Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr What goes through your head when buying a video game? Is it the cost, the console, the graphics? What seals the deal for you? While you may have an answer, the average consumer isn’t savvy enough to provide one themselves. Unable to trust their own judgment, they’ll go online and check reviews of the game. What they typically find is a good or bad opinion that does nothing more than provide a rating. While it’s sufficient, it doesn’t provide enough information to improve one’s shopping habits. “How do I avoid poor in-app purchases? Is there a risk of losing my private information?” There are multiple questions that the average submitted review can’t answer. Here lies the necessity of an individual who’s familiar with the underbelly of the developer, an individual who has the experience to mark a good purchase. What you need is a Professional Consumer. What is A Professional Consumer? After watching the “Co-optional Podcast” live at Momocon 2017, I coined the term to best express why I felt their commentary was important. It wasn’t just a collection of opinionated conjectures; there was something poignant about what they said. Consisting of the YouTubers named TotalBiscuit, Dodger, and Jesse Cox, the Podcast is a collection of stories and discussions describing the the pros and cons of gaming culture. Although their podcast is superficially comedic, it provides a deluge of information explaining the trends in the industry. One of their most recent actions includes a complaint against G2A and their merger with Gearbox. READ: Want to know about the gaming industry? Take a look at Developers: When to Draw the Line with Video Games! Having a respected social platform, TotalBiscuit was able to warn Gearbox of the sketchy practices of G2A, a company that sells game keys. Despite being infamous for losing customer’s’ personal information, G2A went unpunished for years. It wasn’t until after the complaint that Gearbox was made aware of their scrupulous nature. As a result, G2A must follow a strict guideline of conduct to ensure customers that they won’t be duped again. While it’s great that G2A is now being held responsible for their actions, it’s important for a consumer to be aware of such issues before it reaches critical mass. Consider how many customers lost sensitive information before they ever took notice. As a consumer, it’s in your best interest to take a look into a company before buying anything from them. It takes time and research to really know who they are and is all the more reason to find a professional consumer; they’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. They show their evidence, leave links, and make careful decisions when approaching a company. Should they face a lawsuit from a developer, they have the means to respond with legal action. Why should you listen to a professional Consumer? Above all else, a professional consumer is a source of unbiased source of information. One of the biggest issues in gaming culture is the validity of a review. From bought glorification to subjective criticism, many reviews a hard to discern whether or not they are fair. Triple-A titles are infamous for influencing a website’s final verdict to ensure copies are sold. On the other end of the spectrum, a user submitted review may be overtly biased. Their critique may judge the game based on a short sampling and misrepresent the title. In contrast, a professional Consumer will give their honest opinion after a decent sample of the game. They won’t be swayed by a larger developer, nor will they be unfairly subjective. Along with a fair review, they can give an in depth opinion of what a game may offer. From their experience with a plethora of titles and systems, they can give a projection of how a game will develop. As an example, Jim Sterling, a popular critic, gave praise to a recent game called “Metronomicon.” Raving about the ingenuity of the game, Jim explained that more games should emulate its style, that this would bring back more interest into the Beat Rhythm genre of games. This opinion was made from a decent understanding of how the genre has been growing unpopular over the years and hasn’t offered that many creative games. READ: Want to Know more about the games at Momocon? Check out our Momocon Highlights: The Best Games at Momocon 2017! Finding your Professional Consumer Lastly, not every professional consumer will be for you. Some may not cover your genre of games, some may not be a fan of a developer you like. While they have a wide range of games, you have to remember that the market of video games is vast. To find one that suits your taste, consider checking YouTube for discussion about updates or a developer. Typically, you can weed out the average consumer by searching for a more complex subject. What you want is someone who knows more about a game than you do, not someone providing the same generic opinion. Once you find one, consider if their buying habits are something worth emulating. If it is, congrats, you now have a guide to the world of gaming.