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Tycho / on Mon, Apr 29 2002 at 7:45 am

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Sometimes Things Cost Money

People have been telling us they wanted a strip on GameSpot moving to a pay service.  Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.

This stuff was never free, even in the Internet’s most bacchanalian dreams of reveling.  We gorged ourselves on the richest feast of information ever laid before human beings - exotic, tender services.  We assaulted the spread with interesting utensils, bibs, and vigor, while a hazy, indistinct munchkin picked up the tab.  Lately, this munchkin has grown less and less enthusiastic regarding our tab, and perhaps tabs in general.  We’ve had to pay for more and more of the things we like, and there’s a rumor that maybe our benevolent munchkin is gone for good.  He’s not gone, like, on some cruise for philanthropic midgets.  He’s dead, his swollen forearm like a lazy snake poking from a dumpster full of receipts.  The ride’s over.  Been over for a long time, really, but we’ve been sitting in this stationary carousel for so long we just think of this as the new ride.     

Only on the Internet is this mindset possible.  I’ve already gone into how I’m a subscriber to IGN Insider, because I want the information they have access to, and I like to imagine the people who work there taking my money and (perhaps) purchasing a sandwich.  I don’t know if, internally, they consider the Insider program to be a success or not, because I don’t have access to the numbers.  As an issue aside from their solvency, the switch continues to net them grim verdicts in the court of public opinion.  Gamespot’s pay service (which they call “Gamespot Complete”) seems designed specifically to combat this, though it does not appear to have helped thus far - the way I use their site, I’m not sure I’ll even notice.  If content is free for the week it goes up, and I check the site every day, I mean…  That’s not exactly a spiky, draconian mechanism they’ve got going there.  In what I thought was a bold move, Gamespot has even stripped the advertising out of the premium service.  I don’t think they’re doing it because it’s fun to fuck with people.  I just think the munchkin is gone.

Maybe a couple years ago I would have been right in there with you, waving a sign, tossing up an online petition in an impotent pantomime of democracy.  When that position reflects reality again, I’ll let you know.

Between Spam and Klez, my Inbox is essentially worthless.  Today I will fashion stern rules like sentinels to guard me.  Until that happens, I probably won’t respond.  My eye can’t even discern the true correspondence from the viral payload.

(CW)TB out.

what’s my star compared to dynamite

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