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  1. #1
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    Does the EA consumerist poll show how petty gamers really are?

    http://consumerist.com/2013/04/09/ea...year-in-a-row/

    In case you missed it, the internet voted EA the worst company in America again. Surprising...really no one who has ever been on the internet. Nevertheless, does this "victory" not show just how ridiculous gamers are and once again remind the world not to take us seriously?

    I think EA's response was pretty good -

    http://www.ea.com/news/we-can-do-better


    But compared to a world where ExxonMobile current spilled a bunch more oil

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...l-in-arkansas/

    and did not even make the bracket (maybe they will next year?).

    And companies in the bracket like Carnival Cruise lines who have famously had ships crash and kill 33 people and the more recent Triumph where "The scene that unfolded aboard the Triumph has been well-documented: Sewage spilled into rooms and halls, steak and lobster rotted when freezers went out, and swimming pool decks turned into a tent city." http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/15/travel...ph-cruise-crew

    Yes, Carnival was deemed to be a better company for consumers than Ticketmaster in the poll.

    So clearly there is an entertainment services bias in this "poll," so how sad is it that a games company wins it (previous winners include Comcast)? It is just depressing to me that while everyone clamors for games to be taken more seriously, we can't even admit how it is just entertainment and overblown?

    No the consumerist argues precisely against that claiming
    Gaming might be a multibillion-dollar industry that attracts the world’s biggest names in entertainment, music, and sports, but it is nonetheless treated by both the media and the business world with a reductionist shrug. Companies like EA are happy to foster the misinformed perception of your average “gamer” as a whiny, nitpicky loner who will complain about anything, as that image only helps to discredit those who have a valid complaint about a relatively pricey consumer product.
    Of course that appears in the same article stating

    And since Moore brought up Mass Effect 3, let’s take a brief look at that problematic title. Eager to cash in on a hugely successful franchise, EA rushed out the third and final installment of the series in 2012. Many users had spent years playing Mass Effect and developing a history and connections with other characters that carry through all three games, that is until the very end, which landed with a mammoth, unsatisfying thud for an awful lot of people who had paid nearly $200 (or more) for these games.
    So...if you pay $200 and don't like what happens to fictional characters you have a bigger grievance than people who were trapped at sea in a ship filled with raw sewage?

    http://consumerist.com/2013/04/05/ea...y-madden-fans/
    Last edited by Misnomer; 10-04-2013 at 04:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Meh, makes sense. Most people aren't affected by the oil spills in their day to day life (outside of an excuse to raise prices on gas). Most people weren't on those cruise ships

    People tend to complain about the stuff that impacts them on a day to day basis. More importantly, on the things that seem "out of the norm".

    Also: How exactly were these polls handled? Because the "tech savvy" crowds have a long history of making any online poll skewed in their favor/hilarious.
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  3. #3
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    I was going to write a thing with more details about the Exxon spill but writing it made me so angry I had to find a paper bag to breathe into for a bit. God. Way to go, Exxon.

    edit: I'll let someone else write the thing:

    Activists with the group Tar Sands Blockade went to rural Arizona over the weekend to document the oil spill, and discovered that power washers used by Exxon to clean up the town has moved the crude into nearby wetlands.

    Exxon agents and law enforcement officers have kept the affected area largely on lock-down since the spill was spotted a week and a half ago, and a no-fly zone in the vicinity has made monitoring the damages near impossible for environmentalists.
    Emphasis mine, mostly to call out that the no-fly zone is in place to make it hard for the media to report on it fully. God. Way to go, Exxon 2.
    Last edited by Jams O'Donnell; 10-04-2013 at 04:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Also: How exactly were these polls handled? Because the "tech savvy" crowds have a long history of making any online poll skewed in their favor/hilarious.

    I haven't read much on the methodology, but I have a feeling it is quite biased and poorly done. Granted it is their award handed out by their readership, so that makes sense...but people will seriously use this title of "Worst Company in America" all over in discussions as if it were a universal poll and not the same sort twisting of the internet by the same people who got a treadmill on the space station named after Steven Colbert. The depressing part for me is that consumerist response that seems to think that it's readers actually represent anything.


    This was the consumerist reponse to the accusation that anti-LGTB sentiment affected the poll

    If there is such a campaign, the people involved in it have not reached out to us, nor have we seen evidence of this traffic to our pages. While any number of tech and video game sites and forums have been writing about and linking to the WCIA polls (here’s lookin’ at you /v/), our analytics show absolutely no incoming traffic from anything we’d label as political, let alone conservative.

