Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, November 10, 2021

pixel price-point
For as long as there have been home videogame console, there’s been bitching about the sticker-shock that comes with the price of new games for those systems.

The current average is $60 for Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii current-release titles. Steep, although not too out of line when taking the longer-term view:

For some historical perspective, the average cost of games in 1982 was $35, and SNES and Sega Genesis games sold anywhere from $40-$60 in 1991. Adjusting for inflation, those costs are $74 and $60-$90, respectively. Cartridges did cost more than DVDs to produce, but overall, game prices have essentially been frozen, not even adjusting at inflation rate for nearly two decades, even with the rise in production cost and quality.

I was in my childhood videogaming glory back in ‘82, rocking the still-beloved Atari 2600. I clearly remember making my parents shell out $29.99 plus tax for last-generation 2600 games like Dig-Dug and Joust. Later on, I blew my own college-student cash on games for the Genesis. So yes, those cartridges were among the more expensive indulgences of my youth; on the other hand, they instilled in me a love of retro-gaming that’s still going strong.

As for the whether or not the games are/were overpriced: Development costs are tied to the specialization of programming/creative talent it takes to produce a game. Relatively speaking, it’s still a pretty rarefied field — not all that many people make a career out of it, and those who are really good at producing the blockbusters are in demand. The economics become pretty predictable from there.

In addition, the basic economic model for gaming systems hasn’t changed since the Atari age: The hardware is manufactured and sold at a loss to make it easy to grab mass-market share, with the money made back (and much more) via game sales. It’s worked for thirty years now, with PC-based gaming (both executable versions and online games) providing a see-saw effect in appeal.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/10/2021 12:15:44 PM
Category: Business, History, Videogames
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Here are the two things I came away with after my visit to the Chanel Mobile Art exhibit/installation in Central Park last week:

1. The definition of a French saying heretofore unknown to me, provided on a postcard-like takeaway with the title “EMPTY YOUR BAG, BARE YOUR SOUL” on the front side:

In bygone days, in the legal world, case files were just simple sheets of paper rolled up and carried in leather bags. Each lawyer had his own, and took his scrolls out one by one in front of the judge in order to read his defense speech. In other words, he “emptied his bag”. To “empty one’s bag” has become an idiomatic expression in French, “vider son sac : dir ce qu’on a sur le coeur”, used when someone reveals something that was kept secret for a long time.

2. That the sexual nature of flowers is best expressed via their “arrogant pistils”, to quote the exhibit tour’s MP3-player delivered audio guide (a husky, accented woman’s whisper — I kept getting the feeling that it was supposed to be the ghost of Coco Chanel). It’s a phrase I’m going to cherish, with a chuckle, for a long time.

Good luck getting into the odd-pod Mobile Art show now — I think it’s got only a few days left in New York before it packs up all the handbag-inspired objets d’art and takes its show to London (or Moscow, I can’t remember which). I’m actually glad I got invited to experience it. I went in cold and expected to have to suffer through an hour of looking at vintage purses, but it was actually a head-trippy slate of works, including video and abstract expressions that only touched upon the namesake fashion accessories.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/10/2021 10:59:31 AM
Category: Creative, Fashion, History, New Yorkin', Wordsmithing
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