• @Boozilla
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    1346 months ago

    Evil genius marketing, working as it always does. The kids don’t know any better, so they are being exploited and conditioned to think the horrible new normal is just the way things have to be. And most parents are too tired and busy to find better alternatives.

    • @Jiggle_Physics
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      506 months ago

      It’s simple, the games that appeal the most to kids require some form of subscription. If those games didn’t, then they wouldn’t want ones with subscriptions.

      • @Orbituary
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        456 months ago

        The games that appeal most to kids play upon their dopamine response and generate addictive patterns.

        • @Jiggle_Physics
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          146 months ago

          Correct, and if they didn’t have subscriptions, subscriptions wouldn’t be popular.

          • @TwilightVulpine
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            56 months ago

            Putting it like that makes it sound that this is incidental, but the conditioning techniques baked into the design of these games are included for the sake of selling battle passes and virtual items. If they didn’t have subscriptions and virtual currency, they would have been built entirely differently.

            • @Jiggle_Physics
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              36 months ago

              That’s because I am not speaking on the corporate point of view here, I am discussing the kids’. Every time I see this subject come up there seems to always be people who think that the move to subscriptions are due to a preference of access model upon the consumer, naively ruining their own capacity to own things, namely kids/young people, thinking it’s just the modern, and thus better, more convenient, way to go.

              Even the article’s headline is written in a manner that suggests that kids prefer the subscription model it’s self, not that they are choosing based on the game without thought to the access model.

              • @TwilightVulpine
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                26 months ago

                I see what you mean. Far from me to want to blame the kids for it, but I don’t think we can just overlook how corporations are deliberately funneling them towards these models through marketing and manipulative design. The kids’ perspective is one of just being excited for things they want in these games, but this happens due to habitual conditioning of a neverending threadmill of virtual rewards and Fear of Missing Out. Not to mention semi-organic peer pressure among kids, over who has the fanciest or default cosmetics. Which wasn’t deliberately created by the corporations, but they are definitely benefitting over it, and nobody is dissuading that from happening.

                The kids are not at fault, but I don’t think this is a “just let kids be kids” situation. They are being exploited.

        • @Wrench
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          116 months ago

          And target that critical mass where you don’t want to be the only kid that doesn’t have access to the game every other kid is playing.

          Not having cable TV growing up definitely caused me to be the odd man out on pop culture references. A lot.

        • AnonTwo
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          36 months ago

          Thats just most games though

          How did we think Arcades worked?

          • @Psychodelic
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            26 months ago

            No you don’t understand! The kids are enjoying themselves when they play these veedeeyoo gaymz. It’s horrible!

        • @Jiggle_Physics
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          It did. I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying, or adding more to it than there is.

          Children do not desire subscriptions as a superior model to owning games. The model of access is not something they are comparing and contrasting. They are simply going for the games they prefer, which get locked behind subscriptions. I never implied that games popular with kids aren’t intentionally put behind subscriptions, I was arguing that the subscription model isn’t actually preferred by kids.

      • @[email protected]
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        16 months ago

        How you worded this makes it seem like “if those games didn’t” refers to requiring subscriptions.

        I would suggest editing it to “If those games didn’t appeal to kids” or similar; if what you meant was that kids just plays what appeals to them, and those games “just happens” to be subscription games.

    • stopthatgirl7
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      6 months ago

      I was talking just today with some coworkers about how having subscriptions instead of owning is what is normal to kids now - not just games, but things like Netflix and Spotify. So this doesn’t surprise me, but does depress me. Technofeudalism is the new normal.

      • @[email protected]
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        6 months ago

        In my teen years I spent a large fraction of my disposable income on music. A Spotify subscription is a vastly better value than buying whatever I could scrounge from a used CD store. Back then it was common for me to read about some semi-obscure recording and just have to wonder what it sounded like, because I had no hope of finding it in a store, and a special order was way out of my budget, especially for something I had no idea if I’d even like. Now I can listen to damn near anything that’s ever been published for less than I spent as a teenager. I find new music by listening to personalized recommendations instead of local radio stations. It’s just better in every way (except probably for the artists, but music has always been a cutthroat business so who knows).

