In “Game theories”, Clive Thomson contrasts the differences and similarities between the real world and that of the gaming world, through his depiction and analysis of the economics in both environments. To further drive Thomson’s insight, As a group we discussed two main points that are integral in understanding his perspective on the matter. One, the idea of an “economical pure model,” a scenario that is present in the gaming world as all individuals are born equal.
Two, corruption- the idea that venality exists, and can exist the same way in the gaming world. The existence of both of these topics solidifies Thomson’s claims and can be explored through various examples and scenarios. As Smith states, “people inherently prefer a free market and the ability to rise above others,” a market that is non-existent as the world offers no “truly level playing field. ” As individuals, we are born into an unpredictable environment that varies immensely between people.
Whether the variation occurs in status, finance or cultural demographic, it’s impossible to create a baseline where we can interpret all as equal. “Capital was inherently unfair and those with power would abuse it,” thus there is no “pristine world” that exists. However, the gaming world offers individuals with the opportunity to begin as equals. There is no advantage to birth in this surreal world, and thus creating “the world’s first egalitarian polity. This ideal world is enjoyed by the millions of gaming fanatics who enjoy the undoing of “all the inequities in society,” something which can only be dreamt about in our world today. Ironically, the corruption that exists in our reality is also mirrored in the gaming community. Players can create businesses within the game, whether clean or dirty, a player can acquire currency through their endeavours. For example, certain individuals within the highly popular simulation game called The Sims Online, a player developed a chain of brothels which led to sizeable profit in gaming currency.
Another created a mafia that had the ability to red flag other players and eventually push them to be blacklisted leaving them isolated from other fellow gamers. Through the gaming worlds creation of an egalitarian polity we are shown the existence of an economic pure model in a surreal environment. Corruption that exists in society today is also equally present in the gaming world, that which is produced by the player. Both of these topics were openly discussed and used to further empower Thomson’s contrast of both worlds.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 September 2016
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