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Oh Mighty Amazon!

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Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I do a lot of online shopping. I purchase from a lot of websites, but I find that I keep going back to I have a friend who doesn't do a lot of online shopping, but when she does, it's always Amazon!
Here are a few good things about

  • Amazon doesn't charge tax, which is huge when you're making a big purchase. Als
  • Shipping is free if your purchase is over $25 and fulfilled by Amazon.
  • I've found their customer service to be great. You have to navigate through a few screens to get to the "Contact now" page, but when you type in your phone number, someone calls you immediately to resolve your issue. Their call center does not appear to be in the U.S., but that doesn't bother me. I've found that they are able to e-mail authorizations for returns, issue refunds and modify orders when the website won't allow it.
Here is my favorite thing about Amazon: prime membership. This is a special membership that costs $79 a year and gives you free two-day shipping on all orders fulfilled by Amazon, regardless of how much they cost. That membership also allows you to ship an item overnight for just $3.99. Don't get excited -- I'm not telling you to pay for the membership. I know some ways you can get it for free!

1) Students enrolled in a college or university get one year of prime membership free -- great for those back in school, or those with kids in college.

2) All parents get three months of prime membership gratis. I'm currently on that plan, and they just threw in an extra month for the holidays -- nice!

3) Anyone can get a free one-month trial via the website.

4) You can get added to someone else's prime account (even a free trial) as a "household" member and receive the same benefits they have.

You used to have to manage your account and select to not have a paid prime renewal, but it now looks like promotion and trial memberships just end when the term is up. Sign up today for any last-minute shopping you might have.

5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Karen December 11, 2010, 8:04 AM

Also, regarding their customer service… you can chat with somebody live which is nice too.

And a lot of things are free to return (and easy to do so!)

Santo Mortensen December 12, 2010, 8:32 AM

Wow! Thank you! I continually wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my website?

Game Marketing  December 13, 2010, 1:59 AM

Hey dudes, here is Francesco from Japan My hobbies are Natation and Languages. I work for a video game translation company. Contact me if you wanna know more

Game Marketing  December 13, 2010, 4:23 AM

Due to various cultural elements that a specific to a place or territory, a video game, already released in some places and that looks absolutely problem-free in one territory can be criticized somewhere else. This is a good reason to thin that localization - unlike just straight translation - is necessary for games.

But one seemingly simple yet relatively deep and complicated question has always bothered me: when does the “localization” of content stop being “localization” and turn into full-on “censorship”? Aren’t these changes killing some of the game’s fun?

As a recent example, Yakuza 3 on PS3 shows well how thin the frontier between censorship and localization can be. Almost immediately, it came under fire for the huge cuts it suffered at the hands of Western localizers. Apparently, a significant chunk of the cut scenes, minigames, and events were removed from the US release, deemed “inappropriate” for American audiences.

This gets me wondering: how much of the cut content was actually “inappropriate for American audiences” as in “cultural differences would prevent full understanding and therefore only serve to confuse the player and impede their progress”, as opposed to “Americans are generally far more religious and uptight than Japanese people, so we can’t show them this kind of nudity and/or violence”? It was certainly a disappointment for gamers who expected to have the same game as the Japanese one after reading reviews and news in video game magazines or forums.

Regardless as to what country this game is purchased in, by default (due to content) the player will generally be an adult - or at least old enough to understand that the game may contain some “naughty bits”. Just look at the cover - this fact is not going to surprise anyone. So who are the publishers to decide even further who this game is for, and what parts they should be allowed to play?.

Video game translation shall always be respectful of gamers.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 5:36 PM

Interesting article. Nice and fun reading. I’ve just got a point to make about shirts.

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