Finding of the week #41

Never, ever give up!

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I try to illustrate how computer games might help us to make our dreams come true.

„Never, ever give up. You can do what you want, if you just work hard enough.“ A very important and motivating thought. This might sound a bit like a seminar for managers, but it applies to all of us. If we have a dream and we start to chase that dream, we might be able to make that dream come true, if we just work hard enough.

Computer games might help us a bit to gain enough motivation to start something new. Computer games challenge us and we’re often barely strong enough to survive the challenge, but we can do it, if we give our very best. However, computer games also help us to face setbacks. Succeeding at a hard challenge often means failing very often to learn how to approach the challenge. In computer games, we can do this and we also like doing it this way. Nothing is more boring than a computer game, that just let us run through without any challenges. The virtual environments always give us some hope, that we can beat the challenge and beat the game.[1]

Playing computer games shows us, that we can reach our goals, if we work hard enough. We only need to apply this knowledge to our real life.[1] Of course, it is much more easy to succeed in a game than in reality. Often game successes are also much more obvious and much more colorful, but the idea behind remains the same.
Let’s compare playing a game with hiking, a real world activity. Of course, I could compare it with any other activity, but the hiking example might be much easier to illustrate than all the other activities.

As a hiker, you like to be out in the nature and maybe hike on top of a mountain or around a huge valley. If you’re new to this activity, you might be not able to reach the top of a mountain or walk around the whole valley. You just don’t have the endurance to walk such a long distance. Although you can’t reach the end of your goals, you can start doing some shorter hikes to gain more endurance. You will experience some issues, that you might not be able to walk the desired distance or you experience muscle ache after a hike.
Especially not reaching your goal right away or being slow might seem as a failure, but this is the same thing as if you get defeated by an enemy in a computer game. You just have to try again, if you want to defeat the challenge. You have to believe in yourself, that you can do it.

In the end, you might be able to hike on top of that one big mountain. You’ve overcome all these setbacks and you reached your goal. At this point, the whole concept can be applied to everything else. If you have a dream and you start chasing it, you can make the dream come true. You just have to stay true to who you are and believe in yourself.
Computer games can’t help you to fight all these small battles, but they can give you the first initial impuls to believe in yourself.

Unfortunately, Christmas is already over and we’re sailing towards the end of the year. Around New Year we also have the tradition to make some New Year resolutions and I like to encourage you to stick to your New Year resolutions. Believe in yourself and never give up – you can live your dreams!

Happy New Year everyone!


[1] McGonigal, Jane (2011): Reality Is Broken, New York.

Finding of the week #40

It’s Christmas Time!

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I present an example how Christmas also impacts the virtual world of computer games. Merry Christmas everyone!

Only a few days are left until we celebrate Christmas and hopefully enjoy a wonderful time with our families. Almost everything around us is decorated and prepared for Christmas. This event is one of the most desired events in the year and has a lot of tradition. However, not only our real life is affected by the Christmas time: computer games also try to celebrate Christmas with their players.

One big example is the MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW): every year a special Christmas event, the Feast of the Winter Veil, takes place in Azeroth. During the time of this event, players can solve special Christmas quests like cooking Gingerbread Cookies for Greatfather Winter, the Santa Clause of Azeroth. Additionally, several special cooking recipes are only available during this time. Players even find some presents on Christmas day under the Christmas trees in one of the capitals of each fraction.
The cities of Azeroth are decorated with coloful lights and Christmas trees and some of the instance bosses wear Red Winter Hats. Finally, players can even tailor a complete Winter Veil outfit.

Feast of the Winter Veil

Feast of the Winter Veil

Celebrating Christmas in a computer game adds some additional flair, but it’s not the same like celebrating and experiencing Christmas in the real world, eating all the delicious food, being together with your family and enjoying this wonderful magic time of the year. Although I try to convince you all the time with my articles, that computer games have a lot of positive impacts on our real life, but this time I like to emphasize that computer games can’t create the joy of the real world Christmas decoration and magic flair. Especially, if you’re walking through the decorated streets after sunset and by cold temperatures.

In this case, I wish you all a very Merry (non-virtual) Christmas!

Merry christmas

Merry christmas

Finding of the week #39

Ambiguity of using Let’s Play Videos

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I discuss a bit the creation of Let’s Play videos from the point of view from the copyright and from the perspective of a marketeer. Both areas have an impact on the creation process of videos and need to be handled by video game publishers the same time.

I already discussed „Let’s Play“ videos[1] (LP) and the possibility to use them as a marketing strategy[2]. However, the entertainment of watching the gameplay of other players and enjoying the additional story arc induced by the narration of the player has also some complex parts because creating and using these videos is connected with different areas of the media economy.

Most computer games are produced to generate revenue and they’re protected by the copyright. Creating a video of gameplay footage thus can be seen as making a copy of copyright protected content and this would result in a copyright infringement. On the other hand, creating a narrated LP can be also seen as a „fair use“[3] of the copyrighted work because the additional narrated story arc could be also defined as commentary and criticism. However, fair use isn’t a strict measurement and often needs to be investigated for each use of copyrighted content. In this case, having a clear permission from the copyright holder to use copyrighted content would be the safest way to prohibit any copyright infringement.

