There is a thought that in the last days has come to my mind and it’s related to all those games in my humble bundle account that I wasn’t interested in, either because they were copies of games already residing in my Steam library or because they were uninteresting games in bundle with games that I wanted.
I have realized that this whole “bundle approach” has forced me to acquire games that were irrelevant to me, pushing me to treat them as secondary or second-class items. They were to me just “spare games”, a label inevitably acquired for being both uninteresting and purchased at a very low price.
Still, behind those games there were developers who believed in their project as much as the developers of the games that are important to me. Handling their creations with that “spare stuff” attitude feels somehow wrong and implicitly disrespectful, at least to me.
The production of games has increased and the online game market is now full of places and stores that rely on periodic big sales or on pay-what-you-want schemes. This makes it very easy to acquire games for extremely discounted prices.
This phenomenon is strikingly different from the way we used to buy and play games when we were kids, because games were more scarce, or because we had to deserve them, or because our playthroughs were longer and not influenced by hints and walkthroughs that it’s easy to find today on the Internet.
In other words it was more difficult to acquire them and they were consumed more slowly.
My question to you is : does the fact that we can now easily find and buy games at very low prices affect our perception of the non-economic value of the game?
Is there a risk that games are perceived as a lesser or cheaper form of art just because the rules of the market transform them into cheap and even disposable items?
And does this kind of “cheap” nature affect how players perceive the complexity of developing a game?
I’m trying to understand the negative effects of watching games being treated as cheap tokens to collect, exchange, eat quickly or give away.