        A lot of subscription services suck and are just a way to milk customers, but streaming audio and video are not in that category.

      • @Boozilla
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        56 months ago

        I keep hoping–perhaps naively so–for a major backlash against this. Sometimes consumers have power, and sometimes they don’t. But maybe we’ll all get fed up with this bullshit and start just dropping any and all unnecessary subscriptions from our lives. The big problem is when a brand becomes synonymous with a product (like fucking Adobe and ProTools, for two examples).

    • Grammaton Cleric
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      46 months ago

      I’m an adult and I play a few different games like this.

  • @[email protected]
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    686 months ago

    Here are some relatively cheap games to give kids that aren’t fortnite or roblox and dont run on some subscription/internal monetary currency:

    • Risk of Rain 2
    • Minecraft (Java)
    • Tunic
    • Stardew Valley
    • A Hat in Time
    • Baba is You
    • Fate (Wildtangent)
    • Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Not the Skywalker Saga)
    • Chip’s Challenge 1 and 2
    • Shovel Night (Treasure Trove)
    • @grue
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      156 months ago

      Here are some good Free Software games that cost nothing at all:

      • Hedgewars
      • Mindustry
      • Shattered Pixel Dungeon
      • Minetest (with MineClone2 mod)
      • 0 A.D.
      • SuperTuxKart
      • Freeciv
      • FlightGear
      • Battle for Wesnoth
    • at_an_angle
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      6 months ago

      But I want FortNite V-Buck’s! I only have the default skins and people are making fun of me at school!

      • @[email protected]
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        106 months ago

        Exactly! This is more about the social aspect of these games. Kids are playing Fortnite/Roblox/Minecraft because that’s where their friends are hanging out after school.

    • @RGB3x3
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      6 months ago
      • Death’s Door
      • Celeste
      • Party Animals (you can buy a bunch of skins, but you don’t need to)
      • The Outer Wilds
    • @Cornucopiaofplenty
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      86 months ago

      Why not skywalker saga, out of interest? Recently 100%ed it and thought it was a fun game.

      • @[email protected]
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        116 months ago

        It’s relatively more expensive, and requires a bit more modern hardware to run it.

        Most every game on this list can run on some 2011 bestbuy/walmart unbranded pc.

        • @Cornucopiaofplenty
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          36 months ago

          That’s fair, I see what you mean. It is pretty hardware intensive relatively

    • Neato
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      66 months ago

      I would like to add Outer Wilds to this. No combat, virtually no violence, and adult themes are aimed at mild existentialism. Great exploration game with fun physics and puzzles.

      For older kids I’d suggest: Satisfactory. Essentially first person Factorio with mild combat vs fauna.
      Astroneer: exploration and advancement.

      • idunnololz
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        26 months ago

        Outer Wilds is kinda spooky though. I guess it depends on how old the kid is.

        • Neato
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          26 months ago

          The DLC, definitely. The thorny planet is in the OG game a little bit. For the DLC I turned off scares because I don’t really play horror games and it was still very fun.

    • @MycoBro
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      46 months ago

      Shovel knight rules

      • @steeznson
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        06 months ago

        I never played the DLCs or the Shovel Knight adjacent games they made (think there was a puzzler?) but I loved the original when it came out. Might be time to dive back in to that world.

        • @MycoBro
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          26 months ago

          I only played the original. I had a super shitty laptop that I loved back in the day when I was working the ambulance. Would play it between calls. As well as a special LoL account that would occasionally go afk dying matches. (Sorry guys. Not my fault. Kind of my fault. I’m sorry.

    • @[email protected]
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      6 months ago

      I don’t like how much Minecraft has me by the balls. With all my hatred for Microsoft, I can’t let that game go.

