Trylks's forum posts

#1 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

@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:

  1. We would need actual numbers to continue in that direction.
  2. 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?

#2 Edited by Trylks (961 posts) -

I've recently read about Jonathan Blow, while I don't think that the ideas he has expressed so far are the same as what I tried to say here, I think they are to some extent related.

#3 Edited by Trylks (961 posts) -

@anwar: I was reading your post and I have realized that the whole topic is pointless without data, statistics and conclusive studies/results. I hope the pedagogical potential of games and other media is explored. Please note that with pedagogical I do not only mean academic knowledge, but also culture, manners, attitude and values.

@reverendk: sorry, where's the "gaming project post"? Thank you.

#4 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

@fluttershy_xxx: I certainly agree that any possible change is most likely going to come on the side of making games in new ways and not stopping making games in ways that definitively work from a commercial point of view, unless there is strong evidence on those games being harmful. That possibility, however, should not be overlooked.

The argument from ignorance is quite prevalent in many discussions and the point that is usually made is: "that is what people buy, hence what they want, hence what is good for them", which could similarly be used with drugs or Doughnuts, however there are at least two faulty steps in that syllogism.

It may be an uncomfortable topic, but it is one that should be discussed, IMHO.

#5 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

Coincidentally [...] all the models studied have no predictive power, they are merely interesting thought experiments.

In that case, why are you so sure to know the only way in which games can ever be?

However this is all irrelevant [...] Setting up rules for stable matching allocations is nowhere near the idea of designing markets. [...] the model doesn't apply to the digital economy at all. The assumptions I make are based off of what has recently been coined as the precautionary principle(though its a much older idea), which is philosophically robust, instead of calculating potential, you focus on sensitivities and trajectories.

1. Setting up rules (for stable matching allocations and with other purposes, e.g. the application of the VAT is such a rule) is exactly market design, a market is a set of rules that create a context in which exchanges happen. If there is a market, then there are some rules, which define (compose) the market. Even illegal/black/unregulated markets have some rules (maybe tacit, perhaps implicit, sure but there they are), either emergent from game theory or imposed by someone with enough power to do so.

2. Which model doesn't apply to the digital economy and how is that relevant? I ask just because you used bold letters, you seem to be ranting about irrelevant and unrelated stuff.

3. You seem to throw concepts into the debate without even knowing what are you talking about, and seriously, it's not that hard to go and read a just little bit before talking nonsense. You can find the precautionary principle in wikipedia: "if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.". Therefore:

a) Games (and other media) may be promoting hate (or discrimination, a lesser form of hate) towards women (and ethnic minorities, and aliens, and zombies)
b) Hate is undeniable harmful: for the people holding it as long as there is no action, and for others if there is some action.
c) Probably for this reason, hate speech is forbidden in some places (e.g. in Canada).

Therefore, according to the precautionary principle, some suspicious games (e.g. Hatred) should be forbidden until there is enough evidence that they are harmless. I'm not sure about the point that you are trying to make with the precautionary principle...

edit: Kahneman's work is a very specific set of biases in humans. Which apply to specific domains and there is no reason to think they apply to this industry, its absolutely ridiculous that you think finding a bunch of imperfections means that its okay to just do whatever and evaluate what's "good" on even less scientific metrics. You are a grade A example of a pseudo-intellectual. Also you obviously didn't understand what I said about the distributions.

Maybe you would like to elaborate more. As with the precautionary principle, you seem to throw concepts at random in an attempt to make a point. So far it looks like you didn't understand what you said, but that is not obvious yet, so please try to elaborate and make it obvious. Thank you.

#7 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

@gamefreak9: I'm sorry but due to time constraints I cannot reply you this week, meanwhile you can read the answer to @imsh_pl, your opinions seem to be similar to some extent.

