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Column: 'The Esoteric Beat: Happy Little Cancer'

This week's edition of The Esoteric Beat, regular columnist Jim Rossignol's examination of the esoteric side of game design, takes a look at the dominance of virtual econ...
This week's edition of The Esoteric Beat, regular columnist Jim Rossignol's examination of the esoteric side of game design, takes a look at the dominance of virtual economies, a serious game aimed at educating cancer victims, and an upcoming game based on the late instructional painter Bob Ross. In the following extract, Rossignol explains his fear of Lindenlab's Second Life economy, in response to a recent MAKEblog post by associate editor Phillip Torrone stating that the publisher is "almost a bank now": I don't know about you, but the last time I looked I didn't want my games to be tied to reward schemes and facts of consumerism, I wanted them to be about things exploding, dudes getting kicked and being able to visit magic castles in the sky. My motivation for gaming has been fun, escapism, exploring imagination, not economic incentives. Okay, so as Torrone admits, this is still a way off, even if the idea has been around for a while. I'm just being the reactionary gamer posturing against the current of commercial innovation. But nevertheless it needs to be said: do you really want to grind gold for money off in a real world restaurant? You can read the full Gamasutra column for further exploration and fear (no registration required, please feel free to link to this article from external resources).

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