No - vertical integration and expansion is not, inherently, monopolistic. This is the method of expansion usually favoured by Japanese and other far-eastern companies and conglomerates. For many companies and industries, it makes perfect sense.
In the west, however, we've generally, (though not always), favoured horizontal expansion - buying out direct competitors - and it's THIS that leads to monopolies, and causes problems.
Maybe I should try and explain a bit - (though I'd still recommend you read my blog to fully understand).
As I said in my previous post, simulators can be perceived as games. But it does depend on whether or not an individual person sees all of the elements the word game represents in such an activity.
(Games are about people competing in a structured - (created rules) - environment by doing something for themselves).
The main element which causes problems for some people with simulators, is competition. The main reason for this, is because in order for such software to be viewed as being competitive as a whole, it must involve indirect competition.
All single-player games (and even (created?) puzzles), involve indirect competition.
Unfortunately, however, many people fail to recognise and understand the presence and role of indirect competition, (since it's so prevalent throughout our entire lives and existence, most people have long since learned to ignore it), and as such have trouble recognising many activities as being competitive - (some people even go as far as saying that games are not competitive, when they obviously are, once you understand what competition represents):
The basic use of competition, is as an application of compete:
Compete n. To try and gain an outcome/goal at the expense of, or in spite of, someone or something else.
It's the ability to compete in spite of something else - in this case, the setting and rules governing the behaviour of whatever the player is controlling - that allows indirect competition to fully exist.
Of course, in addition to that, simulators tend to be very open-ended and free to the 'players', which again, many people have trouble dealing with in the context of the word game.
But that's FINE, so long as everyone understands what it is the word game itself represents, (which such activities can then be compared to, but, unfortunately, that isn't the case at this time) - a subjective application of a (hopefully) objective definition, which is exactly how the language is supposed to work!
The problem with art, is similar to many other similar words - such as game, puzzle, competition, and even work and play (as nouns) - in that people constantly, (and consistently), get confused between what a word represents - its DEFINITION - and how such a thing is applied - its APPLICATION.
This is the problem here - since we're talking about trying to judge a definition by how it is applied, which, by its very nature is PURELY subjective!
It is therefore up to an individual to apply such a definition by themselves, and not be dictated to by anyone else. I'm sure that if society didn't agree with any individuals opinion then they'd have ways and means of making it known without having to involve the law, which can't AFFORD to be so subjective!
The ONLY objective standard is a pure copy of any work of art - and so that is all the law itself can defend - (but even then, it may not be in societies interests to do so) - anything else and society as a whole is then being dictated to by someone else's standards - at which point, society will ignore it and just work round it anyway, as it always does - which is what's happening.
More people getting confused between games and general competitive behaviour... But then, whoever decided to call game theory such a thing - when it's purely about competitive behaviour/co-operative behaviour in a competitive environment, is definitely to blame for all this.
Unfortunately for Jane - easy and hard is purely subjective, and therefore has no bearing on the matter at all.
Re: Re: Re: How much does our language affect our perspective?
Why someone has decided to re-post this post I made a while ago here, (probably from a reply to a topic on gamasutra.com), I really haven't a clue, since it's not really relevant to the matter at hand... Pointless - my apologies for whoever thought it was a good idea...
Re: How much does our language affect our perspective?
This is, I think, slightly, (very?), related to something I'm working on at the minute.
I'm currently working on a study of games as a matter of linguistics, (in relation to the English language), and the amount of confusion that exists around the subject is extremely high, all due to one problem:
The subjective manner in how we USE the language, affects our perception, recognition and understanding of what other words within the language represent.
Since we're taught to use the English language in a very subjective manner, (and the language itself reinforces such subjectivity), how much does this affect our perception and understanding of the world around us, without our awareness of what is happening?
This, of course, goes all the way back to Aristotle's Theory Of Art:
Any art we create - (story we tell) - merely reflects the experiences of its creator(s) back upon them.
You'd think that we'd fully understand all this stuff by now, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong - and there would be a VERY good reason WHY!
Unfortunately, this reason is what I'm currently trying to write a paper about at the minute, but I need help, since I'm not an student or have any academic background, and it really needs to be a 'proper' academic paper - but it's SO simple and fundamental, it's almost funny that it hasn't been realised before now...
(We're talking (potentially) the most important English language paper ever, and (potentially) one of the most important language papers of all time... - (And no one seems to be interested in helping me :( ).
The biggest problem with making health care into an industry, (as the US has, and in so doing, has affected every other country), is that the best healthcare system is one that's NEVER USED.
In other words - having the best health care, and making a profit, are actually ideally incompatible.
