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Baneful's Column
July 7, 2014

Pervasion of the Information Age

 

YGO ban lists used to happen twice a year.  Now in 2014, Konami is doing four ban lists per year.  We had one in January, one in April and now one in July.  Every three months basically.  Historically, each ban list has revised the status of anywhere between a dozen and a score of cards.  Now the law and order of duel monsters is executed in smaller doses.  This ban list only had 6 or 7 revisions, some of which were just extrapolations of the previous list.

 

Why was this change made?  An obvious reason is that gradual changes are more stable for the meta game.  But that fact speaks nothing of its feasibility.  Konami could have done this at any time but they chose to do in 2014.  The reason being, I suspect, is because information is more accessible than ever so a more frequent change to things wouldn't really drive people crazy.

 

With nearly everyone online in some fashion and the propensity for information of interest to be more viral, the concern of "what if players are confused about the ban list changes" has vanished.  In an era where we are used to more stimuli, the idea of shifting gears every few months is not a big deal like it was back then. 

 

Also, with knowledge more pervasive than ever, ignorant players are proportionately less common.  I'm really not counting on ignorant players saying "You can't use Dark Hole.  It's banned" like they used to.  If you have a Facebook and YGO-loving friends on there, chances are at least somebody will post about the ban list and make you aware of what's going on.

 

Typically, the 2004 mentality toward things was a long drought followed by a big chunk of content that would just totally surprise everybody.  The 2014 mentality is to deliver that content into smaller doses on a more frequent basis.

 

Take music for example.  Decades ago people patiently waited for an album and aside from a single they heard on the radio, they had no idea what they were going to get until they went to the store and got that album.  When they did, it was a huge suprise to them and they loved it.  Then Amazon and Itunes offered 30 second samples of songs.  Eventually, entire albums were leaked, torrented and even uploaded on Youtube.  We're, by nature, curious people, and discovering new information comes before patience.

 

This can be said about video games as well.  Indie titles are coming at a more frequent release schedule than the "AAA" mass-marketing big-budget games.  Game betas like Halo 5 come a year early and lots of people are free to test it.  We sacrifice surprise and shock factor for more awareness.  Ignorance is bliss.  The ban list, coincidence or not, conveniently fits in with this pattern quite well.

 

Again.  Let's emphasize that this new ban list, as well as the previous two ban lists, have been nothing significant.  And I'm expecting this trend to stay the norm.  Especially looking on the F/L List Pojo forum and seeing all of the posts, I feel like there's great need to understand what's going on and accordingly adjust. 

 

Users post a lot of ambitious and sweeping ban lists, and expectations like that just cannot be met.  Sorry guys, but keep your expectations realistic.  Especially at a time when Konami isn't really using the ban list to fundamentally change the game.  They're just revising and refining certain areas rather than giving it a structural overhaul.

 

So we're split on two ends.  Goodbye childhood innocence of being startled (in a good way) when a giant wave of sweeping information hits you after a long calm peaceful slow while.  Hello to a constant  wave of spicy information that's just become mundane.  Well, I guess this is growing up.

 

Contact: banefulscolumn@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 


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