For many, downloadable content—especially day-one DLC or pre-order DLC—conjures feelings of getting less but paying more. Let me tell you: I paid $45 for Defender on the Atari 2600 and I still have the savings account withdrawal record to prove it. That was in 1982. If Atari had thrown in an extra set of mutant waves or a different colored spaceship I would have been friggin' ecstatic.

So, free your minds, and your 'Shops will follow this week to an absurd land of DLC for systems more than a decade away from supporting it. The 2600, the NES, the Genesis, whatever you grew up with, or wished you did, imagine how they would have done DLC. Given how hamfistedly most companies introduce their moneymaking schemes, ponder just how bad it would have been had they thought of this 20 years ago.


As an alternative, since we're going with three-letter combinations that piss some people off, you may imagine DRM on the ColecoVision, Intellivision, 2600 or anywhere else it would seem even more ridiculous and punitive than it already is.

You know the rules: The 20 best will get rounded up and published at the end of next Saturday. Meantime, I and the rest of the starred commentariat will approve and promote as many as we can so folks can see them and pass judgment.

This is your no-frills step-by-step procedure to participation in the Kotaku 'Shop Contest.

1. Create your 'Shop.
2. Upload it to a free image hosting service. I suggest imgur. It's stupid simple. No account is necessary.
3. This is very important: You must use the URL of the image itself. In imgur, this is the second URL it gives you after you upload the image. It's under "Direct Link (email & IM)"
4. At the beginning of the comments roll, click "Start a New Thread"
5. To the right of your name, select "Image."
6. Paste the imgur URL in the image URL field. It's the field that says "Image URL."
7. You can add editorial commentary if you want, but then just hit submit and your image will load. If it doesn't, paste the image URL as a comment.
8. This is important: Keep your image size under 1 MB. It will not upload to comments if it is over that size. What's more, we're getting reports that if your 'Shop is more than 1000px tall (vertical), it won't upload. If you're getting the broken-image icon, try resizing to a smaller dimension.


As an added inducement, I want to let you know I do star commenters who send in worthy/funny submissions - whether or not they're chosen for the final 20. This may not happen immediately. I usually start rounding up a gallery by the middle of the week. This is my subjective call, but I do want to recognize as many contributors as possible, and show gratitude for making this such a popular feature on weekends.

Now, Gentlemen, start your 'shopping!

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