With that in mind, along with the fact that health care HAS to treat everyone for lots of things equally - (since the minority can and WILL cause problems for the majority) - healthcare is actually one of the best systems designed for a socialist program - but only if it's done properly, and preferably from the ground up, without any interference - unfortunately, of course, such a scenario doesn't, and will probably never, exist.
Please, can people STOP trying to find analogies for the music industry by trying to use physical property and objects in place of INFORMATION. It CANNOT, WILL NOT, and will NEVER work...
Information is NOT property, and one of the reason why everything is so screwed up these days is because people keep on trying to treat it as that, and failing dismally, but dragging everyone one else along with them.
But the information itself ISN'T the problem here!
The problem is that some of the industry got itself so set in it's ways about DISTRIBUTING the information, (i.e. the carrier pigeon vs telegraph analogy I give above), that they're having trouble adapting to a newer, more efficient method of distribution, (and copying).
If the industry had charged for the creation of the information to begin with, rather than it's distribution, it wouldn't be in this situation right now.
And THAT is why it's ENTIRELY a business model problem, and NOTHING ELSE. And it's no-one else's problem, but theirs - if they can't adapt, then tough cookies.
"The implication is, of course, that the post-copyright world will not be substantially less shitty for artists than the current one. It may be worse, since it reduces the value of their creation further."
It depends on what they have to sell... If they have something to sell that people want to buy, then they'll succeed - if they don't, they won't - it really is that simple. If you can't make a product people want to buy, you do not 'deserve' to be in business...
The problem, is that companies have now found themselves built up to sell the wrong thing. It's like the carrier pigeon companies complaining that the telegraph has made their business obsolete - they'd built their companies up by distributing unique messages, but the only thing that made them so valuable, was that the carrier pigeons took so long to do anything and send them anywhere, so each individual message sent was valuable. In fact they were so valuable, that there was a law passed preventing the copying of messages without explicit permission.
Now the telegraph comes around, and all of a sudden, even though the messages they are distributing are still owned by the carrier pigeon industry, and them alone, people are now copying them and sending them by telegraph instead - because it's better. Not only is it better because it's fast and reliable - but it's ALSO a LOT cheaper - in fact, it's SO much cheaper to send by telegraph, that the carrier pigeon business is doing everything it can to try and stop the telegraph from working properly.
The problem for the carrier pigeon industry, is that one pigeon can only carry one message to one location at a time, whereas the telegraph can send the same message to many different locations at once, and it's so much cheaper to send a message, it's almost FREE.
However, they found someone sending a couple of their messages by telegraph, (obviously copied from at least two of their pigeons), and so they sued him/her. And got awarded millions of dollars. All for a couple of messages that cost pennies to transmit by telegraph, but $/£'s by carrier pigeon.
Of course, the carrier pigeon industry's excuse, is that their messages cost a lot more to make than those sent by telegraph. But they're wrong. This isn't he problem.
In fact, the messages sent by telegraph cost the same amount to make as those sent by carrier pigeon. The problem is that the telegraph industry is already thriving by itself, and sending more than just the messages similar to those sent by carrier pigeon. In fact there's so much information being sent, that to try and dictate by information type simply wouldn't work - (too much overhead) - so they charge a flat fee for TIME used, (in which to send any messages and information you people want, to as many people as they like), and this manages to cover the cost of all the information sent and received.
Indeed, because so much MORE information can now be sent, (as opposed to the short messages which carrier pigeons were limited to), many industries have evolved to take advantage of this fact.
All except the carrier pigeon industry, which is still sitting on top of their pile of their own created messages, and suing anyone they can find who sends them by telegraph.
And they refuse to accept that the messages they have are now only worth pennies since that's all they cost to be sent (by telegraph). In fact, some of their members have tried to send their messages over telegraph for the same price as by carrier pigeon, and are wondering why no-one is buying...
And so they complain to the government, saying that everyone is illegally copying and sending their messages by telegraph instead of using them and their pigeons instead.
And then, unfortunately, they do 'everything' they can to make sure that the government listens to them, and enacts laws in their favour, that make it illegal to read and copy a message from a carrier pigeon if you haven't paid for it.
But because everyone is now using the telegraph, they don't care, and just ignore them, even if they do like the messages copied from the pigeons. In fact, some people still buy the messages from the pigeons they like so much, but, of course, the numbers doing so are declining.
And then another company comes along, which has more to do with making telegraphs than breeding carrier pigeons, and they come up with a easy way to buy, send and receive messages online for a slightly increased cost. They then do a deal with the carrier pigeon industry for some of their messages too. This is a great success in the world of the telegraph, and for the company involved. In fact, it's so successful that other companies start doing the same.
