The Microtransaction Plague

The Microtransaction Plague

Video game and app developers are adding microtransactions to their products - and it's starting to affect the market.
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Microtransactions. The word itself causes gamers to shiver and point out their favorite (read: most despised) ones. A microtransaction is a small amount of money that a game either requires or highly recommends to keep playing or to enhance the game. For example, Candy Crush is free but you can buy tokens to get a hint. In general, microtransactions are found in freeware games, but some have notably made their way to actual video games made by well-known developers. Games already aren't cheap, but charging the customer even more after the fact is just going to cause issues, and it already has. From once anticipated triple-A video games to apps you can download on your iPhone, microtransactions and paid lootboxes have become a point of concern in the video game industry.

It was major news when EA/DICE's 2017 game Star Wars: Battlefront II was released. Not because of it being a major success or helping to expand the story after the Original Trilogy, but it was because of the microtransactions that effectively turned the game into a pay-to-win moneymaking scheme. Even though the consumer paid sixty dollars, maybe more if they bought the “deluxe edition” or even a full console that it came bundled with, they still could not access characters like Darth Vader, Rey, or Luke Skywalker out of the box. The intention was that players would have to earn these characters for online play, which is fair I guess. But the token system wasn't just increased by playing the game, rather you could buy “lootboxes” that would give you items such as tokens and “Star Cards,” which were power-ups you can use both online and in local gameplay. The cost of Darth Vader was so high, it would take a player 40+ hours to gain enough coins to purchase the Lord of the Sith – or, they could buy some lootboxes and get the coins that way, thus increasing the amount of abilities they have in-game. A complaint was made on Reddit, and EA's response (which was basically saying “well that's how we designed the game just deal with it and pay up”) became the most downvoted comment in the site's history. The game, which launched in November 2017, was still fully stocked around Christmas – which was also right around the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. EA took a massive hit, and Disney lawyers even got involved after rumors started up of a possible class-action lawsuit for purposely overcharging players in order to play the game to the fullest extent. At first, EA lowered the point cost to buy the playable movie characters and removed coins and cards from lootboxes, but by 2018, the entire cost/lootbox system was gone, and if you buy the game now, you'll be able to jump right online and play as Rey in a battle. This was such a major controversy that it even prompted some countries to investigate whether or not lootboxes were considered gambling, and Belgium recently declared them as such.

Free apps are notorious for these. There are countless stories of kids racking up a few thousand dollar bill on apps because the game pops up with saying “pay x dollars to get 20 more gems or wait two hours” and they just click to go ahead, there's no passcode to prevent this. The new Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Mystery, is pretty much just a series of microtransactions. While the game is technically free, you still need “energy” to do tasks like rest and talk to characters – but that's nothing, you also need energy to progress through the levels. Yes, you can wait three hours after playing fifteen minutes just to take a short rest before needing to wait another three hours, or you can pay a few dollars every few minutes to keep on going. It's like EA gave them pointers on how to get nerds to pay more than what they should for a game. Pokemon Go (yes I still play it) is the opposite however. You don't need to pay anything to enjoy the game. Yeah you're limited to 250 Pokemon, but by the time you get there, you might want to pay for an additional one hundred or so. Unlike Hogwarts Mystery, you can play it perfectly fine, it doesn't limit your catches or amount of items. Countless games are like this, supposedly being free but requiring payment to get items for use in-game, and developers know this. They want people to be paying extra so they make money, hence why “freemium” software exists. Say it's free, which isn't a lie – but to really get what it's designed to do, be prepared to buy a lot more items and spend money to play a game you thought wouldn't cost you a cent.

Back to major AAA games, you have ones like Fortnite. This is a game that has two different modes, one that costs and one that's free but does include optional microtransactions. The free version, Battle Royale, is an online third-person shooter wherein 100 players fight each other to be the last man standing. The paid version has local multiplayer and a story mode, but isn't required to play Battle Royale. While there are cosmetic items you can earn and buy for the free game, they don't increase your abilities in-game, and you can play as many rounds as you want without having to pay a single cent. Even the “Infinity Gauntlet” mode, a limited-time promotion for Avengers: Infinity War, every player has the chance to get the Gauntlet and play as Thanos – doesn't charge you at all, only thing it costs is your patience and skill at trying to get the item in the first place. Many online games are free but include a paid aspect – Blizzard's World of Warcraft is free until level 20, but it's not like it stops you from playing, you just can't level up after. Yeah it's not perfect, but still. League of Legends is the same way. Both games have microtransactions to get more in-game currency or items, but in theory one could play without paying anything.

