The Monetizing of the Game

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Wow – if the people behind GameLab (supposedly most of my teachers) can keep up at the current rate of posts, they would have produced the most successful relaunch of a blog ever. Even if it’s just reposts as in this case.

The post deals with the current trend to monetize games – the so-called freemium model: People are allowed to download the game for free, the can play with it, but as soon as they want to become really good and advance faster, they have to pay (real money) in order to get boosts.

They author argues that this is breaking the magic circle of games; especially when it comes to their utopian properties. In contrast to a ludic world, where only luck and skill matter, the freemium model favours the same people that rule in the real world: the ones with the money.

In my opinion, (video) games have always dealt with the balance between utopia and realism: as a designer, you are torn between simulating the real world and breaking all the rules that confine you to your existence. Getting money into play is therefore just another rule taken over into the simulation.

The question is: do we, as players, want that? Do we prefer the simulation over the utopia? And how much are we willing to pay for such an utopia?