Vince marks the return of Heavy Meta with a discussion on whether the ability to bench press a bus or smell a man’s cologne from three floors down gives a hero the right to make decisions for others. Click through the image to read the article!
That’s right, guys ‘n gals! I’m very gradually spreading my literary tentacles across the Internet! The awesome folks over at Lounge Geeks have been kind enough to let me do a recurring feature deconstructing tropes and trends in the geeky media we love!
Click through the banner link at the top of this post to check out this week’s article on the evolution of the Hero’s Journey. After that, you can check out new posts every other Saturday on their site, and hey, why not toss ’em a Like and a Follow on their FB Page?
A couple of years back, when Minecraft had yet to become the gaming mega-giant it is now, a friend of mine showed me an article on io9 depicting something incredible. A team of friends had taken on the arduous task of building a scale replica of the U.S.S Enterprise in Minecraft. Its height took up almost the entirety of the game space, and its length cast a shadow across the landscape that brought to mind flashbacks of the Star Destroyer from the opening scene of A New Hope.
They’d taken pains to find incredibly detailed schematics of where everything was located inside the ship. Every room, every deck, every elevator replicated with slavish detail. “Pfft. There’s someone with WAAAAAAAY too much time on their hands.” came the response from across the table.
Here stands this digital testament to artistic commitment, not to mention architectural ambition, and the first thought that comes to this heckler’s mind (as well as many others) is that this individual couldn’t have picked a more profoundly useless waste of time. Why? What separates this guy from any other digital artist, , or even more conventional painters, sculptors, or artists? Why do player-creators deserve our scorn, when artists get our praise?
Piracy is nothing new. Since the days of VHS and cassette tapes, media industries have been declaring that the ability to obtain our favourite media for free (through avenues not regulated by them) would spell doom for us all. Now, in the internet age, moguls and legislators alike have never been so passionate to stomp out piracy by any means necessary. Rather than add my voice to the ever-raging debate on how to do this fairly via legislation, I’d like to offer a different, if perhaps controversial view: Piracy is not the problem. It is merely a symptom of the it; namely, that with the freedom and convenience granted by the internet, the power dynamic of the customer-purveyor relationship has changed, but the practices of media companies have not adapted to reflect this. Companies need to accept the fact that a much greater portion of power is now in their customers’ hands. We’ll still GLADLY pay for media we like and want, and a loyal customer will still make you truck loads of cash (as iTunes has shown), but now, because of piracy and our ability to ”try before we buy”, the onus is put on the media source to pony up a product that is consistently of high enough quality to get us to invest our dollar. Rather than needing to be regulated, piracy is the regulator: if you half-ass your product, or don’t listen to the desires of your demographic, we’ll know. We won’t invest, and your work will go down the tubes.