Flame Rounds: DLC Costumes

Flame rounds lets us fulfil our yearning passion to be Frank Skinner, taking on his role as Judge, Jury, and Executioner in Room 101 (but for Video Games). 

Cunzy1 1: Welcome back to flame rounds, where one of us picks something from gaming to confine to getting flames rounded out of video games and possibly existence. So far we've char grilled the Dreamcast but spared the exposed brains of Pokemon. Richie, what have you got for being flames roundsed this week? 

Richie: This week I would like to address DLC content. We all understand that we live in a world where games are dissected, dismantled and portioned off to increase their value and longevity. And in most cases where a game offers me extra content, I would be happy to pay for visiting a new land, or a new campaign mode, or even a new character... But I feel sad when it is just aesthetic shit, the most archetypal example of this would be the "Horse Armour" of 360 yore. But this still happens today! Fighting games are the worst culprit for this, Its great to see all of these creative other costumes for the characters in Marvel vs Capcom infinite, or Streetfighter V, but they are embarrassingly expensive hidden behind a paywall which is ridiculously steep, and in these cases, purchasing all the outfits, is more expensive than the game itself! So this week I wanna Flame round aesthetic DLC content, or DLC costumes.

Cunzy1 1: Even those bikini costumes, wedding dresses and maid ones you love so much? You want to kill off the whole creepy anime genre with this?
Richie: No! I mean yes! I mean well... There is a special place in DLC anime hell just for "those" costumes:

Cunzy1 1: Okay. I do sympathise, however, what you're proposing here runs the risk of practically killing off modern gaming with many free to play games dependent on cosmetics, loot boxes etc. as a way of generating income and it's DLC content that (with rare exception) brings no competitive advantage, avoiding the trap of 'pay to win' DLC we used to see in shooters.
Richie: Dont get me started on Lootboxes, Gatcha-like gambling is fucking awful when you apply real money to it, and blurs that line between games and gambling. And I get why it's done but sometimes that price point they come in at are just nuts. My gripe here, is probably that I am just an ageing gamer-girl. I remember back in the day costumes and similar cosmetics were unlockables, putting them behind a pay wall rather than in-game progress makes me sad. I love character customisation and it pains me to see it being taken away from me in favour of hacking up a game into microtransactions.

Cunzy1 1: Ultimately though, what does this have to do with you? If you don't want to pay for virtual dress-up you don't have to! Why not just let other people have their fun or give them customisation options for their favourite characters?
Richie: Because the fundamental issue here is that reskins are quite close to my heart. I love character customisation and I want my virtually dollies to be a pretty as possible.  But more and more these days it's being taken away from me, as the price point of the game increases just to get the costumes too. I want rid of costume DLC in a return to traditional values in game unlockables. 

Cunzy1 1: You put me in a bind here. One the one hand I'd love to kill off the insane business models dominating gaming that's hurting job security and creativity in the medium, game preservation as well as the small percentage of gamers that can't stop themselves. On the other hand, I don't think we'd magically just go back to games that you just buy and own forever so inevitably some new scummy monetisation technique would pop up. So do I theoretically save people hurting now in exchange for ways they might hurt in the future? Wasn't this supposed to be a fun feature? I'm just buying thinking time now. Right. I gotta protect the people living now. DLC costumes. You're in the room where we flame rounds you!


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