nineties, suck? Preposterous! Anyway, I wonder if my nostalgia is merely a regard for my childhood (I wasn't particularly old in the late nineties) or if I have an actual appreciation of the era. 
 
What do you think of the late nineties? Were they good or did they suck? 
What time frames do you feel nostalgia for? Do you like the time period that you were young in?

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Sweep Locked My Blog Post

I'm in tears. Why would he do that? Here I am, just trying to utilize Giant Bomb's Blog feature to digitally chronicle my daily exploits, and he just comes and locks my post with a sarcastic "fascinating". I am completely devastated.

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