      On that note, install MineClone first, see if your kid likes it. Can’t hurt to try.

      (Edit: MineClone2, the mod for Minetest, as seen in the reply below)

      • @grue
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        6 months ago

        MineClone

        The top DDG search result for that (on crazygames . com) looks like a rip-off or something. I’m going to assume the thing you mean to recommend is MineClone2, a mod for MineTest, which is the most prominent Free Software Minecraft-style game.

        • @[email protected]
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          36 months ago

          I indeed mean MineClone2, the mod for Minetest.

          I should’ve specified, there’s no shortage of Minecraft clones to be confused by.

    • @jacktherippah
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      26 months ago

      Minecraft was probably among the best 25$ I’ve ever spent. So many fun hours just messing around with friends.

    • @[email protected]
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      16 months ago

      Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Not the Skywalker Saga)

      Clone Wars is also really good, plus it has a lot better split screen which is great for 2p coop playing with your kid/nephew/niece or just being able to have 2 children play together instead of fighting over who gets to play and who has to wait for their turn that never comes

    • sour
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      6 months ago

      geometry dash

      don’t let play if anger issue

  • @setsneedtofeed
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    666 months ago

    Too bad. They’re getting copies of Burger King’s Sneak King and they’re going to like it.

  • @rip_art_bell
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    6 months ago

    “ESA survey showed” – not exactly an unbiased report

    • @GoronmonOP
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      6 months ago

      I wouldn’t say its that bad. Various forms of collectibles/cards have been around for a long time. Asking for gametime for a game like WoW isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.

      I think it’s just that there are a few specific examples that stand out. Some aspects of Roblox can be pretty concerning.

      But if a kid just wants some money for a skin for Fornite, or to buy a specific world setup for Minecraft, I don’t necessarily see that as some scary new thing.

      • @[email protected]
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        76 months ago

        While I hate slippery slopes, this is an historic trend. They squeeze in little ones that don’t seem so bad. I accept no games with these predatory or greedy models and I’d argue that kids shouldn’t be subjected to them.

  • @[email protected]
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    346 months ago

    Hot take: this is better than them getting a bunch of plastic crap that will end up in a landfill in 6 months.

    • deaf_fish
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      156 months ago

      Yeah, but that is kinda like saying US healthcare is better than it was 50 years ago. You’re correct, but why make the comparison?

      It would be best if game developers didn’t encourage kids to subscribe to their games. Just buy them like we did when I was growing up.

    • @[email protected]
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      6 months ago

      This presumes that disposable plastic crap is the only gift alternative. I still have most of the books I got for christmas as a kid

      • @[email protected]
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        36 months ago

        For sure there are alternatives, but I doubt there’s a lot of overlap between kids who want books and kids who want some e-currency. Probably not much overlap with gift givers either.

    • @loki_d20
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      46 months ago

      Games are digital now, folks.

    • @RoverRacecar
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      26 months ago

      Yeah, but wouldn’t it be harder to get addicted to plastic toys?

    • @qooqie
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      356 months ago

      Most games are free to play and heavily encourage subscriptions. So capitalism?

    • Carighan Maconar
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      336 months ago

      Unchecked “free market” capitalism, if I had to guess.

      Companies should never have been able to run outside of a very tight yoke. Yeah sure, capitalism. But not unchecked and especially not unchecked-across-borders so they can start escaping shit by moving legal entities around. Oh and speaking of that, maybe “corporations as entities” is another really really big one we fucked up, allowing the people who make the truly shitty decisions to shirk responsibility for them.

      • @grue
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        36 months ago

        Relevant article: https://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us/

        TL;DR: the way it was supposed to work is that entities that wanted limited liability were granted corporate charters in exchange for providing some large, tangible public benefit (and very much not just “shareholder value”, BTW). This post-Dodge v. Ford Motor Co. world where corporations are essentially mandated to be sociopathic is an absolute 100% perversion of what incorporation was meant to be for!

