Platforms and Monetization

May 23, 2023

What is this?

This post... thing was prompted by accidentally purchasing Deepdwn, a pretty good Markdown editor with some fancy math and graph rendering capabilities. I like all the shiny stuff, but it doesn't support plugins or the flavour of Markdown that I use so it's a pretty niche use-case for me.

The writing is speculative, not backed up by sources, and is basically just applying a line of reasoning to some questions I had about Fortnite's economy. This is groundwork, not the juicy stuff, and I might revise it at any time. Specifically I need to be more familiar with the history of value theories from the 20th century onward. I was rightfully criticized on Pay to Win 2 for simply dismissing the field of economics. I feel that that criticism wasn't quite on the mark--I actually do want to undermine the foundations of economics--but I could have done a better job of it. This post is, among other things, an articulation of that.

Small Note About Pay to Win

I might work on any number of smaller projects before Pay to Win 3. Problems in economics are central to 21st century game design, but to really give the viewer understanding I will also need a critique of advertising, social media, the cultural milieu after 9/11, control theory, psychology...

Crucially, these criticisms have to be meaningful to people who play games. A sort of 'personal storytelling' thread came out as I wrote Pay to Win 2, and this will be a defining characteristic of part 3. Games are a kind of cultural residue that have followed most of us for our whole lives, so there are many opportunities to connect a personal story with the state of game design and a whole array of other subjects.

Any smaller preparatory videos will not be presented this way. Whatever the boundaries of this project are, I will tackle them methodically. All of the defects of the first two Pay to Win videos would have been fixed if I had simply reigned in the scope a little bit, split them into maybe four or five 30-minute videos instead of making a maze out of words. The highs are high, parts of P2W are the best things I have made, but parts of it are the worst too.

in other words

The Actual Post

Updated 05/30/2023, slight expansion, more consideration and clarification on the equations.

Updated 06/23/2023, more expansion, fixed a very basic mistake with interest rate. Thank you to the Rusted Moss video commenter who said they read through this :)