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John Jainschigg
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@MC: I would have said something quite different, but along the same lines: that it would be fairly easy (provided developers' consciences were sufficiently raised) to design a game that does _not_ promote self-hatred and the worship of a narrow band of mesomorph/fashion-model/superstar-athlete characteristics, but instead actively promotes notions of healthy diversity in human appearance and potentials. The _trick_ would be creating a game that wasn't rabidly anticorporate. The major reason Americans are fat and sick is because their institutions are tuned to make them eat the wrong stuff while remaining physically inert and gaining emotional payoffs from activity- (e.g., TV-watching) and substance-abuse. And because the government is more or less consciously complicit in all of this, they _have_ to hand the job of subversion off to deniable outsiders like us. I am keenly moved to step up, myself. Can you imagine how subversive this game could be, with an entire phalanx of kids 11-17 (aided by their moms and dads) using library computers in school and mobile handsets to do stuff like crowdsource a complete database of corruption entailed in deciding which consumables are allowable for purchase with Food Stamps, or enumerating all the addictive memes in a potato-chip ad? As far as play mechanics go, you could make it really cool and complicated, but it might be just as efficient to simply post a question like: "Kids! Jot down ten ways that the institutions around you -- school, municipal, commercial -- are making you and your family and friends poor, fat and sick -- and ten ideas for saving your own lives! Through 2011, we're giving away $1 million a month in grants to individuals with the best ideas." I mean -- it ain't Warcraft, okay? But the end result could be a far more satisfying brand of PvP.
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Dec 29, 2009