Sometimes though, a lootbox isn't a bad thing. In Overwatch, the boxes contain primarily cosmetic items. You pay for the game, you get your game and don't have to pay any more unless you want to get extra things like new DLC, which again, isn't required for play. Or PokeStops in Pokemon Go, where you can stock up on Pokeballs and other gear. But you do not have to put any more money in, because in the end, it doesn't make you any better of a player. But at the same time, there's games like Battlefront II that would have kept at the lootbox pay-to-win concept, but somebody stepped in and made it very clear this is not how the industry should work. Instead of charging players for something they thought was free, just make it an option and allow them to earn the same thing by playing the game, as well as just keeping lootboxes containing skins and other minor items that don't effect gameplay. Microtransactions aren't going anywhere, but after everything that's gone on since EA had to completely revamp their system, the industry should look at whether or not they actually help the game or hinder the players. Because playing for fifteen minutes then having to wait three hours to get enough energy to open a book isn't a game, it's just making people pay more than the program is worth.

Cover Image Credit: Electronic Arts

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100 Instagram Captions You'll Want To Use Right Now

Quotes, lyrics, sayings, and other ideas for Instagram captions!
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When it comes to Instagram we are often thinking about what to use as a caption for our photos that we take that we really want to post on Instagram. Sometimes we post the photo without a caption and sometimes we just use an emoji because we're stumped on finding a good caption to use for the photo. So we go the short route and just put an emoji as a caption for our photo. Well whether it is a selfie, a friend pic, group pic, or just need a caption for the photo, here are 100 captions to use for a photo. Some are lyrics, some are quotes, and some are just a quick caption to use on your photo. Also here are some accounts that are worth following:

-@brandonwoelfel

-@tess_and_sarah

-@brandymelvilleusa

-@goldenretrievers_

-@cats_of_instagram

-@zodiac.signs

-@thegrilledpineapple

-@jazzjennings_

-@chipper_thegolddog

-@llauratheleo

-@heyshalice

-@sailorhaley

-@sandcloudteam

-@photosabss

-@sharkbaitblond

Here are Quotes To Use As A Caption/ Lyrics To Use As A Caption/ Quick Little Sayings To Use As A Caption: for your Instagram photo that you wish to post!

1. Life goes on, with or without you.

2. Don't Worry Be Happy! Bob Marley

3. Be Happy.

4. Be Confident.

5. Be Positive.

6. Don't be a liar, everyone hates a liar.

7. Chillin' with my peeps.

8. Go big or go home.

9. What's the deal?

10. The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it's all that matters.

11. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

12. Life is a gift.

13. You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions.

14. Forgive, yes. Forget, never.

15.There's a hole in my heart where you used to be.

16. I don't need any part-time people in my life.

17. Get the gist.

18. Boy, it's the 21st Century, get with the program.

19. Hey, I just met you, this is crazy!

20. I woke up like this.

21. Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.

22. Beauty is power, a smile is its sword.

23. Last day of class!

24. I donut care!

25. Got my donut and coffee today.

26. Happy as a clam

27. Beach days are the best!

28. A friend will always make you smile, especially when you don't want to…

29. Always classy, never trashy, and a little bit sassy.

30. If only we could turn back time...

31. With you, I forget all my problems. With you, time stands still.

32. Life's a climb, but the view is great.

33. "Ohana, means family, family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." — "Lilo & Stitch"

34. We come to love by not finding the perfect person, but by learning to see the imperfect person perfectly.

35. If I ever write a story about my life, don't be surprised if your name appears a billion times.

36. She's got that red lip, classic thing going on.

37. I don't know what's tighter, our jeans or our friendship!

38. Best friends make good times better and hard times easier!

39. Not sure what I did to deserve you as my best friend :)

40. I don't need your approval to be me.

41. So call me? Maybe?

42. "I am who.I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain't never gonna do it any different. I don't care who likes it and who don't." — Buck Owens

43. Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.

44. "Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." — Ed Sheeran

45. Cause you're a sky full of stars — Coldplay

46 . I keep dancing on my own — Calum Scott

47. Can't keep my hands to myself — Selena Gomez

48. I just want to look good for you — Selena Gomez

49. Kill em with kindness — Selena Gomez

50. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But when I say sorry… I mean it!

51. Me? Weird? Please! I am limited edition!

52. Turn that frown upside down.

53. Smile, it's the best thing a girl can wear!

54, Stay true.

55. Laughing is the best medicine you can ever get!

56. "You're the king, baby I'm your queen." — Taylor Swift

57. Best Friends Forever!

58.Throwing it back to the good ole days!

59. Ugg Life.

60. I know you like, first-name-basis.

61. *Sends selfie to NASA cuz I'm a star*

62. Basic white girl.

63. Frisky Friday!

64. My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations. — "The Fault In Our Stars"

65. "Maybe our okays will be our infinities." — The Fault In Our Stars

66. So hold onto me because I'm a little unsteady — Unsteady

67. This has got to be the best day of my life.

68. She's the beauty and he's the beast.

69. "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." — Walt Disney

70. "If you can dream it, you can do it." — Walt Disney

71. "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days." — "The Lion King"

72. "The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." — "The Lion King."

