I wasn’t sure what to title this post.  I have a lot of interests and not near enough energy or time to be able to do all of them.  I am a fan of video games and have been since I was a kid.  For those of you that don’t like video games, this isn’t going to be just about that so please keep reading.  I have been a player and fan of the Battlefield series since Battlefield 1942 and in the last two years have been playing Battlefield 3 and now 4 multiplayer on a regular basis.  Since video games were developed there have been people who have tried to hack the game.  There are also those that modify the games to improve or change the field of play to make it more interesting or to give you more options.  I very much despise hackers, as all they are doing is trying to break the program and cheat other players.  They break the program so that they have an advantage over other players and can say, “See how good I am?”.  In reality, it isn’t their skill of player against player but the hack or program that is doing the work.

Over the first 2 years or so that Battlefield 3 was released, we would see hackers/cheaters, from time to time.  Many times it was obvious and there were certain things we could do to get rid of the player.  Other times, it was subtle but many of them eventually were banned from the game.  Battlefield 4 was released last October, after an Alpha and Beta testing.  Before the Alpha test was released, there were already hacks available on the net and during the Alpha and Beta versions, they were readily visible.  Many of us thought that most of these hackers would be dealt with after the release of the full version.  4 months later and we are still dealing with obvious hackers/cheaters.  They are being reported by players and banned by administrators of servers but there are still many that are able to use their cheats and create havoc for honest players.  EA (Electronic Arts), the publisher of the game (I believe that is the correct title) continues to fail to follow through with banning these players or developing their software, to discourage and make it more difficult for their games to be hacked.  My point to all this is, when did it become alright to cheat, lie and steal?

We have become a society where it is alright to cheat and lie.  Our politicians do it on a regular basis, companies do it to their customers and share holders and now kids think that it is ok to cheat at games.  It has become so ingrained in our society, that even our children’s behavior has been modified to except it.  Children now believe that it’s ok to cheat at games so that they are number one, they cheat at testing in school, so that they get a better grade.  As adults, they cheat on their taxes, at their work, on their spouses.  The list goes on and on.  It’s ok to cheat so that you can get ahead.  Well, I’m old school, raised by parents that were believers in God, honesty, integrity.  They believed that your name and reputation stood for something.  If you couldn’t stand on your merit, then you couldn’t stand.  People in today’s society have lost that.  Integrity, honesty, morals and principles have become nothing more than words to describe someone that is out of place.  It is a sad state of affairs and it is not something that can be repaired easily.  It took several generations to get where we are and even if we started today, it will take several generations to return to that state.

Now, that I have said that, I’m going to get on my soap box about big business and it’s dishonesty, specifically, EA. Back to the gaming industry.  After playing Battlefield 3, I was very happy and impressed with the graphics, the game engine and had a lot of fun playing.  When it was announced that EA was going to be releasing Battlefield 4, I was excited and even pre-ordered the game.  I was able to play the Alpha and Beta tests and thought as many people, that it was going to be an awesome advance in gaming.  There were problems with the testing releases but that’s what the purpose of Alpha and Beta releases were for, to work out the bugs.  When the full game was released in October, it turned out that many of the same problems that were in the Beta test release, were still there and had not been fixed.  Being hopeful, I thought, they were in the process of making fixes and they would release a patch soon that would fix the bugs.  Here we are 4 months later and multiple patches and there are still major problems with the game.  Consumers have complained over and over again to EA but they still haven’t been able to correct the simplest of errors.

EA has continued to make promises that they are working on fixes but we don’t see improvements.  As I stated, I pre-ordered the game and when the game was released, I was charged twice for the game.  The original offer for the pre-order, was that you would be purchasing a premium edition, the upgraded version, for $70.  There was a press release, outlining what you would receive by purchasing the premium version.  6 months later, they changed the pre-order version to the deluxe version and to obtain all the perks for the premium version, which I had already purchased, you had to spend another $50.  Now, I have spent $120 for a game that originally was supposed to cost me $70 and was supposed to work but I also was charged twice for and still doesn’t work.  In addition, 2 days after purchasing the premium version, they put both versions on sale for 50% off.  When I contacted EA they would not give me a discount or a credit for the sale price.

Big business holds all the cards.  This is just a video game but the same problems/dishonesty, apply in almost any consumer fed business.  The end consumer is the customer, that’s us, you and me.  They should be kissing our asses not ignoring and providing an inferior product that doesn’t work.  I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.  I’m venting putting this out there so that maybe it will help someone else or just maybe, someone out there has a solution that I haven’t tried.  We as consumers are getting screwed everyday, by the government, big business and yes, by each other.  Our children and much of our society, believe that it is alright to screw each other.  Inferior, unsafe and over priced products.  Companies continue to produce and monopolize markets so that we have no choice but to use them and their product.

Companies used to brag about having good customer service, good, reliable products.  Now, they are allowed to provide services/products that are cheap and inferior and charge us the full price because we have to use them.  Cable companies, telephone services, automotive products.  Appliances are only designed to last about 5 years and they fail and you have to purchase a new one.  The prices aren’t any cheaper, they products have become short lived so that we have to buy a new one and thus big business makes more money.  We as consumers, need to stop excepting this as the norm and fight these companies and force them to produce a better product for less money or at least a price that is reasonable.

Big business today has forgotten about reliability, quality, dependability, efficiency.  The bottom line for them is the bottom line, how much money can they make off the user.  If have read this far, then I ask that you stand up for your rights as a consumer and make these businesses stand by their products and provide proper customer service and reliable, user friendly products, for a fair price.  This is America.  We had a reputation at one time that was world renowned that we were the best of the best.  Now, we are nothing more than “made in China” or “made in Taiwan”.  Let’s make America whole again and bring it back to being the moral, principled and honest nation we once were.