Techno-News Blog

October 16, 2011

The Gamification of Poverty

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:25 am

by Christopher Mims, Technology Review

Games, it turns out, aren’t necessarily about entertainment. Like a good book, they’re about immersion. It’s easy, when reading an account of someone else’s hard luck, such as Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, to imagine that by dint of your superior talents and fortitude, you would avoid the worst of what befell someone else. But in a game, there is no other—there’s just you, making choices and taking responsibility for them. In playing Spent, I felt lucky; I managed to make it through the month without having to ask any of my friends for money (on Facebook, naturally). But because I was fired for my collectivist leanings—i.e., that union rep I talked to in the parking lot around day 20—I made it to the end of the month with no money left over to pay next month’s rent.

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