An Analytical Discussion of the Industry, Culture, Progress and Nature of Video Games.
August 26th, 2006
How Boneheads Screwed Up
It was supposed to be magical. An anthropological sort of magic, but magical nonetheless. I was to survey a large number of avid gamers about their perceptions of the current next-gen consoles. Then, I was to survey another large number of gamers about the qualities they’d want in “the perfect video game system”. I was to call this exercise, “The Constrained Successive Freelist” and Russ Bernard would carry me on his shoulders cheering, “You’re a genius, Stev!” as I created a systematic qualitative method for consumer-related predictive modeling. Instead of baselessly posturing about the upcoming console war, I was going to take it head-on with data and make… err… less baseless posturing.
For the three-console post, I was less lucky, gathering two interesting posts before the thread devolved into abject fanboyism. Whether or not it was sincere, it killed my thread and, hence, the ability to perform any sort of correspondence analysis.
Let’s all thank Ultima_King for being an ass: Quality of the Wii? “LoL OMGZ0rZ tehy called it a Wii!!!1111lolololol.” Quality of the PS3? “Sony is teh SuCk!!!111oneoneone wii60 ftw!!!!111111oneoneeleven.” Honestly. If you’re savvy enough to mock fanboys and 1337-speakers, then you’re savvy enough to sit down for three minutes and answer my question in a mature manner.
But I digress. Attached here, and presented below, is the table made from the data gathered from Forumopolis describing the perfect system. I used Visual Anthropac to get this table (praise be to Borgatti). Even if my envisioned analysis can’t be done, there’s still something to learn from the data I collected. Everything above 4.8% in frequency is a shared opinion, meaning that everything 4.8% in frequency is idiosyncratic and - usually - not a shared cultural category.
The top responses should come as no surprise: good games, wireless, reasonably priced, and online. Actually, all pretty standard this generation – aside from the reasonably priced part. In fact, one person specifically said, “Not $599.” A clear dig at Sony, but something that is present in many pundit reactions, although seemingly ignored by Wall Street. Good games, although totally subjective, are also interesting to see at the top of this list in both frequency and salience (a statistic combining frequency and rank. The higher the number, the more salient). It’s what gamers have been saying for years, but, again, ignored by console-makers through their perpetual posturing about graphics, online community, media-playing capacities, and innovation.
Copyright © 2006 Stev Weidlich and Aaron Weiner