Apart from the point of view of the copyright, LPs can be also seen from the point of view of a marketeer. Video game publishers and especially indie game developers are aware of the huge potential of LPs as a marketing strategy. The narrated gameplay videos often demonstrate the entertaining gameplay of the played computer games. Viewers of these videos can become interested in the game and finally buy it to experience the gameplay on their own. In general LPs can raise the awareness of the products.
Game developers are often thankful for the gameplay coverage, because they’ve realized that these videos are a great marketing strategy and they even have not to pay for it. Often developers share these videos over their own communication platforms to raise even more the awareness for their products. By doing so, they also help the video creators to reach more potential viewers. In the end, video creator and game developer benefit from this cooperation.

Unfortunately, this can also demonstrate the ambiguity of the system. On the one hand, game developers want to make money and thus they’re thankful for the copyright that protects their product. However, to make money, they need to convince potential players to buy their products. Small game developers often can’t afford a huge marketing campaign and are thankful for LPs that demonstrate their product and thus are raising the awareness for it.
At this point the ambiguity comes into play: the video creator needs to make a copy of copyrighted content to create the videos. The game publisher encourages the video creator to make videos by sharing them over their own communication platforms. However, seen from the point of view from the copyright, the publisher also encourages the video creator to commit a copyright infringement. Fortunately, game developers are aware of this problem and often give a general permission to allow the use of their copyrighted content in order to create LPs[4].

Finally, there’s one thing left to be discussed: what about monetization? Video platforms like YouTube allow video creators to monetize their videos by displaying advertizements[5]. However, this isn’t legal if the user tries to monetize copyrighted content without a permission. Currently publishers often give the permission to monetize the LPs, which is a good thing, because they greatly benefit from the free advertizement. Additionally, by doing so, they’re also helping the video creators to develop and to produce videos with a higher quality because they might be able to afford new hard- and software with the revenue from the monetization.

To wrap things up, publishers are in charge to align their marketing actions with their copyright interests. As soon as they’re taking adventage of user generated content (UGC) like LPs, they should make sure that these content creators don’t run into problems because of the copyright. Additionally, by taking advantage of the UGC, publishers should start to think about the content as a form of protected content. They increase their own revenue by sharing the UGC, but they aren’t paying for it. Of course, giving the permission to use copyrighted content is a great offer, but the content creators are adding their own intellectual wealth to the new content. Allowing the UGC creators to monetize their creation is a good way to let them also make some money out of their own content like the narrated story arc, especially when the publisher benefits from the intellectual wealth of the content creator.

Finding of the week #38

Buying games and supporting charity organizations

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I give a short overview about the development and the concept behind A computer game store that sells special game bundles without a price tag. is a special video game shop. They sell special bundles of video games with a completely different approach compared to normal stores: the bundles come without a clear price tag. Consumers are allowed to pay what they want for the bundle and thus can receive several games for a tiny amount of money. On the other hand, they can also pay a very high amount of money for the same bundle. Sounds strange? Maybe not.

The main idead behind these deals is charity. Humblebundle creates these packages together with the developers of the games. Furthermore, humblebundle chooses charity organizations consumers can support by buying these game bundles. If a consumer buys such a game, she gets ask how she wants to devide her contribution among three main options: charity, developers and humblebundle.

Humble Bundle contribution selection

Humble Bundle contribution selection

This concept is brilliant. Every consumer has the option to receive several computer games and help charity organizations at once. Consumers with only a tiny amount of budget for computer games can still buy good games and donate some money to charity organizations. Consumers with a higher budget available can even donate more money, if they really want to help these organizations.
Allowing the consumers decide how much they want to pay is also a good strategy to convince a lot of consumers to buy the product. They feel free about their donations and they don’t feel that humblebundle has persuaded them to pay a certain amount of money. The freedom makes it more likely that consumers spend more money. Furthermore, this strategy allows to receive the maximum amount of money. If there’re only some fixed prices, consumers would tend to take only the cheapest package instead of giving a little bit more money.
Humblebundle has also a good concept to rise a little bit the amount of money the consumers pay: every humblebundle receives some additional games, if the consumer pays more than the avarage.

Over time, humblebundle has increased their offers. At first, humblebundle only offered these special bundles over a period of 2 weeks after they’ve packed a new package with the game developers. The next step was the „Humble Weekly Sale„, a special offer that is changing every week. The Humble Weekly Sale works almost the same as the Humble Bundle, but is different in a little detail. The bonus games received for paying a certain amount of money now require a fixed amount of donation to be obtained.
Finally, some weeks ago, humblebundle launched the „Humble Store„. This store has fixed prices for the games like an ordinary game store and the sortiment of games never expires. In contrast to normal game stores, 10% of the money goes to charity. Consumers now have the option to buy their games in the Humble Store and support charity organizations. Additionally, the store often offers special deals, making it interesting to visit the store on regular basis.

To wrap things up, buying new video games over the humblebundle website adds a good feeling to the shopping, because every consumer gets the feeling that they contribute to charity and thus helping others. Additionally, the „pay what you want“ allows every one to participate in this project, regardless of the available budget. Furthermore, game developers can increase their reputation in the gaming comunity by selling their games over The Humble Store and use it as a good marketing strategy and also increase the awareness for their products.