Icarus Must Burn

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On the "Overproduction" of Games

A recent thread Guild Question: Is overproduction a thing and, if so, which games are the biggest culprits? asked about "overproduction" of games. Scythe is often mentioned as such a culprit whenever this question is asked, as of late. This is a label that irks me, so here was my response. Discussion welcome:

I do not feel overproduction is a problem. Many gamers apparently feel the need to label a game as overproduced because the chrome doesn't have subjective appeal to them versus how well they enjoy the game.

Don't like the gameplay? It has lots of chrome? It's "overproduced". This type of selfish labeling to denigrate a game that is not enjoyed (or simply unobtainable due to price) deserves no respect, IMO.

Aesthetics can play a factor too. Some gamers get distracted by chrome, and tend to prefer bland unattractive production of components, in comparison to the overall game market. (I'm looking at you 18xx gamers). This may actually detract from accessibility to the general gamer population and qualifies as "underproduction" IMO.

Some countries have a higher cultural standard of quality than others. Take Japan for example where a higher level of artistic aesthetic permeates many aspects of production, from products to housing to art. The standards acceptable in other countries, such as for materials or structural quality, even for disposable packaging, could be considered horrifyingly garish and unacceptable to most.

So, overproduction would appear to be a completely subjective labeling, subject to the whims of accepted cultural and personal norms. Not a useful term without assessing it against a metric, such as cost per play, durability of components, ease of handling, usability of interface, etc.

In other words, don't insult something with a derogatory label, unless you also can explain why by using less subjective criteria. Even then, be prepared to accept feedback from others that their value system is completely different, and just as valid, as your own.
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