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We've Got the Fear

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23 Jul 2019 00:00 #299951 by thegiantbrain
The idea that we might miss out on the latest...

Convention season is upon us once more. Gencon and Essen are on the horizon and following close behind them are thousands of new releases. Our news feeds will be flooded by tantalising tabletop treasures, but with so many shiny baubles how do we avoid just buying the game that gets the biggest advertising splash, the most shoutouts on social media and the biggest names showing it off?

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23 Jul 2019 00:27 #299952 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic We've Got the Fear
Well said!
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23 Jul 2019 08:35 #299955 by WadeMonnig
Replied by WadeMonnig on topic We've Got the Fear
Just a few weeks ago, there was a barrage of "interest" in a game from the usual suspects on Facebook. I'm sure I am jaded but the first thing I thought was "looks like the trial by trolley checks cashed." True, organic interest just looks and feels different.
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23 Jul 2019 08:40 #299956 by n815e
Replied by n815e on topic We've Got the Fear
You mean they aren’t like Pokemon and I don’t have to catch them all?
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23 Jul 2019 10:45 - 23 Jul 2019 10:48 #299962 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic We've Got the Fear
I think the Kickstarter has certainly benefited publishers both big and small. I don't have a problem with that. You yourself used the official corporate marketing language -- "dreams come true" which has been on Kickstarter's slick sheets from day one. They have changed the language of the conversation to a point that we use it as though we thought of it ourselves.

For years I've said Kickstarter reminds me of eBay, which was bat-shit crazy big when it first came out but became a flea market over time. It's still heavily used and I'm sure KS would love eBay's annual revenues. But I'm starting to think KS is different, more of a boutique store than a flea market. Not-sold-in-retail is a bit of a misnomer, because Kickstarter IS the retail. It's just an exclusive channel. I think they're pulling it off.

But here's the bigger issue for me personally. Influencers, paid or otherwise, can move an entire market with very little effort. This isn't just a boardgaming thing, it happens in stock markets, book sales, food brands, etc., and in many contexts it's illegal because it's such an easy way to bilk money from people. This is outside of Kickstarter's boundaries so they're not to blame. But considering that the products it's selling don't exist yet it's easy for a chosen few people to have an inordinate amount of influence on the market for a particular title. I think as much as anything that's at play here, whether the Influencers are aware of it or not. I've seen it happen in real life on a smaller scale.

I generally buy in the aftermarket so all of this is an academic exercise for me personally. But it's interesting to watch. Kickstarter itself IS a game, so it's the perfect marketplace for reaching out to boardgamers.
Last edit: 23 Jul 2019 10:48 by Sagrilarus.

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23 Jul 2019 13:04 #299964 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic We've Got the Fear
My current self-improvement project is cultivating a feeling of JOMO -- the Joy Of Missing Out.

It is challenging but doable. I concentrate on the negatives. "How am I going to get rid of this now that the secondary market for games has tanked?" Also I make myself sigh with relief when there's no packages waiting at the door when I get home, and groan when there are, since that means I have to break down boxes and take them to the recycling bin.
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23 Jul 2019 14:45 #299968 by thegiantbrain
Replied by thegiantbrain on topic We've Got the Fear

dysjunct wrote: My current self-improvement project is cultivating a feeling of JOMO -- the Joy Of Missing Out.


Haha, like it!

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23 Jul 2019 14:48 #299969 by thegiantbrain
Replied by thegiantbrain on topic We've Got the Fear
The influencer discussion is a bit out of the scope of the article in this case, but I do recognise it as a problem. I think the issue there comes when we can easily confuse advertising with critical thinking. When we blur the lines between critique and promotion there are always going to be ethical concerns.

I do think Kickstarter isn't doing itself any favours in recent years. The Claustrophobia Kickstarter was a great example of the platform turning itself into a shop and ignoring its own rules. There is nothing to guarantee they wont break their own new set of guidelines. I think Kickstarter is opening itself up for a clever lawyer to prove that it is a store, despite them claiming otherwise, and I wonder when, not if, that will happen.
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