@gamefreak9: Model thinking: it's not about the knowledge but the assumptions. There are many assumptions here about why "several things could not be possible", because "there is no market", etc. If you are not sure, as you mention now, then maybe those possibilities could be discussed, which is the only thing I've been saying form the start.
Market design: efficiency applies to everything. For example: digital distribution implies smaller costs than physical distribution, AFAIK, (i.e. more efficient), hence indie games have the possibility to use digital distribution, marketing works on a different way, etc. WRT markets, you can consider the regulated markets in XBL and PSN, or how stuff works on Steam and HumbleBundle and what not. Why is that important? Because games that would otherwise not be profitable may be profitable now, and games that are "risky" (e.g. Portal) are also possible, and maybe we (as customers, or as a society) should be promoting more risky games and pursuing higher quality standards (among much other stuff).
So that's efficiency, but there's more, for example tax reductions for games that are something more than mere entertainment, empty of any value. I don't know about the specific case of USA, in many countries VAT (or their equivalent) is applied in different ways (a different percentage) depending on the type of the product, e.g. basic food and health related items, luxury items, culture and education, those have different percentages. That's market design.
This is being done with the food, and it's being done the wrong way. Market design is not only about efficiency, as you seem to imply, it's also about equilibrium points, this kind of actions change the equilibrium points to better or worse ones, and we should care on both our body and our mind health, with food having a strong impact on the former and games having a debatable impact on the latter (IMHO a strong one, again that's debatable). So yeah, it could be worse, we are not talking about people dying of hunger to cultivate drugs, but we should strive for the better, not for the "not-as-bad-as-others", again IMHO.
Distributions: I think many indie games can be done with a budget below 100K and I don't remember the context for this point, but I would like to point two things:
- We would need actual numbers to continue in that direction.
- That direction doesn't really interest me. I'm more concerned with what should be done and what could be done than one specific way in which it could or could not be done. Kickstarter could be another, and there are surely many other, but finding ways to do "something" is irrelevant if we don't agree first that there is something that should be done, IMHO.
Precautionary principle: that's the main point of all my participation in the thread. We should study better and try to know the effects of games, and different types of games, and different elements of games (graphic depictions, story, etc.) on people, their behaviour (specially criminal behaviour), wellbeing, motivation, etc. Really, if you choose to understand one single thing of all that I have written, choose this paragraph. "Robust organic systems" fall into local maxima very easily, exactly for the reason that you point, "small tinkering" does not allow to jump those valleys. We are in 2015, we can do better, we have science and research, that insight, with intellect and intelligence should allow us to find greater maxima, across the valleys. You say we have "no knowledge" on some stuff, that's arguable, but more in my favor, because what I'm pointing from the very beginning is that: we should have more knowledge, we should discuss certain topics and we should study (rigorously, scientifically) those topics. The impact and the motivation should be clear by now, but let me know if I should elaborate more.
Microeconomics and macroeconomics: sorry, what's the point here?