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Hrothmund's random ramblings.

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Author: Hrothmund

The large corporations do not care about us, what can we do about it?

Posted by Hrothmund Monday August 11 2008 at 2:30PM
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I am tired of hearing the continuous cries of injustice every time a game is released a few weeks or months ahead in one region of the world when compared to another. This happens; we are talking about for-profit companies trying to generate revenue here, not game creators bowing down in front of their public to earn a few pats on the back. The people behind their screens writing angry messages to game publisher for not launching at the same time in their country when compared to another are missing the big picture. MMORPGs are not worth crying over, big business does not care about MMORPG customers, they care about the bottom line. Caring about the bottom line means catering to the US first, or whatever market they project will grant them the largest amount of revenue or profits.

 

The American market is still the number one retail market for most consumer products, so until we Euros start spending some major €€€, we should not complain about 'being left behind'. Then again a hyper-consumer market like the US spreading globally is not a very good thing for the planet, so I am not about to urge my fellow Europeans to consume more. Waiting a few months for a game is not the end of the world. Consuming the same amount of fossil fuel per capita as the US does is. The benefits of such a short-term profit seeking and consumer driven market are most probably very short-lived. I love America, the freedoms it provides to its citizens, the natural beauty of the country and most of all, its people. This does not mean I agree with every aspect of the American lifestyle. I am very munch against instant gratification, the lifestyle American media is promoting at the moment.

 

There are many short-term benefits for a consumer based society like the US(Like lower prices for everyday items, more diverse product availability, and better rights and services for consumers.), but is instant gratification really worth changing this planet, and I don't mean ecologically either. What I mean are strip malls, frivolous lawsuits and the same US based brands spreading throughout the world. Do we really want to get to a point where after paying tens of thousands of dollars or Euros for an exotic holiday, we find out that the destination looks exactly the same as home sweet home? I don't. Unfortunately, this is already happening and in the worst cases has already happened. I am native Finn who has lived in both the US and Ireland and sadly, the large indoor shopping centers and strip malls of all three countries sport so many of the same outlets and products that when you are in one, it is very difficult to know which country you are in fact in. (Well the daft Irish do drive on the wrong side of the road.)

 

Now don't perceive this as an anti-American rant, it isn't. I don't like Nokia, Sony, Toyota, DHL, Virgin or any other mega conglomerate buying out companies globally and sticking their ugly logos everywhere. Note, the companies I just listed are all non-American. Things will change; it could be in twenty years we will go buy our home appliances at Gome, a highly successful Chinese home appliances outlet. Why exactly is this bad? If we globalize to the point where all economies are extremely similar and the same companies service every part of the world, the economy will become extremely homogeneous. This, inadvertently will lead to monopolies being formed and placing the consumer at the whim of these mega companies.

 

Now, the tone of my post may look like it is written by a communist hippie who is planning a firebomb attack on the nearest McDonalds, but it isn't. I just ate at McDonalds a few hours back, I own a luxury sedan, live in an apartment much too big for my needs and buy every stupid gadget that gets my nerd-genes whizzing, and that would be most of them. I do feel this way, because I believe the global economy is becoming too uniform, many large 'competing' mega corporations own large chunks of each other already. Corporate acquisitions and large-scale mergers are becoming more and more commonplace.

I firmly believe that in twenty or thirty years we will see the forming of fewer than ten or so titanic corporate clusters that will control the economy more or less as they wish. As these remaining corporate giants 'battle it out', I project only two or three will be left standing in fifty or so years. Once these last 'competitors' are forged into one global entity, what the corporate system has produced is something very unlikely, a system more akin to communism than capitalism.

 

Now the above may be more fiction than fact and more science fiction than fiction, but then again, not completely impossible. I want to see more small businesses, favoring of local products and less profiteering and selling out. Is this impossible?

Money is hard to resist, but is it really that important? We are a generation that needs to make very important decisions, do we want to make our lives easier and more convenient at the expense of the planet and future generations, or will we make a stand and try to carve out a different future for human kind? Now, before commenting on my opinions, please put some thought into this stuff, most people don't, they just drone on with their lives.