some video game links

I have a few posts in the process of getting either trashed or hastily completed. We’ll see. For now, some recent video game links.

1. From the EVE online devblog, something to plug into your favorite statistical software.

2.  Courtesy of gamepolitics, this absolutely incredible (in the bad sense) video from Fox News:

“Well the green police, trying to reach your kids at home…”

Stop right there. This rhetoric is amazing. Here is the problem. We are Fox News and we nominally love free market capitalism. Unfortunately, having free markets might mean someone may produce and sell something we dislike! If you’re a libertarian this is not a big deal. Sell what you want. Buy what you want. But this isn’t Fox. Fox has various commitments and sympathies across the conservative spectrum that prevent this libertarian indifference. What if a private firm makes a video game that suggests the environment is something we should care about?

Simple economics suggests this is a nice thing. The firm is better off, making a profit on sales. Interested consumers are better off, being able to purchase something they value. We could try to attack that simple story. For a liberal-progressive this is really easy. Most liberal-progressives think markets are good at some things and worse at other things. Indeed, you can throw a bunch of the center and right into that category most of the time. If your position is that markets sometimes work, and you perceive something you dislike happening in, or as a consequence of, a market you flag it as an example of market failure. This could be done in convincing (serious) or unconvincing (bs) fashion, but at least ideologically it is an easy path to take. But truly loving free markets so much, contra the socialist in the White House, is important to Fox. What to do? Make believe we are not talking about a market! Make believe it is the exact opposite – the state! the police! [1]

If you think I’m reading into this…ummm…I’m not. The people doing something we dislike have to be called something. Fox can’t call them greedy corporations because then they sound like commies.

3. The Real Cost of The Used Market. This is developer of Heavy Rain giving a number to cost of people buying the game used. Hopefully, by this point anytime we hear a company complain about lost revenue – whether we are sympathetic or not – we should sarcastically say inside our heads, “Yes, because of course everyone who bought it for a cheaper price would have paid full price.” To be fair, it is not clear exactly where they got their number from. Maybe they do a better job than hollywood in not making silly assumptions about demand.

There is however a separate issue when estimating loses due to the used game market. How many people paid full price for the new game (with money going to publishers/developers) because they knew they could sell it in the used market later? I’m not sure what this number is. It is greater than 1 though.



[1] If you want to reply to this post by challenging the opposition of the state and market, feel free. The point is not that we could seriously imagine modern states or modern markets in isolation from the other.  The point is that their ideology allows this opposition. There is the world of we are all just getting along on our own as individuals (with medicare, etc.) and the world of Michelle Obama force-feeding you greens.

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