Tobold over at his blog is soapboxing on an issue he’s had with Facebook. It appears that Facebook doesn’t like his alias, and so banned him. Unfortunately for Tobold, he actually had invested in his identity on Facebook to the point where he had purchased virtual items from Facebook games. Now it appears the money is sunk. In other news, people are tearing apart the click-through legal agreements for EA’s Origin platform, which facetiously asks such things as a sacrificing your first born and selling away all rights to your genetic matter.
I find these issues interesting, but I find it more interesting the responses they evoke. There seem to be two generic responses. The intelligent response is “I won’t buy it,” or some form thereof, and the entitled response is “that’s not fair.”
I say entitled because the would-be consumer seems to not understand the simple rule of “house.” See, the consumer is entering another’s house, which is different than buying a book and bringing it back to my own castle. There are times when I want to enter another’s house, and I have to abide by different rules. Some rules, I think, are stupid, like taking off my generally clean shoes.
Other rules I don’t really care about in the commercial houses. If I pay $30 to see Lion King, the theater can be damn sure I am going to bring a few of my own suckers to keep my two-year old occupied. I might even bring a soda for myself at the bottom of the diaper bag. At a casino, I have my own methods for blackjack that might amount to counting cards. Yet, like an adult I understand that these are rules of the house I am breaking. If I get caught I might get thrown out without a refund. Them’s the breaks.
The other side of it is acceptance of stupid rules, and cover-your-ass rules, which are in place to limit liability. Yes, yes, I sign the silly waiver of liability at a birthday party for my kindergartner’s friend at a gymansium. In the event god deems this gymnasium needs a nuking from above, I won’t hold them liable. Would any parent here not the sign the waiver in the event that their kindergartner cannot now play at the birthday party with all their school friends? If you say “yes” it is unlikely you have kids.
Which leads to me the luxury of games. I want to re-emphasize luxury. Entering someone’s house for games is not necessary, and therefore the rules have way to be stupider. Afterall, unlike the need to eat and sleep, one can simply walk away from a luxury house with stupid rules.
Then it simply becomes how much does one want to play versus how stupid are the rules. There is no issue of “fair” or “just.” This is someone else’s goddamn house! My kids call me unfair all the time and I don’t bat an eye, and anybody think a cold-faced corporation cares what its kids are calling it?
The choice is simple: don’t like the rules, don’t go in the house, or go in and take it any which way it is given. Break the rules and likely take it in a place you don’t want to.
I am finding more and more that people want something, feel entitled to something, so much that there is no more consumer option of simply walking away. They must have it, but they want it on their terms. I think corporations realize this. The masses are letting them get away with more stupid rules because at the end of the day, most people don’t care enough. Their want outshadows the stupid rules by magnitudes.
Think about that next time you enter someone’s house.