2nd Hand Games [Waffle-o-tron]

Recently HMV announced that it was to start accepting used games as store credit against any of the items in in the shop, and if you wade throught the extended marketdrone-speak in the MCV article you’ll notice a stunning and somewhat amazing thing; they talk about reselling games in their fancy new oh-so-achingly modern stores but they ever once use the words ‘second hand’ or ‘used’.

As a society I think we’ve become used to doublespeak and the depredations of marketing predators, but are we so vain that we have to revert shady words like ‘pre-owned’ to justify ourselves? Pretty much everyone I know never refers to games as anything except ‘pre-owned’ in this context, myself included. Despite the glaring semantic problem that the phrase pre-owned evokes, it just seems dishonest.

But ’tis not just us proles! The whole damn videogaming establishment is up to it, even in an article complaining about them Mr. David Braben himself shows that he is infected with this terrible meme. Mr. Braben’s abject hatred for us consumers has been well documented in his insistance on forcing the great satan of Lenslok upon us poor Spectrum owners, so maybe he is part of this terrible conspircy to protect us from feeling like a herd of filthy unwashed cockerneys buying our soiled chimneysweep jackets from stalls on Portobello Road.

Back to the point! HMV is staring to sell second hand games and Mr. David Braben thinks this is bad because it stuffs up sales figures. Maybe that’s true, but I have learned one thing in my years of gaming; nobody buys the good games anyway, see Beyond Good and Evil, Psychonauts, Terra Nova and Limbo of the Lost.
Maybe not that last one.

5 thoughts on “2nd Hand Games [Waffle-o-tron]

  1. The gaming industry’s crusade against pre-owned is gathering pace at a furious rate:
    Witness Fable II’s Collector’s Edition requiring a code to unlock the content you’ve – you know – paid for. Good luck selling that on, as the code is a one time offer.
    Fatman’s Runaround 2* with it’s downloadable “extra” maps – code only, chum.
    And that’s before we get into the latest DRM fiascos with PC games. The industry HATES pre-owned – it always has – the hate the vast margins shops make (that they see nothing from), they hate the fact it detracts from sales of new titles. In fact, when the next spin of the wheel comes around and we’re excitedly unwrapping our next-next gen consoles, I wouldn’t be at all surpised if 90% of games are download only. Still, there’s always Spectrum emulation, I guess.

    Anyone for a game of Rebelstar?

    * Gears of War 2 if you must.

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  2. Neil

    Actually the somewhat wonderful Soren Johnson wrote a post about this not so long ago:
    http://www.designer-notes.com/?p=111
    This man has his head screwed on right. Approaching games as a service is a great idea that Metaboli has been pushing for a while, if only it had the new releases 😀
    Sadly though all approaches are going down the ‘games are imaginary property’ route. Just because you own the disk doesn’t mean you own the game. Pish, says I.
    For more copyright based ranting see http://copyfight.corante.com/

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  3. Ado

    Craziness on the “pre-owned” games front. I must admit I always do it and have never once considered why. I do the same when talking about DVD when I get them from Blcokbuster’s previously owned some random shelf.

    The strange thing is I think and have experienced that, generally speaking, people turn their noses up at buying from car boot sales. Which seems like a much purer form of this, with no middleman taking a cut just for owning a shop. What a world…

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  4. Ado

    Also, last night I came across a wonderful piece of double-speak type language I think we use at work. “Safe Haven”, so haven meaning a safe place, we have a safe – safe place.

    Redundancy is good :o)

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