@imsh_pl said:

And what I find even funnier is the fact that YOU flat out refuse to educate yourself on your opponent's position. And instead of asking me what my assumptions are, you, in your 'I've-read-so-many-internet-articles' frame of mind just don't have the intellectual honesty to have a dialogue with someone's position, and assumed what I think so you could dismiss my position without any attempt at an actual exercise in critical thinking.

Are those assumptions any different from the classical economics that only work in the ivory tower?

Because it completely looks like you are calling me ignorant for not taking those assumptions for granted, when much empirical research (with behavioral economics being a prime example) has shown that those assumptions don't hold in the real world.

@imsh_pl said:

It's obvious to me that you have no desire to actually engage in intellectual discourse. You are very good at linking to Wikipedia and telling yourself that you know what others think, but to actually ask them or, heaven forbid, have a dialogue with them? Nah, they have a different position, they CLEARLY haven't read enough.

Intellectual discourse is a euphemism for fallacies, sophism and demagogy? I don't listen to those. If you have any evidence to present I'd like to see it. I presented a few points I would like to see in the debate in message #243, with which I painfully discovered I need to send posts twice to get them posted. Being the second time I was writing it maybe I skipped as obvious some part of the reasoning, but in any case it's real simple: Games have an influence and an impact on people and culture, as any media, they shape the culture and with it the prejudices of millions of people.

For example in some cultures topless clothing is usual both for men and women, as it was in the ancient Egypt (pointed by a video in the first page). Obviously these cultures had no influence from video games, but they had their influences and so does our culture. Video games and media in general, as well as religion and many other factors, influence the culture and the culture has an impact on everything. Why should we care? Because people may need to be protected from what they want, this is the point of A Brave New World and a point that you don't seem to have understood as you are not commenting on it. Maybe due to some cultural influence from liberalism that prevents you from thinking some ideas that would conflict with those prejudices, I don't know, why don't you tell me? More on this: the Dozen Doughnuts problem.

@imsh_pl said:

It's funny to me that you have such skill with posting links of intellectuals but you just can't fathom the idea that someone who disagrees with you does so not because they refuse to educate themselves, but because they have, and came to the conclusion that your position is wrong.

I have seen no arguments for such a conclusion but the old fashioned assumptions from economics that I have already told several times that have been proven wrong. They were never meant to be right, they were just a stepping stone to get to some conclusions that may be generalized to some scenarios with variable rates of success.
@imsh_pl said:

So if you want to actually talk about economics, present your assumptions and ask mine, then I'd be happy to have that conversation. If you will just reply to this with a link to an article or any other form of 'get educated', combined with a smug intellectual ad hominem of 'psychologists have a name for your stupidity', then save your keyboard, because I'm not gonna bother replying.

I am honestly not interested in talking about economy, this is a matter of culture, education, society and emergence/evolution of the "zeitgeist", I just pointed at the economic argument as a naïve approach that doesn't consider that unregulated economy may lead us to bad places and some regulation may be advisable, or perhaps some (economic?) encouragement for a change or a direction. Are you familiar with the economy for the common good concept? Seriously, we can go offtopic to the infinite and beyond with economic topics, that's why I would like to focus on games, culture and personal growth (as healthy human beings, physically and psychologically). If you have good points to make to say that any attempt at trying to do things better than the way they seem to emerge/happen is futile due to economic reasons then I would like to see that. However, when economists present their assumptions to define theorems, theories and such, they are just meant to be there to help them make a point (i.e. working hypotheses), they are not stating that those assumptions are "The Truth", nor you should consider such a thing. Can you really prove consumers are rational? Seriously.

I'm not making assumptions here, AFAIK, I'm actually questioning assumptions, from the beginning, re-read the posts if you feel like you need it. I think there are some points that need to be considered. If you think those points don't need consideration for some reason then the burden of proof is on your side, so far the evidence and arguments (scattered through the links I shared so far) point to the contrary. I have seen no evidence and no arguments on your side, but old known fallacies that are rooted on assumptions that you didn't expose, taking them for granted, as the word of God. Another fallacy is asking me to present my assumptions, which already assumes that I'm making any assumption, or that assumptions need to be made.

