The Bubble Boys
My next piece was going to be about the lack of gay characters in videogames but it has undergone so many revisions that I couldn’t decide on which rough draft to finalize. Still, I promise to word vomit something eligible…but before that, I want to address a growing trend here on N4G with a short satire piece. After all, I’m in my element when it comes to humor so writing this should help with my creative juices.
I’ve made no secret that I’ve compared this console war to the 2012 US Presidential Election and, frankly, that comparison grows more and more fitting with every passing NPD. The Xbox division is Mitt Romney, rich beyond measure, out of touch with what people want and constantly suffering from a permanent foot-in-mouth disease. Most of my friends have noted that Adam Orth was the Xbox division’s ’47 percent moment’ but I’d argue that the entire E3 was their 47%. From cancelling post-event interviews to Mattrick’s ‘Get an Xbox 360’, the whole thing was like a smash-cut of Romney’s greatest hits.
If the Xbox division is the Republican leaders then it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to call the Xbox crowd the Republican base. You’d have to agree, the similarities *are* striking. Both apply a disturbingly jingoistic rhetoric - ‘murica, rah rah! -, both cheer for exclusivity of different groups – AAA need only apply – and both seem to be locked in a desperate struggle with that uncompromising mistress of the universe…Math.
Which leads me to last and final comparison to the Republican Party. The Bubble Boys is the name of this piece and while it shares a name with the titular Seinfeld episode, it’s a reference to Bill Maher’s hilarious satire of the Republicans wherein he’d place someone inside a plastic bubble and hurl mathematical facts at them while they sit unfazed.
So what exactly do we mean by ‘living in the bubble’? Well, it’s when you’re stuck inside an insulated environment with no one but yourself to talk to. If you sprout off facts out of your hinder, there’s no one there to disagree with you…except your own echo. You live in a vacuum and thus, you are unaffected by any outside factors.
Let’s put this in mathematical terms:
Let’s say x + y = z
We assume x and y are the only two conditions to reach the result of z but in doing so, we would be ignoring what components make x and y. For example x could be equal to v*q/2
Let’s try another approach.
Suppose we make a statement:
- If I walk across the road, I’d reach the other side -
Theoretically, that’s a correct statement but it raises other questions. How big is the road? Are there cars that might hit me? Do I have the strength to complete this journey? This is what I mean when I say living in the bubble. You’re willfully ignorant and blind to sociological, ecological and financial factors and focus, rather willfully or ignorantly, on what appeals to the most. A certain bubble boy wrote a hilarious piece a week or so ago, which prompted me to write this.
I’ll list several examples of bubble boy mentality.
“Microsoft makes $10 one each console they sell! Microsoft is making more money!”
Consoles are a long term investment. It’s not as easy as simply selling off a console and getting money back and calling it a profit. The 360 did not become profitable until years after its launch.
Thus far, Microsoft has spent
- 400mil on NFL deal (yes, you read that right. Almost half a billion)
- 100mil on controller redesign (heh)
- 100mil on Kinect 2.0
- Xmil on Xbox R&D
Microsoft has spent nearly a billion on console design alone! It’ll take years to cover the cost. Sure, they make revenue of each console sold but that won’t translate to profit. I’d imagine if our dear bubble boy ran to Microsoft with $10 in hand, they’d slap him across the face “Screw you! Ten bucks is nothing! We want hundreds of millions.”
“Titanfall sold more than Infamous, thus Titanfall is successful.”
There’s a reason why Sony Execs were seen running naked in the streets, snorting coke off hookers at the news of Infamous breaking the one million mark. Infamous was a relatively smart budget title, made by the wizards of SuckerPunch.
Conversely, Titanfall – what I’d like to call, a celebration of excess - had cost Microsoft $100mil to secure/develop the game and another $150mil for the marketing blitz (I say blitz because the word ‘campaign’ does it no justice) not to mention having to compensate EA for all the games they gave away for free.
Remember those articles – Why isn’t Sony advertising Infamous? – we used to get here on N4G? Sony made little to no advertising and yet they announced their sales to the world on Twitter. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s silence towards Titanfall’s sales is DEAFENING.
Let’s take this example: Suppose I invested $1 and I got back $101 when it was all said and done. I’d be beaming with happiness. Conversely, if my competitor spent $1mil and got back $1mil and a hundred bucks, they’d be kicking and gnashing their teeth. The amount of profit we made is the same but relative to what was spent, one party won BIG compared to the other.
“Three months ago, the difference between PS4 and the One was only 2 million! Fast forward a few months and the difference is STILL the same!”
Hoo boy~ this one’s my favorite. For the difference between PS4 and Xbox One to remain in static, it would mean that both consoles sell the EXACT number of units each month. But wait, you ask, isn’t PS4 beating the One in the US? True but the reality is that those 13 other countries MAKE UP for the difference. D’ohohoho! Silly me.
To put this in context, imagine I’m taking 10 steps ahead of you and you took 3 steps. I turn around and I ask “Hey, what’s the distance between us?” and you answer “7 steps!” On our next turn, I took another 10 steps and you only took 2, once again I ask and what’s the reply I get? “7 steps!”
You really think Microsoft, the company that advertises - 10 million instances of noisy farts were caught on Kinect – would remiss the chance to say “We’re selling 1 million a month! JUST like our competitor!”
As I write this, I’m fully aware that none of this is going to sink. Like when Nate Silver accurately predicted the outcome using his mathematical model before he was laughed at by the Republicans, numbers and equations bounce off the bubble boys.
Still, take solace in the fact that Math is a harsh but just mistress. Sooner or later, she’ll bring the house crashing down on their heads…and yet, even then, they’ll still be unable to comprehend where it all went wrong.
After all, they are…The Bubble Boys.
MightynoX would oft reminiscence about a Math Professor he had that boasted he worked 365 days a year, with no vacations. He still checks the university site to see if that man had committed suicide or not.
Next piece: PLAY THE GAY AWAY?