Monday, March 18, 2013

New and Noteworthy (Cheapening "Innovation," $70 Video Games, Stross on the EU)

In today's edition:

* Kent Anderson on the cheapening of the word "innovation." That the post is itself a comment on an earlier post by Scott Berkun from more than five years ago only highlights how thoroughly this term has been abused by a certain kind of technology and business-hyping nit-wit, ruining it for everyone else, so that we are all far, far, far past the point at which we should, if not totally cease and desist using the term, at least use it only very, very carefully.

We can think of it this way: if you're saying it, you probably aren't doing it.

* on the prospect of a rise in the cost of video games with the next generation of consoles (Playstation 4, XBox 720 and the rest) now on the horizon.

I should say, though, that the $70 video game does not seem all that new to me. I remember such retail prices for 8-bit games way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Admittedly, such prices were a rarity, but given the inflation we have since then, which has almost halved the purchasing power of a dollar ($1 today is like 53 cents in 1989, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), a $70 game today is about equal to $37 then, a bit below what was average at the time - which suggests a slight drop in prices.

How many things can one say that about? Certainly not food. Or energy. Or education. Or health care. Or any of the other things that really do put pressure on people's budgets. And in contrast with all these other areas, it does seem pretty clearly the case that gamers are getting more product for their money.

* Charles Stross, considering the possible implications of a British exit from the EU (which he thinks will not be pretty for the British economy).

New and Noteworthy (Babylon 5, Nebulas, The Memory of Light)
New and Noteworthy (Oscar Edition)

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