#8 Edited by Trylks (961 posts) -

@imsh_pl said:
@trylks said:

Behavioral economics disagrees..

That's the part where you present actual counterarguments to my claims rather than 'this particular view says you're wrong so I won't even bother explaining why you're wrong'.

It's not a "view", it's a research area.

I don't need to explain either, wiser and better people than me did previously and Wikipedia provides a summary that could be better but in any case is good enough.

Anyway, tl; dr: Classic economy works on assumptions like the rationality of the people and the perfect propagation of information. These assumptions have been proved false and continue to be proven false. This doesn't make classic economy useless, it's just a stepping stone, a reference about how things would be in such a theoretical context, which is useful to study the real world, but it isn't useful to describe it. All what you said is perfectly fine from a theoretical point of view, but it is useless and pointless from a practical point of view where the assumptions made by classic economy don't hold. Alas, you didn't made those assumptions explicit, therefore the debate is ill-defined due to those implicit assumptions. If you were not aware of those assumptions and how they fail in the real world the only thing I have to do is point at them, if you were aware then I don't even need to point at them.

But seriously, you should not be reading what I write, you should be reading what I link, written by people who have spent more time than you and me to get to better conclusions.

@imsh_pl said:

Freedom is very nice, you have freedom to hurt yourself, but you don't have freedom to hurt others. Becoming an asshole hurts others, making other people to become assholes hurts more people.

And, conveniently enough, assholes are people who have opinions that you find offensive, correct? So people have freedom, just as long as they don't hold beliefs that you think are incorrect beliefs to hold.

Being an asshole doesn't hurt others. Hurting others hurts others. Being considered 'unpleasant' by certain people doesn't actually violate anyone's rights. Holding beliefs that are considered distasteful, misogynistic, sexist, racist, whatever hurts no one unless accompanied by action. And it is that action that should be considered and analyzed as to its potential to do actual harm.

Italics added by me. That's exactly the point we are speaking about. Those beliefs hurt nobody (except the person holding them), until they are promoted or they receive some propaganda, those are actions that potentially (statistically?) increase the number of people that hold such beliefs, similarly to an infectious disease, in this case related with memes and hegemony. This can be done in explicit or implicit ways in a variety of media, including games.

@gamefreak9 said:

I was going to rebut you by explaining how your grasp on statistics is laughable by explaining that binary success has fat left tails and profits in video games do not have leptokurtic properties but instead you saved me time by saying "markets are designed". This is akin to making the intelligent design argument versus evolutionary biologists. The environment plays a role but what emerges from it is anything but "arbitrary". It is utterly ridiculous to say that and because of it I have to say that you are playing the wrong role here, you should be in this thread asking questions in genuine attempts to understand what the posters are saying, not arguing because you probably haven't read enough about the topics to grasp the conversations.

Dunning-Kruger again, why would I ask you? I have better stuff to read, and again I suggest you to read more. The knowledge you have is partial, theoretical and biased, you are making assumptions, due to the Dunning-Kruger effect you are not even aware of these assumptions and all that you are missing, thinking that it's me who doesn't understand because I disagree, because I don't make those assumptions.

In this case, one of such assumptions is in the "binary success" and in particular you are assuming that the purchase decisions of consumers are independent of each other. I also recommend you the Coursera course on Model Thinking, as you seem to assume that everything fits one model, your model, the simplest model, with assumptions like perfectly rational and informed consumers, producers, independent events, etc.

So again, I beg you to read, not what I write, but what I link, and get rid of your assumptions, like that holding this debate (not yours and mine, but the thread, which isn't really about markets but culture) is pointless, fruitless, useless or unnecessary.

#9 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

@imsh_pl said:

@trylks: You are making a few mistake in your reasoning referring to choices and markets.

