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Whales in games
by Jordan Georgiev on 07/09/13 05:41:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Here is a story...

Couple of years ago my friend Johnny and I decided to buy bikes. Soon after we went to a local flea market and bought ourselves awesome bikes at 100$ each. We rode those year after year, but they never broke. 

I never actually took good care of maintaining my bike - it was always dirty and the saddle was always loose. Johnny nevertheless loved his bike - it was polished clean and looked like he just bought it. He even did buy parts. A lot of parts. At first he bent the frame a little and he replaced it with a shiny new one, that was even better. Then he replaced the saddle. Then he added additional headlights. He was always saving up for the next big upgrade of his bike.

Some time after that I asked him if he would ever regret all that money he had spent on this bike, and every time he would say that it was insane. Yet some time passes and he goes to the store and buys something else. When he had to look back he was never happy that he had spent a fortune on this cheap bike, yet every time he sat on the saddle he was happy as he can be.

And another one...

I've been visiting the same local store for over 10 years now. And for 10 years an old lady was ocassionaly visiting promoting olives. She was always smiling and greeting everyone, giving olives for customers to taste. The olives on the other hand were horrible. I would never in a lifetime buy that kind of olives - they were way too salty and tasted like cardboard. And I didn't have any intention buying exactly those. And so I didn't. Even though the lady was so pleasant and she was giving her best to get customers to buy those olives - the olives themselves sucked, so nobody liked or bought them.
An old aquaintance of mine on the other hand didn't like the lady at all - he hated any kind of advertising. He always said that it was immoral to get a person to win you with his smile to buy something. He was quite firm behind this belief and he used all kinds of software to block all kinds of adverts. He didn't watch TV, he didn't listen to radio - he didn't like advertisement. Yet he was a quiet guy - he never tried forcing anyone else into his beliefs.

His brother on the other hand even though agreeing that the ads were evil and immoral was spending his time in fron of the TV. He watched sitcoms for 6 hours a day. Even though he claimed to share the same opinion, he was hypnotized by TV-ads - a ton of his stuff he bought from TV-commercials. He had the loudest voice and got into the most heated arguments about how and why adds were evil, yet he failed to see those right in front of him - the ones he was seeing every day.

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Alessandro Ricci
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Might be me being dense, I don't see your point.

The first story is about what we all do - complain about the money we spend, but still spend it where we feel it has the most value. Even if it's ephemeral value. Some of us realize the pattern and stop complaining, or stop spending money. Others don't.

The Lady was selling a bad product a good way. For some, being sold in a good way is enough; for others, the quality of the product is more important. Still she must've gotten something back, otherwise she'd have stopped, no?

Are you using the two brothers as examples of the average player in a community? Suggesting the most vocal people might in fact be doing the exact opposite of what they claim? This has been known to be true in at least some occasions.

Sorry, if it was an attempt at metaphorical speech, it went way over my head.

Rindel Ryan Ibanez
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I don't get it either.