Video Games and Capitalism

I loved this talk on Video Games and the Spirit of Capitalism. Watch the whole video. I much preferred it to the text; the text spends more times talking about games than capitalism.

I think people’s personal experience in those roles backs this up. I know someone who enjoys resource management games because it’s practice for managing the time and abilities of different people in real life. Even before I watched this talk, I was finding similarities between project management and Farmville. That is, in Farmville, you set things going and then you have to wait. You’re not actually making plants grow. In project management, you are probably not the one designing, coding, building, etc. That means waiting, and then collecting the resources. Granted, project management is more than just clicking to plant — and there’s no QA or politics. Farmville requires zero skill. Still, this kind of work can be fundamentally more alienating than a task like coding.

I mean this as a structural critique of society, not as an individual indictment. Modernity is alienating, and all wage-slavery, so to speak, is alienating. But people gotta make a living and they even can find enjoyment in their individual day-to-day job experiences.

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