CGD Podcast Episode 13: Videogame Consumerism

cgdplogo_mediumToday’s episode addresses consumerism (or hyperconsumerism) in the world of videogames. Videogames are, for the most part, the most fun they’ll ever be at the moment of purchase, or perhaps while you’re installing the game and leafing through the manual.

I talk about “hype” and how being immersed in an atmosphere of advertisements affects our ability to use good judgment when making purchases.

I reference this study which talks about how children under the age of 6 can’t discern the difference between advertising and programming.

I also reference this Ars Technica study which looked at the percentage of purchase Steam games that actually got played.

Also of interest is the existence of this website:

Enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments.


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  • Van

    It’s interesting and frightening how hype is often more exciting than the actual product. I’ve heard people say that they willingly buy into the hype, because it
    gives them a rush of hope that something awesome and/or life-changing is
    just around the corner and because everyone is experiencing it together.
    To me hype has been primarily a precursor to letdowns, but these letdowns made me think how easily we can imagine awesome things.

  • Interesting listen and yup, really agree with you completely on all of this. I can excuse some of my vast unplayed Steam libary due to bundles though – where I’m pretty likely to have played the title I actually wanted the most in that bundle. But some of it is pure “collecting” things when they are cheap too. Also the act of buying games as gifts is a similar thing I feel. Last week there was a 4-pack deal on a game I could easily imagine myself and 3 other friends enjoying together, plus it would be a nice act to buy this pack and give it to my friends… but I managed to pause, discuss it with those friends, and came to the collective realisation we really wouldn’t have the time to get together and play that, on top of all the other games we currently play, so I managed to avoid the purchase entirely.

    I think I have a sense of non-buying remorse about it even now though. But mainly (hopefully) it’s more about feeling sad I don’t have more time for these things (and neither do my friends).