Editorial: Memorabilia

What ho, Lusislaves! Much like last week, I am going to expand upon a news story that I reported on the podcast. This week, I reported on a Portal Gun being in one of the sub offices of the White House. For those of you who did not listen to the podcast here is a little section from the story,

Portal
Why is this here? Because Portal

“The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has put a Portal gun on display in its offices, according to some Imgur pictures that popped up on Reddit. The pictures originated from a Twitter account by someone living in Washington D.C.The gun appears to be located in a lobby or waiting room of some kind. The object next to is the gun is part the “Allende Meteroite” that fell to Earth in 1969 and recently led to the discovery of the oldest known mineral in the Solar System called “Panguite” that actually predate the age of Earth, according to LiveScience”.

In addition to the portal gun, yesterday Valve posted a video on their facebook which showed an unboxing of a full operational talking turret from the Portal series, this then got me thinking about other Video Game memorabilia and collectors of Video Game memorabilia. In my personal opinion, the collecting of memorabilia is something that only sports fans did, buying the newest bobble-head or signed rookie card, never really for basement dwelling nerds who are excited about the newest episode of (insert weeaboo bullshit show name here). But as I have come to find out over the past year or so, video game nerds love to collect a ton of shit.

From action figures to love pillows, gamers have sunk thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in collecting video game memorabilia. We buy special editions of games just so we can get an action figure, art book, or original soundtrack. We go to conventions, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles, spending thousands of dollars, to get more action figure, more t shirts, more soundtracks, and more games. What is it about collecting shit that gives gamers a little fan boy boner? Is it just an overall “who has the bigger dick contest” with you wallets? Person A: “Oh I was able to get ‘X’ figure from Japan, what do you have?” Person B: “I was able to get a signed love doll from voice actress ‘Y’.” I mean seriously guys, no one gives two shits about your “My Little Pony” love doll, that is a real thing by the way, for those of you who do not believe me ask former staff member RootBeerKing.

One Weeaboo + Two Girls Love Pillow= Happy Otaku Nerd
Why would you buy this? Just get a real girlfriend.

I will not lie to you readers, I have some memorabilia of my own, a couple figures, collectors edition DVDs, art books, replica props from movies, but most of my stuff was because of free collectors edition stuff or gifts for holidays or birthdays. As you can probably tell, I am not a huge buyer or collector of things, unless it is video games or books, and I do not really like comparing what I have to another person. I feel if I but a figure I am support the franchising of properties that I will one day regret being a fan of. Look at Star Wars fans, thirty years ago they were buying toys, books, t shirts, and the like. Now, they resent the fact that they are even considered Star Wars fans because of the awful things that has been done to those movies. In the movie industry it is very hard to sell a script without the screen writer convincing the studio that the script can be turned into a franchise, the movie itself can sell toys, books, shoes, you name it they need to try and sell it. This is happening now more and more with video games. What game can you name that was not successful that got a sequel?

Look back on what I have written I would not disagree if someone came right now and said that some of my ideals about marketing/memorabilia/franchising are “hipster” like but really the vast majority of people who buy these toys and shit do not even realize this is even happening. The whole media and marketing world is based off of selling memorabilia and that the more they sell the more they make money and the more diluted these IPs become. In many ways I would say if you truly love some sort of entertainment media, game, book, show, movie, etc. do not buy anything that is not expressly the product that contains that bit of entertainment.

What are your thoughts on video game memorabilia readers? Let me know in the comments.

3 comments

  1. While my parents owned a games shop, sales reps would come round and give them tons of cool junk to convince them to stick to their current supplier.

    My favourite was a bottle of ‘Red Alert’ vodka, branded for the Command & Conquer game of that name.

  2. I used to be reasonably positive about memorabilia, but as I have gotten older, my view of it has become more and more negative.

    First, the time and money spent in developing all of the paraphenalia could be better used in development of the game itself. And, if the development is sufficiently funded, that money could be used toward developing another game, or toward lowering the price of the current game. Those savings should be either reinvested in future development or turned over to the consumer, in my opinion.

    Secondly, most of the extra stuff is of low quality and dubious merit from either a utilitarian or aesthetic point of view. Paper standees, cheap wall scrolls, and art books might have impressed us when we were fifteen years old, but on the other side of thirty it looks a bit feeble. My house is now decorated with Real Art™, and wall scrolls would look out of place and juvenile. As for art books, the content of those is more useful digitally, and is available on the internet. If companies must include something in a premium set, how about the FULL soundtrack? Or, a code for downloading said soundtrack via iTunes, which wouldn’t raise production costs at all.

    (I’m surprised we haven’t seen that as a pre-order bonus. Pre-order this game and you can download the whole soundtrack on iTunes (none of that normal crap where you get a handful of tracks). Everyone else would have to buy it–but you get it for free. Now that’s a pre-order incentive with merit!)

    Finally, after years of gaming, who really has room for all that shit any more? Just what I need are more whimsies to take up space in my already over-cluttered existence. I can have a book on my shelf, or I can have a plastic model of Cloud Strife. This isn’t a difficult choice, really. Cloud Strife, for all of his badassery, is not something I can read, cite, and learn from.

    For my part, give me the game as cheaply as possible in a standard case with a manual. I’ll take a voucher for a free soundtrack download. Otherwise, keep the swag.

  3. I forgot about those censorship signs. Those were one of the greatest things about walking around the various sellers at ACen 2011.

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