Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ants Came Marching

There's an analogy here, that I'm trying to figure out how it could apply to video games and the industry as a whole, especially in light of some dramatic changes that are happening on the retail side of things.

When wood starts to rot, especially in a low-rise apartment building -- due to exposure, poor maintenance practices -- there's an increased risk for carpenter ant infestation. Colonies thrive in this kind of environment so it's not uncommon that if the conditions repeat themselves elsewhere in the building that satellite colonies are created.

They can cause a lot of damage, or at the very least increase the damage already being done to the structure, to the point where wooden members can fail. There are warning signs associated with a carpenter ant infestation but those are often handled by spraying insecticide. And sometimes that's as far as it goes.

If the owner of the apartment can't readily see the problem, it will often leave his mind. Keep up the spraying, keep down the appearance of ants.

But take a seat across the street. Are there a lot of woodpeckers attacking the building? That's a sure sign that the infestation has gone from "manageable" to a job that will cost multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars to address. Not only does it indicate a strong likelihood of an infestation that would cause most of us creepy crawly nightmares, but it also provides a clear indication on how much the building is rotting from the inside out.

Like I wrote above, somehow this example is an analogy for the video game industry... It needs a lot of work at this point. Both the analogy and the video game industry.

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