RurouniQ’s Latest Boycott
The opinions stated in this article are the sole opinion of Mark Ross and do not reflect the opinions of Padinga.com or its partners. So say we all.
Fuck you, Jack Tretton. Fuck. You.
Dearest reader, I’d like to take you back on a journey. Hop into the Wayback Machine with me, and let’s turn the dial to 2003. A darling little company by the name of Nokia is ready to release a darling little product called the N-Gage, a.k.a. the Awkward Side Taco, that for all intents and purposes was ahead of its time. A game system that’s also a phone? A phone that’s also a game system? Ringing any bells here?
But there were a few major factors that led to the system’s downfall. Poor hardware design, a lofty price tag, and a lack of games with which to cement a memorable place in the gaming tapestry all contributed to its universal dearth of adoption. One of the most damning factors, however, was that Nokia unintentionally managed to insult its entire target demographic. More on how this relates to Sony after the jump.
The Dow Jones Business News released a statement made by Nokia’s head of entertainment. “Game Boy is for 10-year-olds,” said Ilkka Raiskinen, head of Nokia’s entertainment and media arm. “If you’re 20 or 25 years old, it’s probably not a good idea to draw a Game Boy out of your pocket on a Friday night in a public space.” To this day, it is still unknown, when Mr. Raiskinen said this, just what the hell he was thinking. Maybe he was thinking that there was a userbase out there who felt that the Nintendo handheld philosophy wasn’t in line with their hip nightlife. Maybe he believed that the Great Holy Spirit God of Capricious Twenty-Somethings would take pity on his poor, misguided soul and grant him a plentiful harvest. Who fucking knows. What we do know, however, is that the N-Gage took a nose dive, selling only 2-3 million units over the course of 4 years (compared to the over 1 million units the 3DS has already sold worldwide since release), and by and large, the gaming community celebrated its downfall with bonfires, fireworks, and midgets dressed up like tribal teddy bears, much as they would the downfall of an evil galactic empire of some sort. Why did they care? Because they had been insulted by these upstart fuckers. “For 10-year-olds?” “Not a good idea to draw a Game Boy out of your pocket in a public place?” Who the fuck – Nay, who in the name of my imported Rez Trance Vibrator do you think you are?!
Fast forward 8 years. Enter one Jack “The Whack” Tretton. Sony Computer Entertainment America’s CEO has a bit of a reputation for saying off-the-wall things, but then he goes and pulls this poundcake out of his ass in Fortune Magazine:
“Our view of the ‘Game Boy experience’ is that it’s a great babysitting tool, (but) no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He’s too old for that.”
Really, Jack? Really? How about 2 weeks ago when this very-much-self-respecting 29-year-old played his 3DS on his flights to and from Las Vegas? Do you actually know, I mean truly and for really reals, Mr. Tretton, exactly how many gamers my age own and play a DS or 3DS? I can think of 10 that I know, just off the top of my head, and I’m a relative fucking recluse. Are you saying we’re pathetic? That we need babysitting? Are you actually giving credence to the claims of the detractors and naysayers who wish video games as an industry to go the way of the Dreamcast dinosaur, that video games are the poor parent’s babysitting tool and are worthless to society? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE FUCKING SAYING.
Do you know what I did when Nokia pulled this shit nearly a decade ago, Mr. Tretton? Do you know what thousands of gamers did? We boycotted Nokia, Mr. Tretton. To this day, eight years later, I have never purchased a Nokia product, and likely never will. I’m a pure technophile, Mr. Tretton. Do you know how much income Nokia probably lost from me over 8 years? I’ve purchased at least 5 phones in that time, and I always turned down the Nokia, even when it was a great deal or a good product. There was always another product that was just as or nearly as good, and Nokia’s insult always made me choose the other direction. And I’m just one person, Mr. Tretton. Imagine what happens when thousands of people do this because a company tells them all, metaphorically speaking, to go fuck themselves and their pathetic lives. I own a PS3 and a Bravia TV, and I am one of these so-called “non-self-respecting 20-somethings” you’re talking about.
I’m not going to go so far as to boycott Sony, as a whole. I simply can’t. They are responsible for too many movies, too many TV shows, too much music. I can’t stop buying PS3 games, since I’m not going to let my rather expensive PS3 go to seed unused. I will, however, always be sure, when possible, to buy the 360 version of the game, even if there may be some content or feature I’m missing out on. Am I ever going to buy another Bravia TV? Hell no. PlayStation 4? I’ll save my $800 until my responsibilities as a game writer require its purchase, thank you very much.
And as of this moment, I, RurouniQ, am boycotting all Sony portable products, most especially the NGP. I was thinking of purchasing one, if the games looked promising and it wasn’t too expensive. You know what? Not anymore, Mr. Tretton. I can “babysit” myself without your product.
I imagine you thought you were saying something edgy, a shot across the bow to look cool to your vassals and lords. But did you think you would actually gain anything, fiscally speaking, with this? Did you somehow think, Mr. Tretton, deep down in that sludge-encrusted mire you call a heart, that you’d change somebody’s mind with this? They’d read your quote and say to themselves, “Wow… Maybe I’ve been wrong all along! Why am I playing with this Fisher Price toy when I could be playing God of War on a black piece of hardware instead? I never thought of this before!” Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind.
I tell you what, Mr. Tretton. If you release a formal apology, I will call off my boycott, and likely, most of the other people you’ve insulted who are doing the same will call off theirs as well. Hey, I will even sweeten the deal for you, Mr. Tretton. You apologize, and I will buy an NGP on launch day. If I can afford it.
Well? I’m waiting.