Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marketing Sponge

I find myself bizarrely susceptible to incredibly gimmicky marketing strategies.

Cinematic game trailers, for instance, remain incredibly tantalizing, despite being almost entirely unrelated to the actual experience of playing said game. I don't care how epic this is – the game's physical gameplay is so distinctly different, they might as well be advertising different products.

Gamification works wonders on me. Goodreads, Obsidian Portal and the site I linked to yesterday, 750 Words, have skyrocketed by reading, DMing and writing respectively, all in the name of some arbitrary bullshit achievements less useful than that fucking certificate they toss you in the original Pokémon Red & Blue for catching all 151 of the buggers. I will plow through novel after novel, simply to claim that I've read 50, 65, 80 books a year. I will catalogue every minor detail of my campaign world, down to excruciating fineness, to an audience uniquely incapable of understanding the nuances, as I actively endeavor to keep that information from them. I will plunge fearlessly forward in Galactic Menace, to collect pointless avian-themed badges of no intrinsic value.

Lastly, goddamn bright colors, particularly on food products, but also book covers, game posters, film trailers, all of it, reels me in like a big stupid catfish. The missus and I once purchased those tiny tubs of bright colored juice one finds at the supermarket, intended for five year olds, on the brightness of the blue ALONE. They were wretched. We were duped of our $0.79.

What's even more frustrating about the whole exercise is that I'm painfully aware of these facts, but unable to prevent my only susceptibility nonetheless. As these things are duping me, one portion of my moronic brain is repeating that I've higher cognitive powers than this and what am I doing et cetera, but the reptilian half of my brain just wants lights, points and colors, no matter how arbitrary they might all be.

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