First of all, you cannot say that a choice is irrational, all you can say is that you yourself would not make that choice given the situation. If a person eats a cheeseburger and downs it with vodka that doesn't mean that they are irrational compared to an athelete who eats a salad and drinks a glass of water; it means that they have different ends (the former wants to have an in-the-moment positive rush, the latter wants to live long).

Also: markets are not rules, nor are they entities. They do not make decision, allocate resources or choose who wins. Markets are the sum total of voluntary transactions between human beings in a given area or field. So 'video games market' simply refers to the purchasing and selling of videos games, not some standards set in motion by gaming corporations. They are an effect of personal choices.

Behavioral economics disagrees.

The information isn't there and yet you expect them to take big risks when there's no offsetting potential profits(the market that buys games only because of the sex of the protagonists)?

What do you mean with big risk? Indie games are doing great in this sense, and because of the risks they take we do also see that they can become huge success stories. "Small" games don't need to be made by indie developers, though. Check out Portal. A small risky project undertaken by a big company obtaining huge success and a sequel. In short, you are proposing a false dichotomy, big risk or small risk. That doesn't make sense. In startups and indie games the "small risk" option is not available, it's big risk all the time, no "big risk taken", going for something average in such a context is not a risk but a guaranteed failure. In big companies, small investments are not a "big" risk, they could probably fund at least a dozen of "innovative" projects and those successful would pay for the less successful ones, no big risk but a matter of statistics.

@trylks said:

Saying you understand what kind of dieting is good is complete nonsense. Even doctors who are trained to evaluate human health are basically mostly told that its impossible to run randomized control trials on food and the observational data cannot be inferred from. Saying you know which is definitely good and which is definitely bad, and ignoring things like lifestyle or genetics is just plain ignorant. Also even if people knew something is bad for them doesn't mean anything, if someone enjoys cigarettes who are you to tell them they should not smoke? That's some ridiculous arrogance right there, cultural norms keep you humble at times and you don't know what kind of positive effects that could have.

Nope, that's not arrogance, it's a strawman fallacy you just set up.

I didn't say anybody knows what kind of food (or games for the matter) is good, what I said is that nobody knows and this is something we should discuss, because if we let the markets decide for us we may get abnormally high (and risky) obesity rates (or psychological problems for the matter).

About: "who are you to tell them they should not smoke?", well, I'm the guy sitting next to them in the restaurant. Replace cigarettes with cocaine, or porn, or masturbation. So there is this guy masturbating in the park, who are you to tell them he should not do that? What about hate speech? Nazi messages? Should we tolerate that someone advocates for genocide or terrorism? Should we tolerate that someone advocates for (psychological) violence against women? What if such a message is implicit?

If you think Nintendo did not properly research their market before launching more accessible products then I have nothing to say to you. Pointing at Nintendo and saying "hey look it worked for them" doesn't take into account that the audience is different, indeed appealing to kids is far easier, and most people already knew the market was there, so fragmenting it made sense.

Well, women seem to be a different audience, so the argument still holds. Maybe someone should take the time to research that audience. Your argument, however, doesn't hold at all, appealing to kids isn't easier and Nintendo products managed to appeal to older people as well, people that were underrepresented or undertargeted by previous products, like 50+ years people and (surprise) women.

I love how you put "debatable" on somethings but assume others, for instance you assume clearly that women don't buy products before they are 12 because they are not targeted. If that's how markets worked no market would exist, markets are incremental not designed(think about what that means).

Sorry but I didn't assume such a thing. If you cannot understand what "arbitrary" means, then I'm very sorry for you. Markets are designed, if you have questions in that regard you can check the links I already shared. Finally, we get here to the culture vs nurture old debate. Whether women like a different type of games due to culture or nurture is debatable, probably it's a combination of both. The fact that women can like some games (either existing games or new kinds of games better addressed at them) is not so debatable, as the opposite is very implausible. Of course you can consider that we should debate that, but that goes so far into misogyny that the mere fact of considering such debate is an insult, IMHO. Similarly, I don't feel like debating what is "hardcore" gaming and how "hardcore" you are and how that makes you feel better.

