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MS, Xbone, and Benghazi *WARNING: POLITICS*
By:Schooly D
Date: 6/7/13 12:53 pm

I'm going to try to keep the political portion of this as objective as possible. Jeb Bush 2016.

Among the rants here and elsewhere in the gaming press about the actual policies of MS/Xbone are rants about the messaging (or lack thereof) Microsoft has employed in describing those policies. Paraphrased: MS's handling of information regarding used games, connectivity requirements, etc. has been a train wreck, rife with vagueness and conflicting statements, and that's a bad thing for Microsoft/XB1.

My take: it's probably not a bad thing, it probably is a good thing, and it's probably intentional. I'll explain:

September 11, 2012: a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya is attacked by Islamic militants, four Americans are killed. This was a potentially disastrous situation for the administration and the President's re-election campaign. The information about the attack and the administration's response to it would be front-page news across the country, and since the story (as we know it now) wasn't good, this presented a problem.

The solution: obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.

What followed from the administration was an array of conflicting reports, vague statements, and, in one or two cases, lies (I know, I know, "politicians lie, more at 11") regarding what happened, what the response was, who ordered what and when, etc. It was a clusterfuck, to put it mildly. The political punditry at the time was aghast:
"This looks bad, really bad"
"The administration needs to come clean about X/Y/Z"
"These conflicting reports aren't doing them any favors"
"This is very damaging"

The muddled messaging on the part of the administration, however, ended up being a huge success. Because of the informational clusterfuck, there was no easily-digestible one-to-two-sentence takeaway for the low-information voter (i.e. 85% of the electorate). There was never a front-page Yahoo! article that clearly said "X happened, Y was the response, Z is to blame," for people to digest before going on with their lives. The clusterfuck itself and the extended circus that surrounded it flew well below most peoples' radar, and very quickly the majority opinion on the subject was simply "wow are they STILL arguing about this?" The elections came, the President won re-election handily, and neither the Benghazi incident nor the Benghazi meta-incident influenced anyone.

The impact of potentially damaging information was largely nullified by muddled messaging and the inability/unwillingness of most people to sort through the muddle.

Microsoft, I believe, is deliberately employing a similar strategy with the Xbox One.

Microsoft's policies with the Xbox One suck. A lot. Used games, loaned games, connectivity requirements, etc. Maybe, in the context of ownership of the system, these policies aren't terrible. That is to say, maybe when you own and can experience the full system and everything about it, things aren't so bad. But no one owns the system yet, and no one can. As a result, the aforementioned policies are scary to people and represent a massive change in how console games are played and what rights you have as a console owner.

The solution for Microsoft: obfuscate, obfuscate, obfuscate.

The messaging from MS on these policies has been a train wreck. Contradictions, vagueness, etc. The gaming punditry has been aghast:
"This looks bad, really bad"
"Microsoft needs to come clean about X/Y/Z"
"These conflicting reports aren't doing them any favors"
"This is very damaging"

But, as a result, low-information consumers (85% of the gaming public) and, strangely, a good chuck of the moderately-savvy gaming public, have not been given an easily-digestible breakdown of the new policies on Yahoo! or similar high traffic news aggregates. Trevor "The Shark" Brohan is never presented with a news article that says above the fold "Xbox One will not allow you to lend a game to a friend" because no one can definitively report that is or isn't the case.

There seems to be some meat in Microsoft's latest round of clarifications. I believe my argument still stands, though, if you consider that Microsoft's obfuscation might have been intended to last until the XB1 was pushed out of the mainstream news cycle.

Messages In This Thread

MS, Xbone, and Benghazi *WARNING: POLITICS*Schooly D6/7/13 12:53 pm
     MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Avateur6/7/13 1:32 pm
           Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Kalamari6/7/13 3:38 pm
                 Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Bry6/7/13 3:43 pm
                       Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Kalamari6/7/13 4:49 pm
                             Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*SonofMacPhisto6/7/13 5:46 pm
                             Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Bry6/7/13 6:17 pm
           Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Cody Miller6/7/13 4:46 pm
                 Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Bry6/7/13 4:47 pm
                       Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Ragashingo6/7/13 5:10 pm
                             Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Bry6/7/13 6:06 pm
                 Re: MS, Xbone, and Wiretapping *WARNING: POLITICS*Captain Spark6/8/13 8:06 am
     Re: MS, Xbone, and Benghazi *WARNING: POLITICS*Kermit6/7/13 3:18 pm
     Re: MS, Xbone, and Benghazi *WARNING: POLITICS*bryan newman6/7/13 5:17 pm
           Re: MS, Xbone, and Benghazi *WARNING: POLITICS*Avateur6/7/13 6:05 pm

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