Designing for Profit


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I wrote this years ago. Probably never gonna finish it so I’ll just post it here because it does make a good point about the effects of capitalism.

Today I heard someone talking about a study detailing the specific processes that cause a person to become psychologically addicted and how they relate to video games and specifically World of Warcraft. I’m not sure on the details. I’m sure it has to do with a steady and rhythmic reward process like gaining xp and repetetive actions that are made to feel important. Perhaps it’s related to an implied promise of great fun and adventure to come if you could just kill enough boars or the constant illusion of accomplishment. There’s something about those kind of games that just isn’t fun, and yet is so hard to tear yourself away from.

This is another reason for me choosing anarchism so it caught my attention that someone mentioned the fact that video games these days simply are not designed to be fun. They are designed to be addictive and time-consuming. The subscription based games obviously use this model because they want people to keep paying month after month, but even the design of standard console games are geared less toward fun and more toward getting people to keep playing so they can’t simply rent the game once or trade away their discs. This is all in the name of profit at the expense of people’s time that they could be spending actually doing something.

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