Without a doubt your most dubious comment is the things you want to be debated. "Are games making people better or worse?" These are completely meaningless terms in this context. People enjoy them and the enjoyment of them does not harm others, that's the end of that. If your metric is health then we should probably ban most soft drinks, or alcohol, tight jeans, late pregnancy, etc(apparently having babies late or never significantly increases your chance of breast cancer, nun's have the highest rates).

Again "could they be doing better?", completely meaningless, better relative to what? Are you claiming that people have to be using their time only on what's best for their health or society? If so burn all movies and art, probably most fiction too and have people only do things that help society, maybe read books that help them vote better or live hunter lifestyles which is what the human body is optimized for.

"Should we promote video games with non-profit organizations?" Why non-profit? Dude you really need to read a little bit about the world and understand how it works, I don't even know why I responded because its not worth responding to, you either go on tangent and talk about irrelevant things(such as nudity and gore in ratings) or just talk complete nonsense.

Well, that's the point of culture. Games have an impact on culture, and culture has an impact on everything, and very strong impact on the quality of life of everybody. Games, and similarly posts like the one you just wrote, may be promoting a culture of nice people, who make life a bit nicer for everybody around them, or they may be promoting a culture of assholes, specially (wrt the current topic) misogynistic assholes. That's the difference between personal health (cancer, like you mention) and public health or the health of a society. If you want to have cancer, it's your problem, if you want to have anthrax and die in the middle of New York then it's not exactly your problem. Freedom is very nice, you have freedom to hurt yourself, but you don't have freedom to hurt others. Becoming an asshole hurts others, making other people to become assholes hurts more people. You can smoke cigarettes, can you advertise them? Can you sell them without any warning? Shouldn't we (as a society) strive for improvement and progress?

You seem to be a teenager that has recently discovered what freedom means but who hasn't found out what responsibility means. Hopefully some day you will understand all these points, certainly not everybody does, it takes some time, some humility and critical thinking (especially critical with oneself).

#10 Posted by Trylks (961 posts) -

@treetrunk: the point is still valid, the examples are not. Fable III has plenty of females in the desert. There were significant amounts of females in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and I could probably find more examples that in the end point (IMHO) at a good likelihood that females are on (weighted) average overrepresented. Which is not necessarily a bad or a good thing.

@trylks: Sorry to say but you don't seem to understand the logic of markets, nobody is saying they are perfect, but the point is that if there is a competitive industry they will use available information to the best of their ability.

The point is that if the information is out there that making more female protagonists doesn't have a significant market then its not our business to complain about it because not enough of us care to fund anything more than a small Indy title(this is a good thing, buying a game just because the protagonist is female or male is very extreme in my book). Or the information is not out there which means making any sort of statement about what should be is nonsense.

Alternatively if you believe there is information out there proving that more female protagonists makes more profits for companies then that's something else and I don't believe that information is there. Most of the information I see points to females being a small minority of the consistent spenders on non-mobile video games.

The only reason this stuff is even discussed to the extent it is discussed is because journalism views spike when this nonsense is discussed.

That information is not there. The people in the industry have no idea about what would happen if they did something they have never done before. That's why I mentioned blue oceans. The information we have is that women play less (video) games than men and that games still up to date keep evolving. It would be nice if games evolved into something that is good for gamers and it gets to everybody. The stories in novels have proven to be good in some cases, there is no reason to think games should be anything less than that. Food is also good, but not all kinds of food an not all amounts are good. "You are what you eat" is not completely true, you are not only material, you have a mind, with memes, ideas and a culture, games have a strong influence on that and how to make the best use of that influence is something that should be discussed.

People seem to lack the information to make correct nutrition decisions, but when it comes to the mind the ignorance is overwhelming. In such an ignorance people will claim that "they know everything", or logically equivalent: "there is nothing that they ignore", which is a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. In your words: "The only reason this stuff is even discussed ", so there are no reasons that you ignore. Your posts scream Dunning-Kruger.

