Things gamers don't actually care about

Why you care: You're a game publisher, and game publishers love putting an extra layer of raised foil around their games before sending them out into the world on their own.

Why we don't: OK, it's not that we don't care about these. It's more like we'd like to not care, but we have to.

Picture this: you’ve just unwrapped a brand new copy of NASCAR 09 and you’re ready to get our race on, to the extreme. But after ripping the plastic off, you still have to remove a cardboard sleeve. Now, with your elevated adrenalin, you could easily just tear it apart, but it looks just like the real cover and the main character is a little shiny. You can’t just go around tearing up shiny things willy-nilly.

It’s the cover’s perceived value that makesit so terrible. You can either put it with the rest of your game cases or put it back around the case for NASCAR 09. If it goes back around the game, you’re only going to have to remove it again to put the game back, when we're done playing – costing valuable seconds of gaming time – and if you don't put it back on the box, it will inevitably end up crushed by a mountain of other game cases, leaving you wracked with guilt for destroying your valuable paper sleeve.

Above: This happens every time

What they are: Miis, Xbox Avatars and Home people who look like you.

Why you care: Because you have to make them.

Why we don’t: It's character creation, but without the game. Character creation is not the fun part of most games.

Plus, we can't figure out what to do with them. We've heard rumors that more games will soon incorporate the li’l guys, and of course, you can already play some Wii games with your little Mii men. All varieties of avatar show up on your dashboard sometimes, and if you sit there looking at them, they're likely to wink at you. So the current theory is that we’re supposed to use them to feel like our consoles are awkwardly hitting on us.

Above: Is this the next step?

Owning a console is about playing games, not about playing dress-up. Sure, it's kind of fun (and very required) to create your little avatar, but their newness wears off quickly when we can't find a purpose for them. We suggest the following: make clothing unlockable through game achievements, and incorporate avatars into matchmaking. After that, we’re not sure what to do with them, but hey, we aren’t the ones who decided avatars are important.

What they are: Sheets of paper bound together so that they can be flipped through. Each sheet has images and text printed on the front and back. The pictures do not move and you will often be required to purchase a Collector’s Edition to get them.

Why you care: You’ve finished the game four times and you still want more. Well, why not? Some of them are actually good (sometimes better than the game).

Why we don’t: This ain’t ReadingRadar! Do you know even know where you are, man?

Jan 6, 2009

The Top 7... Failed franchises we know how to fix
They've been broken for years. Here's how to set them right

Think you've played every Street Fighter? Find out about the rare gems you missed

The most ULTIMATE, SUPER cliches ever UNLEASHED