Discussionist: Great Expectations

In a societal structure dedicated to cyclical consumption, expectations are paramount. If we didn’t expect a particular product to imbue us with a sense of happiness – that car you’ve always wanted, or the latest game – it’s not unrealistic to say that our incentive to spend would evaporate.

Trailers, talk shows, television – all devices used by the industry’s marketers in a bid to scrape in your cold, hard cash. But what exactly constructs your expectations about a particular video game?

We’ve all been there. A ten-minute presentation, through the clever use of language and a heavily contrived demonstration, has effectively convinced us that this video game can make my breakfast, save my receding hairline and provide me with the ride of a lifetime. But a month afterwards, the game is still riddled with hacks, connection issues and my hairline has receding by another centimeter or two – I’m incredibly disappointed.

Is it the game’s name? Its publisher? Its developer? In other words, what aspect of any given game invites you to pre-order, or to be disappointed – as a game may not have matched your initial expectations – in a shipped product?

Does it matter that Resident Evil isn’t ‘Resident Evil’ anymore? What’s in a name?

This one’s about consumption, consumerism and expectations in video games.

Let the discussions begin, folks.

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