Monday, July 27, 2009

My Enemies List: Addendum One

When I originally put together my enemies list, I also said that I would be adding entries to it as I went along and thought of new people and groups that have raised my ire. I will admit that when I do an addendum, the entries are going to be longer... so you have a heads up about that.

Collectors: Now, I am not talking about people who merely buy lots of related things because they enjoy having them. No, I am talking about the people who collect things as some warped form of investment. And because they consider their hobby one which has financial motivations, they set an artificially high price for whatever they own. I am sure a lot of you out there have been in a situation where you wanted to watch, read or play something and the only people who have that item want an unrealistic amount of money for it... a price that is so far out of whack from either its original value or the value such an item would dictate on the open market. Now there are some that would argue that the laws of supply and demand dictate those prices, but that is not true. What has happened is there are some people who have set a high price, and someone made a choice to buy it at that price, and others seeing that it can be sold for that get all nutty and set their prices that high too. And when you see prices that high, when you are trying to buy the item in auction, well, even if you pay more than it was worth otherwise, you still aren't paying that premium price that everyone seems to want. I'll give you an example from my own life. I bought a copy of Ico for the PS2 at a Blockbuster late last year for 10 dollars because I wanted to play it. But after I bought it, I tried and did not like Shadow of the Colossus, which was made by the same team, so I listed it at a game trading website. Someone offered me a sealed game and 50 dollars for said item (the sealed game, if you went by's marketplace was worth 77 dollars... but if you bought it at the manufacturer that same day, it was 30). I then decided to look up Ico (which sold 250K units in the United States/Canada, so it isn't even super rare) at the Amazon marketplace, and there are people who are trying to get over 100 dollars for it. And one person in particular wants 194 dollars for it. I will say that again. One hundred and ninety four dollars. It makes me question the sanity of the world really. Though I am guilty by association because someone offered me a deal which was insane, and I took it, so I am complicit with this, but honestly, I think someone would have to be pretty low to demand 194 dollars for something which at best should be 50... at best.

The Entertainment News Media: Yes I have problems with most of the news outlets, but there are things that I need to say another day about them. So, I thought it would be better to start with something which is near and dear to my heart. Do you remember when you would turn on Entertainment Tonight and they would be talking about an upcoming movie, television show or musician about to go on world tour? I do. Oh, the 1980's, how I hate your fashions and hairdos, but I did appreciate what you were bringing to the party in terms of coverage. And I realize that a lot of the things I want from the entertainment news media are now online, but there was something almost heartwarming about tuning into a show just to see some exclusive scenes from a hotly anticipated film. Now, what are we left with? A lot of celebrity gossip about breakups, drug abuse and weight gain and loss. Or we get TMZ which is basically a half-hour of people with a camera harassing celebrities on the street, at the airport and in front of clubs with various snide comments from the team in the office. These two versions of entertainment reporting almost work as a microcosm of the news media in general, but that would be letting the latter off the hook too easily. There used to be a time when there was an unwritten rule that the private lives of celebrities were pretty much off limits for the legitimate entertainment press. I sort of wish we would go back to that standard, because my needs as a pop culture junkie are really not being served by what passes as coverage these days.

There is more to come... there will always be more to come.


Lee Sargent said...

I hope personally that I fall in the category of collectors who buy related stuff because they just want it and want to enjoy it.

Because I hate those people who will buy a comic book for example and won't take it out of the acid free hermetically sealed plastic in the hopes that it is a good investment and they'll one day make some money off of it.

Worse still are people who do that not for the monetary investment but just because they feel compelled to

eeek I think there is a podcast or a post in this!

MC said...

Well, you know how I feel about people who buy toys and don't take them out of their packages (unless that is how they best enjoy them).

I buy things to enjoy them... and not for the cache of merely having them. Having a copy of Ico for instance has some geek credibility to it, but in the end, I knew that I wouldn't enjoy it and there are other people out there who are dying to get their hands on a copy to play it, so I'd rather make them happy and get something that I would like to actually play and enjoy then hoard the disc and hope for the best in terms of money.

Of course, I am still a geek so I am watching a walkthrough of the entire game... 64 2 to 5 minute segments... I can tell watching it that I would have gotten frustrated early in the experience.

Yes, I think a post or even podcast is indeed in order about this topic.

SamuraiFrog said...

In my experience, collectibles are really only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. And a lot of unrealistic expectations have ruined potential buys for me, too. I don't like this idea of hoarding something to make some kind of profit off of it; what's the point? I'd rather just enjoy my stuff.

If it makes me happy to have a shelf full of Dalek action figures, I'll have it. I don't expect to sell them one day and retire. If I ever did sell them, it'd be at a pretty reasonable price to someone who wants and enjoys them.

MC said...

And that is exactly the right attitude to have. Value is this arbitrary thing that has to be agreed upon by the community. If someone is being an asshat, then it is the duty of everyone else to say no, we aren't going to play that way. We are going to be fair about pricing and sort of shame the profiteers out of it.