73. "Remember you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." — "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

74 ."The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." — "Mulan"

75. "You don't have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring." — "Beauty and the Beast"

76. "All it takes is faith and trust." — "Peter Pan"

77. "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." — "Winnie the Pooh"

78. "If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead." — "Ratatouille"

79. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." — George Bernard Shaw

80. "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." — "Hercules"

81. "Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya." — "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

82. "The things that make me different are the things that make me ME." — "Winnie the Pooh"

83. "Giving up is for rookies." — "Hercules"

84. "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own." — Donald Duck

85. "Change is good." — "The Lion King"

86. "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln

87. "An unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates

88. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." — Rabindranath Tagore

89. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." — Helen Keller

90. "The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire." — Pamela Hansford Johnson

91. "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." — Swami Sivananda

92. "Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices. Today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity, but embrace it." — Kevyn Aucoin

93. "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'," — Audrey Hepburn

94. "Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." — Walt Whitman

95. "My power's turned on, starting right now I'll be strong." — Rachel Platten

96. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." — Buddha

97. "Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." — Rabindranath Tagore

98. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" — Muhammad Ali

99. "Why don't you be you, and I'll be me." — James Bay

100. Life is like a camera, we focus on the positives and develop from the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Antonio Brown Vs. JuJu Smith-Schuster

AB's low-blow at JuJu has put a target on his back for the impending 2019 season.

JordynL
JordynL
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Recently, Raiders wide-receiver Antonio Brown initiated a Twitter "war" after Steelers wide-receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was named MVP for the 2018 season. Brown retaliated with a response to a tweet shared by a fan that sparked a fire and brought emotions to an all time high within the NFL fan base. All of which took place after the former wide-receiver for Pittsburgh previously tweeted "Keep your emotions off the internet" just hours earlier, acting as if he is the herald of good advice. Ever since then AB has been nothing but emotional, even taking down a former teammate in the process.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

We've all been exposed to AB's attitude since he was drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, but it's gotten worse over time. Still, Pittsburgh fans disregarded his actions for a while because of his skills on the field and million dollar smile. His charm and endless pictures of his children always, if not most of the time, managed to get the fans of Steeler Nation to turn a blind eye to his mischievous ways- at least until the past few seasons. It seemed that his attitude had gotten worse, along with his sense of entitlement and spreading of hate and jealousy toward his fellow players. His attitude and purposeful actions eventually granted his wish of being traded from the Steelers, ending up as the Raiders' new wide-receiver. Ever since the trade, his ruthless attitude and ongoing hypocrisy continues to ascend to greater levels than before, after JuJu fired back at Antonio with a dose of his own medicine.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

Immediately following, JuJu expressed the betrayal and disrespect he received, regardless of the fact that he practically idolized AB since he got drafted in 2017. The rookie MVP called out the Pittsburgh veteran for the size of his ego and ability to fire shots at people that adored him. If anything, this debacle was an enlightening event for the young WR and is now aware of what kind of person his former idol is.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

Following this, AB decided to take advantage of one of his known slogans #CallGod a few days after the fact. Instead of continuing his antagonizing behavior, he decided to quote the Bible as if it would excuse his initial shot toward JuJu. In doing so, he decided to carefully pick verses from Luke 6 in order to fit his own egotistical agenda.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

"But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return." Luke 6:35, a verse that is visibly ignored to avoid contradictions for his recent actions. As we can see in the tweet thread, fans are recognizing the hypocrisy that Antonio Brown is proudly exuding and are emphasizing it. AB's repugnant attitude and "preaching" has pushed fans to see that Brown will betray anyone who attempts to take his spotlight, regardless of him making the same mistakes in past seasons. The once-beloved, former Pittsburgh WR is ready and willing to place blame on fellow teammates but will very rarely take blame for his own faults. Because of this trait and actions that have followed, Brown now has a target on his back for the 2019 season.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

The NFC is ready to avenge JuJu Smith-Schuster and I don't believe Antonio realizes what he's gotten himself into. It's no secret that Brown has quick feet and can run across the field with great speed and agility, but people always find a way when rage drives them. It seems as if JuJu has great support across the entirety of the NFL, regardless of rivalries that exist.

Let's remember: Antonio Brown was in his prime with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders are getting the aftermath that won't last much longer. It wouldn't surprise me if the Raiders make arrangements for someone to buy-out his three-year contract if his attitude doesn't improve. No team, no coach, will tolerate Antonio longer than Coach Tomlin did. Regardless, AB better start taking his "Call God" slogan seriously because he might need the Big-Man soon if he continues his disgusting and childish shenanigans.

JordynL
JordynL

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