Monday, 23 May 2011

Gaming things that need to stop. Number 1 - Unboxing videos.

A mate of mine has suggested to me that I might fancy making video articles for my blog. I'm not against that - but if I'm going to do it, I have to do it right. One idea I had would see me playing a game I was able to complete when I was younger, and seeing whether I was still skilful enough to do it now. That one could work.

One thing that wouldn't work would be if I were to make an unboxing video. Now, when it comes to video games (well, all hobbies really, but particularly video games), there's a fine line between being a geek or a nerd. Most of us would accept being labelled a geek... some perhaps grudgingly, others proudly. Being a geek is alright, nothing wrong with that. Most of us , though, wouldn't want to be labelled a nerd. But if you make an unboxing video, you are, in fact, a nerd.

I'm holding the Climax Edition of Bayonetta. There's a game, an art book and a CD in there. How does that grab you?

Seriously - you're making us well-adjusted gamers look bad. People that don't indulge in our hobby think we're all like that. We're not. We're normal, rational people that work in offices and schools, and like to come home and play a video game for an hour or two to unwind. It's fun. People that don't play video games might watch a movie or a TV soap opera... it's all an escape from the drudgery of life.

I don't see what purpose an unboxing video serves. If someone is interested in the special edition of a game, then all you're doing is spoiling it for them, and given they've forked out a fair bit extra for the good stuff, that's a bit mean. If they're not interested... then they're not interested. No amount of breathless nerdy rambling will persuade them otherwise.

I love Deathsmiles, but is there really any need for this?

The commentary on an unboxing video is usually quite ridiculous. "Here's the shrinkwrap... I'm taking it off now". It's a video. Everyone can see what you're doing. They can see that you're opening the box. They can see that you're taking out the instructions. All you really need to talk about, for the benefit of the three weird people that have decided to watch a video of somebody opening a game, are the really unusual items that people who would prefer to buy three new games for the price of your one won't ever get to see.

I realise I'm being a bit mean-spirited here, and I suppose it's harmless enough. I should just leave alone those that get something out of watching some hamfisted spod ripping open the game he's just bought so he can clutch his plastic figure clad in +3 Armour of Majesty in his sweaty paw. But I just find the whole notion of watching somebody else either ruining my surprise or getting orgasmic over a plastic helmet a bit ridiculous. And I imagine non-gamers do, too. So stop the unboxing videos now, or the rest of the world might forever think we should all be on a register somewhere.


  1. I do -of course- agree dear Paul. Someone really had to raise the point, though I simply have to mention that I do enjoy looking at lush piccies with the content of retro game boxes...

  2. Thank you for posting this.. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday as I stumbled on some gadget unboxing videos. Whats the point? We understand the geektastic feeling up opening a new product, but posting unboxing videos just screams "I have no friends".

  3. Gnome took the words right out of my mouth.

    I've always thought these unboxing videos were utterly ridiculous. Then when I bought a sealed copy of Telengard for the C64 a while back and it became a gift I was hesitant to open, I thought to myself "maybe I should record when I finally open up this baby." Then I realized in horror what I was considering.

    So my question is - is an unboxing video more acceptable if the item is a 20-30 year old retro game as opposed to a new 360 game fresh off the store shelf? Or did I just dodge a bullet?

  4. Totally with you on this one. There are loads of them on YouTube and are all pointless.

    As far as I can see it is just people buying stuff purely to make a video of it to be watched by other people in their subscription list who will then buy another thing to unbox on their video and so it goes.