@planetfunksquad said:

I find this statement strange, but I'm not sure how to articulate why. Games with male protags get made because thats what sells, but why shouldn't we question the reasons behind that? It isn't about "questioning the market" (as though the market is some ethereal being, above reproach and not a concept that only has as much power as we as a society let it), it's about questioning our culture, and the reasons behind why women are not as well represented as men in games. I suspect the reason is much deeper than the amount of women in a game, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have the conversation. Just saying "this is how it is, who are we to change it" helps no one. It's lethargy at best.

I don't disagree that we should question it. I disagree with the jumps by people that as soon as they notice something, they call for a change. Sometimes just looking at things from the top down can be interesting but assuming that this lens has helped us understand something deeper is just plain arrogant.

[...]

FYI if you are not large enough to constitute a market, this in English means, how much people are willing to pay for it relative to how much it costs, makes it not worthwhile. Generally speaking doing things whose costs exceed the subjective and objective benefits is not good for society.

I think the word market kind of conceals what we are talking about: its people trying to get what they want at minimal cost, a more fragmented market(apart form requiring higher competition) requires people who think the extra cost is justified, I don't think we have enough people who would change their purchasing decision(what we sometimes call marginal buyers in economics) just because of this one change.

But there could be such a "market". I already pointed at the success of Nintendo by appealing to larger audiences, not that they had other chance to survive, but they did, and they did well, and the world is a bit better now because we have things that we wouldn't have otherwise, and people appreciate those things enough as to pay for them. However that's only part of the story.

The purchase decisions that people make when they have money (which gradually increases through time) are very influenced by their early experiences in life (which gradually decreases through time). So putting some arbitrary numbers, if we consider that people have money to spend when they turn 12 and onwards, what they will decide to spend that money into is going to be heavily influenced by their life in their first 12 years. Game developers don't consider women as a big market because they don't buy many games, and they don't buy many games because game developers didn't consider women as a big market before they were 12. Sure, there are exceptions, sure, things are changing. Debatable: things could change faster. Debatable: things should change in a different direction.

And here is a critical point in this debate. A market is not a (potential) consumer base, a market is a set of rules that have to be designed to have positive dynamics emerging in them. Games are not completely out of control, there are age ratings and other mechanisms. IMHO, these regulations are too hard on nudity specially when compared with how soft they are on violence and gore. In short, sex brings life and shooting brings death, and we should prefer life to death and make of it a more common theme in our lives, but I would like to end this offtopic before we discuss abortion. The point is that there is some control to games but maybe not enough considering that games try to appeal people that they have previously influenced and that they are still influencing.

Freedom only works when consumers are responsible. If they are not, if they don't make informed rational purchase decisions to pay for something that is truly beneficial, then the whole system corrupts, as they may be paying for something that is detrimental for them, e.g. for their health in the case of food. Now, contrary to food, people don't die for being stupid, you know what they say: "Stupidity is an extraordinary condition, it's not the sick one who suffers for it, but those around". This is for two reasons: 1. the stupid won't die (usually) and 2. it will cause harm (or mild inconveniences) to others (maybe sexual harassment?). Therefore this is more a matter of public health than personal-private health, or metaphorically speaking: the health of the mind/culture of society, maybe even the zeitgeist if you want, something that must be treated with great care instead of letting it rot to the lowest human impulses, with no reflection neither in the individual aspect nor in the public aspect.

The points I would like to see in this debate are:

  1. Are games making people better or worse?
  2. Could they be doing better? How?
  3. If (/once) they are good for people, how do we increase their reach?
  4. Should any of this be promoted? (E.g. with non-profit organizations)

I think this is of utmost importance, as this is basically part of the culture and the education that people receive, which can have a strong impact on the life of the people (quality and duration). It's common that some shortsighted people won't see the costs of a bad culture, crime, deaths, or anything else that doesn't involve an economic transaction, but they are there, they cause the destruction of the richness of a country.

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Derek Bok