Anyone who knows me knows that I am prone to a certain unique style of... polemic. I get a bit ranty from time to time. It's usually on a subject nobody cares about ("Why is 'bling' in the dictionary? People will claim it's valid in Scrabble!") or for amusement ("Brussel Sprouts were never intended for human consumption, but were reserved for the 10th circle of hell where they are used to punish the souls of people whose lives involved too little cabbage in their diet.").
I am also aware that it is 'bad form' to rant in a blog. Or even be negative about anything. Amanda Palmer says so, so it must be true. But...
When did it become acceptable for non-reviewers to ask developers for free games? While a great many things are free, some are not. This is called economics. It's what ensures we can all eat, drink, and remain relatively free of disease.
It is not acceptable to go into Starbucks and beg for free coffee. One can't tap on the window of Gap and point - first at a fetching pair of pantaloons and then at oneself - and expect the goods to be handed over. Furthermore, people begging in the streets do not do it wearing a Northface jacket, brand new Nike trainers while playing a Nintendo 3DS XL.
There will be those who say: "Ah, but you have to understand - an iPhone game isn't like a coffee. It's a punt. An unknown quantity. Customers don't know if what they're buying is of value until they've bought it, so you can understand their caution. And a lot of games are crap."
Valid - but that's a different point. That's a point about pricing. I can see why uncertainty of value is the engine of the 'race to the bottom'. I agree that this is a good reason for many developers to go F2P, or at least present a free demo. We need to minimise barriers to entry and do our utmost to ensure that customers feel comfortable via pricing, representative demos, good reputation and reliable branding.
But I'm pretty sure no economist thinks that customers have the right to free luxury goods - especially where costs are involved (where goods are necessities, it's a different story, and taxation is there to ease the burden on those who genuinely can't pay for the basics).
But none of this explains customers simultaneously saying:
"Your work is worth zero to me"
"But I want it, and have the right to have it. So give it to me."
Perhaps they view themselves as desperate victims of... oh, I don't know, 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' poisoning, or 'X-Factor Syndrome' or something. But I suspect they - bafflingly - regard themselves as poor.
If you're experiencing real poverty, you'll have my sympathies and those of most people. But, you can't plead poverty when engaged in buying luxury goods, whose very use is predicated on owning a nice expensive electronic device.
It's silly and insulting.
Anyway - enough said. I'm off to shake my fist at some dubstep.
Fluttermind’s director, Dene Carter, is a games industry veteran of over 25 years, and co-founder of Big Blue Box Studios, creators of the Fable franchise for the XBox and XBox 360.