    • @Jiggle_Physics
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      156 months ago

      In case you are wondering this because it seems children actually prefer subscriptions to owning games, they don’t. Out of what is offered to them, the most desired choices happen to be subscription models of some form. If those games were something you just bought then the desire would be for games that were purchased in full.

    • @Sterile_Technique
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      106 months ago

      We’ve been hooking kids on gambling since (at least) baseball cards, which -surprise!- were heavily lobbied to convince law makers to let it fly.

      Consumers were doomed the instant we failed to torch and pitchfork that shit.

      • @Zoboomafoo
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        26 months ago

        It’s never too late for torch and pitchforks

    • @panchzila
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      106 months ago

      This type of games are free to play. So a bunch of kids who are friends can start playing at any time even without money. If some of them like the game, they’ll stay as a group for the social aspect.

      I don’t see any wrong in it. Its just different of what I did 30 years ago.

      • @PopOfAfrica
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        6 months ago

        I’m gonna have to disagree. As somebody who was an Overwatch addict, these games are designed to effectively be like drugs. They are not meant for children and shouldn’t be purported as such.

        These are casinos playing in simple.

        In fact, it’s much less incentivized for a game that is one and done, even multiplayer titles if they are a paid game.

    • @[email protected]
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      16 months ago

      Not teaching kids thr value of money imo is the main one. They dont understand the cost of subs because its not their money they are spending.

      I have a half brother whose on the sensible side of buying games. He doesnt get a lot of money, hell he got a 20$ steam card from a friend, and hes saving it for an indie game that doesnt even release till 2025.

  • AnonTwo
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    186 months ago

    I can understand the sentiments of the thread to offer alternatives

    Just remember whats going to happen based on your own christmas as a kid, when you got “The next best thing”

    Given there’s a lot of good picks, it’s still a tale as old as time.

    • @TwilightVulpine
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      186 months ago

      My parents refused to enable me to get into the glorified gambling of trading card games and frankly I was better off for this. I’ve seen people waking up realizing they had spent hundreds to thousands on cardboard designed to be replaced and deeply regretting it. That is while having cardboard to regret buying. Imagine what happens to these kids if the game they spent all their gift cards on closes down and takes it all down the drain.

      Meanwhile there were gifts like games and D&D books that let me have fun for a long time as complete packages without needing additional expenditures to enjoy.

      There are things kids can like and dislike, and we should keep that in mind. But as adults we should also take some responsibility for cutting through the bulshit of manipulative marketing. They aim these things at children because children only see their immediate excitement and wonder, but not the sleazy business behind it.

      • @[email protected]
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        86 months ago

        Meanwhile there were gifts like games and D&D books that let me have fun for a long time as complete packages without needing additional expenditures to enjoy.

        I see that kid-you never got into the world of gaming accessories.

        • @TwilightVulpine
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          36 months ago

          When I bought dice sets there was never the risk of missing out on the Ultra Rare d4 and being unable to use Magic Missile because of that. I might not have always gotten everything I wanted, but I got what I needed and I didn’t need to pay a subscrption to continue playing.

  • @TheMusicalFruit
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    166 months ago

    Just dropping a gift recommendation for younger kids with a Nintendo Switch. Kirby and the Forgotten Land. A few years old at this point, but my two younger kids still play the heck out of it. It’s wholesome, and doesn’t have any in game purchases or online subscription.

  • @Ibaudia
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    136 months ago

    Better idea: Get them a ton of classics from the Steam sale, put them on a fresh acct, and then give them hundreds of hours of good shit for like $50. You could get 5 copies of Undertale for the equivalent price of 1 Fortnite skin.

    • @panchzila
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      156 months ago

      I share my steam linrary with my two kids. Gave them 200+ games. They still play Fortnite and Roblox because that is what their friends play. When I was young the biggest games were single player and you shared stories with your friends. Now you play with them online.