But the carrier pigeon industry STILL isn't happy. They're no longer making the sort of money they used to make when a carrier pigeon was the only way to send messages, and so they try to increase the amount their messages sell for and try to limit the supply so that they'll be more valuable.
In fact, they've never once had all of their messages available for sale, simply because they're afraid they'll lose all of the value they have,and so they keep a lot of them still locked away some where where no one can read or copy them.
But people want to send all of the messages, and they want to do it for the prices they're used to using the telegraph - they're not interested in carrier pigeons anymore...?
But the carrier pigeon industry is still holding out and complaining - in fact, they're even making the pigeons MORE expensive to send.
And so the people have had enough, and copy and send any of the carrier pigeons messages they like, regardless - if they don't want to sell them to them at a price they want, then why should they get their business and money.
And, of course, the carrier pigeon industry isn't the only message making company. Although making messages to send via telegraph isn't really worth very much, in fact, it's probably hard to make living out of, people have found other ways of using the messages themselves in order to make the money elsewhere.
Does the carrier pigeon industry deserve to exist? Does it deserve to make money? Does it deserve all the judgements and fate of every individual who sends and copies their messages over the telegraph? Or should they change their business model so that they now sell a product that people want to buy at a price they want to spend? If the messages are almost worthless once created, since they can be copied and sent anywhere people choose for very little money, then why can't they find something else to sell? Lots of other people have, so why can't they?
And since messages are now worth very little, and can be copied and distributed so easily and cheaply, what does that mean for the law that prevents such things without permission?
Actually - the real problem, (and I've talked about this before) - is that they want BOTH!
They want to both SELL you a product, (that just happens to have some particular data/information/music/film etc. on it), and therefore be able to stop you from making unauthorised copies of it, while at the SAME TIME, licensing the particular information on the disk, in order to control how you use it.
Unfortunately, the law doesn't seem to see that the two are NOT THE SAME THING, and are, in fact, conflicting with each other - (which the DCMA in the US reinforces).
The problem, is that they should not be allowed to DO both - they should just pick one, license or sell, and stick with it. The reason for this, is that they are both covered by different laws and regulations, which, as I said, conflict - (at least here in the UK).
But since they have the politicians in their back pocket atm, they're being allowed to get away with it. (While most people just work round it completely).
INFORMATION, (in itself), IS NOT, NOR SHOULD EVER BE CONSIDERED, PROPERTY.
A lot of our problems arrive because people refuse to accept this statement - all because some companies have corrupted their original purpose, (distributing property that contained information), in trying to control the information itself.
But since the invention of the internet - the worlds greatest ever PURE information COPYING AND DISTRIBUTION system - (i.e. it doesn't require the transfer of scarce physical goods to operate, unlike paper & ink etc.) - their original reason for existing has changed, or is at least changing. Unfortunately they refuse to accept this, and are now trying to control the distribution and use of the information itself, regardless of any actual property it no longer needs, in a manner inconsistent with the way the internet works, and the way humanity wants and/or needs it to work.
Humanity has always thrived on the free exchange of information, and to try and force it to do anything otherwise is, well, not a good idea - it generally leads to such things as censorship and propaganda etc. - things which have always been tried, but always eventually failed, as humanity usually finds a way round it, or fights against it. (Yes, I know about China, but I don't see them staying that way indefinitely - humanity will/should always outlast any tyranny).
This isn't to say that information isn't valuable - it's just that, because of the internet, the information, in itself, isn't valuable ENOUGH to make people pay the amount of money a lot of companies think it's worth.
However, it's possible to add things to the information in order to increase it's value - even such basic things as presentation and organisation, in order to improve access etc. can increase its value to the point that some people think it's worth paying for. And this is without actually linking it with any actual 'property' which, by it's very nature, will be a scarce good that is more valuable...
But few companies seem to full understand this: because they were so used to dealing with limited, scarce physical property - (from paper and ink to plastic discs) - they're having trouble understanding what it is they're trying to sell now, and how to actually go about doing it.
And they've made a big mistake - they've done everything they can to try and make the INFORMATION itself, into a scarce good...
But information isn't, and will never be scarce, certainly now, as long as the internet exists. And so they're trying to do everything they can, from getting laws enacted, to artificially limiting access, to try and force their information into being a scarce good, just like they think it used to be.
But it never was, and still isn't. Information has never been a scarce good - it's only ever been the format that information took that was scarce - but that's changed, and a lot of companies have yet to understand that.