    EA received hundreds of nominations from Consumerist readers this year, by far the most of any contender in the bracket, but not a single one mentioned anything about sexual orientation. Consumerist does not condone homophobia or hate speech of any kind, and our readers understand the Worst Company contest and nominate businesses based on their merits.
    With that kind of methodological statement, how could anyone think this was a joke?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Kinda. It shows their either petty or trolls.

    Anyone who actually thinks EA is a worse company than someone like Bank of America, BP or Exxon obviously doesn't have their priorities right.

    @Gundato, that's just nonsense. You don't need to be directly affected by something to be able to value the severity of how bad it is. That's like suggesting murderers and criminals are alright dudes because they didn't do nothing to me, but that little old lady who pulled out in front of me without indicating is the worst human since forever.
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  6. #6
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    "It's not about the votes. It's about sending a message."

    That's pretty much what I think the trolls' response would be.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    @Gundato, that's just nonsense. You don't need to be directly affected by something to be able to value the severity of how bad it is. That's like suggesting murderers and criminals are alright dudes because they didn't do nothing to me, but that little old lady who pulled out in front of me without indicating is the worst human since forever.
    I suggest talking to people. Hopefully you'll have to go outside your social circle, but you'll find that the average person probably IS more pissed off at the lady who cut them off in traffic than a convicted murderer. You'll find that the average person is more offended by Starbucks for raising the prices on their sugary drink than they are at how various ethnic/social groups are treated in faraway lands.

    Arguably, a large part of "growing up" is being able to understand "the big picture". But, by that definition, most people you'll talk to on the street aren't "grown up"

    People like things to be simple. They like to know that Politician X is better than Politician Y because of their stance on gay marriage (even if everything else X stands for is idiotic). People like to be able to say "A is bad because of reasons" even if they ignore that everyone else does the same crap that A does. People like to have easy answers. So when they get asked "What is the worst Aleph ever?", odds are they will work from personal experience rather than research things.

    Because the vast majority of people (even a lot of the folks on this very board) don't like the concept of "the lesser of two evils". They like worlds where you have "good guys" and "bad guys". And I applaud them for that because it makes the world a much happier place. But, at the same time, it results in stupid crap where they equate "Used DRM scheme I don't like" with "Kind of actively trying to destroy the world".
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  8. #8
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    Of course I just realized by rereading the Comsumerist recommendations for EA, that they failed to even mention the most questionable thing EA did this past year: Linking video game sites to real weapons sales. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20850776

    and possibly the use of classified material from Navy SEALS that resulted in the discipline of those soldiers. Arguably EA not to blame: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_16...ith-video-game

    The ending to Mass Effect 3 and SimCity always online are far more concerning to Consumerist.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Also, another thing to realize: Most people get their news from really stupid sources.

    Colbert and Stewart always say "We are comedians, not reporters" but that just isn't true anymore. A disturbingly large portion of the younger generation pretty much use them as their sole news outlet and don't even understand the concept of bias outside of "Fox News is biased and stupid". Honestly, I find Stewart as disgusting as O'Reilley these days in that he just gets intelligent people to come on his show and act as his mouthpiece while occasionally getting a "fair and balanced" guest who he can easily shout over/mock into submission (Stewart is more a mocker than a shouter). And the really sad part is that most of the audience (and Stewart) will deride O'Reilley for doing the exact same crap they encourage (O'Reilley is generally smart enough to avoid the topic with a ten foot pole lest people notice the obscene hypocrisy).

    Hell, a very good friend of mine who I DO consider intelligent openly admits to relying on Reddit as his primary news source these days. Fortunately, he is smart enough to always do some research to back up anything questionable, but that doesn't help the fact that he is only getting a small snippet of "the facts".
    I think TotalBiscuit put it best in his recent Content Patch. If you check Reddit right now, you'll see that almost all the articles on the 720 are negative and almost all the articles on the PS4 are positive. That is not to say that the 720 is crap and the PS4 is amazing (they are, but that isn't the point :p). The problem is that people tend to focus on the stories they like. And once you factor in groupthink/apathy, the average reader only sees those perspectives and assumes them to be correct. Thus creating a feedback loop.


    So yes, it is horribly wrong to think EA are the absolute worst company just because people didn't like the ending cutscene of a game. But when you think about the crap that led up to it: It makes a lot of sense and it is just indicative of a larger problem that can be summed up with "People are god damned idiots".
    Last edited by gundato; 10-04-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So yes, it is horribly wrong to think EA are the absolute worst company just because people didn't like the ending cutscene of a game. But when you think about the crap that led up to it: It makes a lot of sense and it is just indicative of a larger problem.
    Larger problem with EA or larger problem with people being myopic, failing to read actual journalism, and repeating groupthink truisms around the internet?