      • @Ibaudia
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        76 months ago

        It really is crazy how much the cultural landscape of games has evolved over the past decade or so. I’ll just be here playing classic singleplayer games until I’m old and gray like a boomer lol.

        • @panchzila
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          56 months ago

          Ha! I guess I already qualify as a boomer. I’m 43 and been a gamer since the commodore days. I play everything that comes my way if time permits, from indies like islanders for a relaxing me time, to mega AAA F2P monsters like Fortnite to have a laugh with my sons.

          • @Fosheze
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            36 months ago

            At 43 I’m pretty sure you’re gen X, not a boomer.

            • @panchzila
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              46 months ago

              Oh I’m aware of the true definition of boomer but for many teeanger if you are older than 25 you are a boomer.

              • @Fosheze
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                36 months ago

                Well those whipersnappers just need to learn how generations work because ba k in my day…

        • @[email protected]
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          26 months ago

          I only play one online game (Dead By Daylight). Besides that it’s all single player games (mostly JRPGs). This year: Secret of Mana, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Torna The Golden Country, and Tears of the Kingdom. It was a good year. About to start Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

          • @Ibaudia
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            16 months ago

            DbD is my jam recently. Spirit is just too fun to play with all the mindgames you can do.

            • @[email protected]
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              26 months ago

              I play on the Switch (until cross progression becomes a thing) so playing killer is a nightmare. Survivor is fun though.

    • @Sabin10
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      116 months ago

      Strictly speaking, I’m not opposed to monetization in f2p games but the pricing is egregious.

      When the le seraffim bundle for overwatch 2 dropped they also put their in game currency on sale so you could get enough currency to get the bundle for $50 instead of $70 and people were calling it a great value.

      Even at $50, that’s enough for 4 months of humble choice which would net you 32 games and 6-8 of them would be AAA games.

  • @[email protected]
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    Everyone’s wondering where we went wrong as a society but honestly a year of game pass during a time of my life where I didn’t get new games very often sounds way better than getting like three games for Christmas.

  • @atrielienz
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    gestures at the outside I am not surprised. Outside is a McDonald/Starbucks laden hellscape. There are a dwindling number of places for kids to get enrichment outside their own homes. People in general spend increasingly long times in front of screens for various activities. Gaming is an activity that they can do alone or with their friends that doesn’t require them to pay for things to enjoy them. Some of them don’t even recognize that there is a real world cost for things like vbucks and so on.

    Toy stores are few and far between. We don’t watch media that has significant commercials anymore. What did we expect?

    • Stern
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      46 months ago

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_place

      The death of the third place has been happening in a thousand ways for a while now. Fewer and fewer places you can just be without paying to do so. Even now we see one of the last ones, libraries, targeted more and more by certain groups.

      • @atrielienz
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        26 months ago

        Thank you. I knew there was a name for this phenomenon but didn’t know what it was. I’m also pissed about the libraries. I don’t understand why people want to get rid of them.

  • @misophist
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    66 months ago

    As long as FFXIV exists, I can understand the desire for a game subscription over literally every other paid game.

    • @[email protected]
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      I got into it a few years back and nearly finished ARR. I found the storyline and cut scenes really engaging, and felt like I was a part of something. But I tried to pick it up and start fresh about a year ago and the bastards oversimplified my class (Summoner), and I swear they even further nerfed the low-mid level difficulty, making me feel most days as though I was playing on creative mode. For those who don’t care, though, the storyline, world and music (holy fuck, Limsa at night and Ul’dah at night are absolutely soul stirring) are really something special.

      I will likely try the game again with the upcoming graphical upgrade, but I fear I will always feel too behind on the story and won’t be a part of the entirely new storyline/age that is slated to begin with the next expansion. That graphical upgrade will be huge, though. I play a ton of old games myself, but sometimes FFXIV feels like it’s running modern character models over PS2 environments and grass textures. It deserves to cast off some of that jank and show how beautiful it’s natural world can be.