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Yesterday I Bought a Game - Destructoid




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Joe is an aspiring game designer with an insatiable appetite for games and talking about them. He plays primarily PC games, but the occasional Wii or PS2 game creeps in when he has time. He is also a total Fire Emblem nut, but don't let him know I told you. He also enjoys reading, watching movies, circus arts, and stage combat. He has his own blog at http://chin-stroking.blogspot.com/

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Yesterday I bought a game, and it felt strange.

For you see, I bought it on sale. BUT I did not just buy it on sale, I bought it with Steam Wallet money. BUT it wasn't just Steam Wallet money, it was with Steam Wallet money I earned selling trading cards on the Steam Marketplace, that I earned playing games. On Steam.

Not that big a deal. Honestly, there is no BUT here. I do have to wonder about this whole internal economy thing tho. Because now that the Steam internal economy is starting to really run at speed, I start thinking about Shadowrun.†

Shadowrun is Blade Runner meets D&D pulpy fun, but that isn't why I think about it in relation to my purchase. One of the cornerstones of the setting is Corporate Extraterritoriality, or that a corporation can control land the way a country does. Essentially, they can set the laws and rules on their own property, including issuing currency. This produces a society where employment by a corporation is like moving to a totalitarian state, with it's own money, specific products, and censorship. It actively encourages feeding your effort and money into the system, making a bloated and powerful apparatus that can't help but victimize you to keep operating. So when I buy a game on Steam using Steam money I earned playing games on Steam, it makes me think about hamsters in wheels and other lovely thoughts.†

If there is one thing that playing Diablo 3 has taught me, it's that a Spade is a Spade and a Skinner Box is a Skinner Box. Of course, there are caveats and checks and balances and it isn't an isolated process (somebody had to buy those cards from me after all), but I still feel like we are all in a bus that is slooooooooowly sliding towards something unpleasant.

Or maybe I just need to take a nap. I bought Rogue Legacy yesterday, and I was up really late. It's AWESOME :).



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