    I can totally agree with the latter.

    EA has plenty of faults, but I still think that stories like this give the media at large and society in general good reasons to dismiss gamers and the industry.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 10-04-2013 at 04:54 PM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Cleared it up to be about people being stupid.

    Although, I actually LIKE EA (and this is where the quotes will cut off). They tend to have the most new IPs (that are actually supported) and some of the more innovative/imaginative games out there. They also make a bunch of idiotic moves though and I would never want to work for them (of course, I would never want to work for any game developer anyway. Sweatshop conditions).
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    I suggest talking to people.
    I don't know what people you talk to, but the people I talk to are capable of understanding there's a world larger than their personal experiences.

    Maybe you should find better people.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    I don't know what people you talk to, but the people I talk to are capable of understanding there's a world larger than their personal experiences.

    Maybe you should find better people.
    I would guess that the people you talk to don't vote in Consumerist polls either.

  14. #14
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    Putting a lone puppy into a nuclear reactor might be the single worse thing a company can do, but it effects less people. Kicking a few hundred puppies might cause less overall harm, but effects more people. EA are in the business of kicking defenseless puppies.

    I like their quote though: "Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period"
    True, it's about selling advertising (in game/DLC/services) at a cost to the consumer of 60. It's about making it "social" so others (pirates) cannot compete. It's about driving a cow clicker style pretend demand in an imaginary market, so you can use it as leverage to milk a customer.

    The rest seems to sidestep and pretend there is no problem. Yes, those points might be valid, but making a home for little bunnies, does not necessarily balance out the kicking of puppies... :P

    PS, there are more voters who buy EA products. Their own success is their own downfall. If you aim high, you set your responsibility high. For example, if you setup online services, people expect them. EA is not the "worse company", but then again, voting by numbers does not provide that answer. Voting provides an answer that lies with the individuals own opinions.
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 10-04-2013 at 06:01 PM.

  15. #15
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    So then you agree with Moore that this is a tall trees catch the most wind thing then?

    The fact that you equate kicking puppies with a DRM scheme is interesting. Once again I would remind you that Carnival trapped real people on a real boat with real sewage and no way to escape. But, I cannot fathom what that means in your puppy scheme.

    But if your standard is "doing something marginally frustrating as a business to the largest number of customers" AT&T should win that one hands down. They even had a Supreme Court case about their "fees" on free phones (which incidentally happened to undermine consumer class action rights in a way that was then reflected by almost every online service provider in the U.S. redoing their EULA to prevent you from taking a class action...including Steam).


    Or Facebook for their constantly changing privacy standards and advertisement schemes requiring people to opt out of being exploited.

    Or Bank of America (the company that EA blew out of the water) whose robo signing deal affected at least 200,000 mortgage holders (not counting their families, etc.).


    There are a lot of tall trees on that bracket and while admittedly EA reaches a lot of people, I don't think low level frustration with the company can add up.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 10-04-2013 at 06:11 PM.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    I suggest talking to people. Hopefully you'll have to go outside your social circle, but you'll find that the average person probably IS more pissed off at the lady who cut them off in traffic than a convicted murderer. You'll find that the average person is more offended by Starbucks for raising the prices on their sugary drink than they are at how various ethnic/social groups are treated in faraway lands.
    Indeed. Personal experience takes precedence. That's not to say 'murderers and criminals are alright dudes because they didn't do nothing to me' (wuh?), just that I care about myself and my own day to day experiences much more than I care about any of you. Am I a monster for that? Probably. Rawr. That's how we're wired though, so deal with i- oooo that was close.
    Last edited by Drake Sigar; 10-04-2013 at 06:07 PM.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    I would guess that the people you talk to don't vote in Consumerist polls either.
    Nobody I know is so dumb as to participate in internet polls.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Nobody I know is so dumb as to participate in internet polls.
    Which is my point in the OP. Gamers seem anxious to identify themselves as the dumb ones on the internet. This result screams "please don't take us seriously" and the Consumerist doesn't seem to get that at all.

  19. #19
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    This doesn't really show anything petty about gamers. The poll is quite clearly about companies that treat their customers badly, rather than about companies that are immoral. Major video game publishers in general and EA in particular seem to actively despise their customers, so it is little surprise that EA do poorly in polls about how companies treat their customers.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  20. #20
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    EA might actually listen, the others definitely wouldn't.

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