We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Join me as I begin the week here at the NLSC with my opinions and commentary on basketball gaming topics, as well as tales of the fun I’ve been having on the virtual hardwood. This week, I’m tipping things off by discussing something that many of us tried to warn our fellow NBA 2K gamers about, that’s finally being widely acknowledged.
There’s an old episode of The Simpsons – a Season 1 episode in fact, so a very old one indeed – wherein Marge contemplates having an affair with her bowling instructor, voiced by Albert Brooks. Lisa recognises that Marge is showering her and Bart with treats out of guilt; predictably, Bart is only interested in reaping the benefits, leading Lisa to explain that he’s still in the denial stage, whereas she’s already feeling fearful. Later on, when Bart reaches the fearful stage, Lisa says she can’t help him because she’s already moved on to a new stage: self-pity.
Look, I’ll take any excuse to make a Simpsons reference, but that scene aptly sums up what I want to talk about today. For years, many of us have been pointing out the greed and anti-gamer/anti-consumer approach in NBA 2K. We’ve been shouted down time and time again, with predatory mechanics and subpar design being defended with every clichéd argument in the shill’s handbook. This isn’t to say that there hasn’t been successful pushback – hey, haircuts are free now, whoopee! – but way too many people were comfortable with VC-related issues, until suddenly they became too much. For those people, and for those who still shill: don’t say we didn’t warn you.