The Value of Video Games
In this news story, Michael Rawlinson, some panjandrum in a video game makers' association, says that big budget video games aren't overpriced. "These big games, you get 20 to 50 hours game play, which is tremendous value for money". This is for games that have a typical retail price of £55, so you pay between £2.75 and £1 for each hour of entertainment.
If Rawlinson really cared about value for money and not simply about milking his gullible customers for every penny he can, then he'd agree with the pirates who say that such games are poor value for money. The proof? Osmos. It currently costs £1.79. For it to be as poor value as rubbish like Call Of Duty 94, it would have to provide just 33 minutes of entertainment. I've already spent hours playing it. Of course, you'll get even better value out of a pack of cards (which cost £1), Scrabble or chess (a tenner), a pair of walking boots (60 quid), or any number of other entertainments which don't involve an expensive computer.
Of course, this notion that a video game has a certain amount of game play and no more is the real flaw. Good video games don't constrain the player to a plot which will eventually come to an end. If you want a plot, then you should read a book or go to the cinema. It's lack of a plot, and reliance entirely on the player's ingenuity through which he will find novelty, that has made games like Scrabble, chess and go remain popular after decades, centuries, even millenia.