You're expressing an opinion on something—maybe DLC, maybe DRM, maybe microtransactions or online passes. Something controversial where it's clear that a company is taking advantage of customers. You have worries. You're upset. Enter the Apologist Gamer, here to invalidate your concerns.
"Companies Exist To Make Money," they'll stupidly say—as if this fact wasn't obvious, as if it excuses something a company is doing, as if you don't have the right to be upset about it even though it affects you.
Jim Sterling wrote an on-point editorial on GameFront today about the subject, skewering people who try to win conversations by saying that companies exist to make money.
It's the ultimate "ends justify the means" assertion, except where that argument is usually applied to some noble goal achieved through dubious methods, there's no nobility. It is, instead, an argument used to validate base avarice. Electronic Arts is not curing cancer. Ubisoft is not ending famine. Why the fuck, then, is their desire to make money considered a good reason for the things they do?
What happens when the 'companies exist to make money' argument comes up is that perfectly legitimate consumer concerns are brushed off. I can't help but feel like people who make these arguments "for" companies forget that they're probably not stockholders.
Ultimately, why the hell should you give a damn about a company's bottom line beyond knowing that it exists? Why should a company's interests override YOUR interests as a consumer? Grow a spine! Stand up for yourself!
Jim puts it nicely, though:
You might not think it's a big deal to fuck around with inputting online pass codes when you want to get into some multiplayer. You know what? That's fine. It's absolutely fine if you choose to be the consumer that doesn't care about it—so long as you're happy with a given situation, that's absolutely cool. Happy consumers are fine by me. But when those happy consumers suggest less happy consumers need to march in step with them, because it's a company's job to make money and we're not allowed to question the means of doing so, that's when I think bounds are overstepped. I'm not telling you that you definitely have to be mad over something—but don't tell others they can't be.
I definitely look forward to the day when people stop being apologists about companies that don't have our interests in mind. For now, go on ahead and read Jim's piece on the subject, which goes more into detail about the issue.
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