Friday, 19 November 2010

Instant Water, Just Add Water

[Scene: a dishevelled bedroom, day]

Microsoft: Tom! Hey, Tom! Look!!! A shiny, fun-looking pinball game on Xbox Arcade... and it's FREE! Completely FREE!!!

Me: Wow, really? I have been known to enjoy pinball games... Sure it's not just a trial version?

MS: NO!!! How could you suggest such a thing?!? See there, where it says "Full Game", prominently, next to the title? We're GIVING you this game! We're just THAT NICE!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Me: Well, OK then... It's free, what's the harm?

[downloads game]

Hey, wait a minute... I have the game, but when I pick a table it tells me to "unlock" it... and to do that I have to pay! I thought you said this was free?

MS: Yes, of course it is!

Me: But the tables cost money?

MS: Oh yes!

Me: So it's free to own the game... but not to play it?

MS: Of course you can play it! Look, you can open the Options Menu... then CLOSE the Options Menu!!! Look how shiny it is! Listen to the funky music! Just like being in an arcade!!!

Me: Right...

MS: Like being in an arcade without any money, to be sure... But you could still walk around watching OTHER people play, or just admire the shininess and.... beepiness of the machines... on an aesthetic level!!!

Me: I've changed my mind. Please go away.

MS: DON'T GO!!! You haven't heard all about our new offer! How would you like... A FREE CAR?!? A COMPLETELY free car! WOW!!! Of course, you'll have to pay £10,000 or so to fit an engine, but the car is free!!! FREEEEEE!!!


[cavernous silence, punctuated only by the sounds of Microsoft HQ quietly burning to the ground]

(picture courtesy of The Honest Car Salesman)

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