• What if interactivity is the new passivity?
  • What does it mean to be offended by the Hatred trailer?
  • What makes a game last a generation?
  • Paid or F2P?
  • Where indeed is Cathy O’Neil’s vagina?
  • If FGM is barbaric, should we consider male circumcision the same way?
  • What can the French indemnity of 1871-73 teach us about today’s Eurozone crisis?

Find your seven click escapes below.

“What if Interactivity is the New Passivity?” – Jonathan Sterne

What if all the bad things that media critics have been said about passivity for the past century or two are now equally applicable to all the demands to interact, to participate? What if interactivity is now one of the central hinges through which power works? In many moments today, the most compliant gesture we can make is to consent to interact on the terms presented to us by our software and machines.

“Offended by the ‘Hatred’ trailer? You’re a hypocrite (and that’s a good thing)” – Ben Gilbert

Adrian Chmielarz: A request to bare our animal souls in front of ourselves is a step too far. The fact we cannot do it is a gift, one that allows us the realization that we’re not as corrupt and empty as we subconsciously feared we were. And thus a lot of people will not buy and play Hatred, feeling disgust just looking at the game’s title. However, and I guess that is the key here, I don’t think it is Hatred we really despise.

“What makes a game last a generation?” – Raph Koster

It also, critically, includes ease of replication. Battleship endures in part because it can be played on a napkin. Games with finicky custom pieces are less likely to survive. Games tied to an input method on a specific technological platform, way less likely. already we see Wii games with custom peripherals that are almost unplayable. The more things tying the game to a particular incarnation or instantiation, the less likely it will be to endure.

“Paid or F2P: Let the debate rage” – George Osborn

When you switch to free-to-play, you aren’t just choosing a price tag; you’re choosing a different philosophy for your concept. Instead of releasing a clear product, you are likely committing yourself to the long haul of regular content updates, long term analytics and, ultimately, a lot more effort than a paid counterpart.

“Vacation in Utrecht” – Cathy O’Neil

Seriously, I’ve misplaced my vagina, and for the life of me I can’t find it, or even remember when I last had it. I can barely remember anything at all about it.

“Boys and girls alike” – Brian Earp

It is often said that FGM is designed to ‘control’ female sexuality, whereas male genital cutting is less symbolically problematic. But as the sociologist Lisa Wade has shown in her research, ‘attributing [the] persistence [of female genital altering rituals] to patriarchy grossly over-simplifies their social, cultural, and economic functions’ in the diverse societies in which they are performed. Throughout much of Africa, for example, genital cutting (of whatever degree of severity) is most commonly performed around puberty, and is done to boys and girls alike.

LONG “Syriza and the French indemnity of 1871-73” – Michael Pettis

I am hesitant to introduce what may seem like class warfare, but if you separate those who benefitted the most from European policies before the crisis from those who befitted the least, and are now expected to pay the bulk of the adjustment costs, rather than posit a conflict between Germans and Spaniards, it might be far more accurate to posit a conflict between the business and financial elite on one side (along with EU officials) and workers and middle class savers on the other.  This is a conflict among economic groups, in other words, and not a national conflict, although it is increasingly hard to prevent it from becoming a national conflict.

Small Print

Some of these links are sourced from recommendations and apologies for not acknowledging where they came from. I throw scores of links into Instapaper every week and I have no record of their origins. Note also that links are not endorsements of any kind.

Also, if you get really bored, the Weapons of Progress Twitter account slowly dribbles out links which may or may not be related to my not-gonna-be-finished-for-a-while book on videogame economics.

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