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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

On the Expectation of Value From Inexpensive Games 102

An article by game designer Ian Bogost takes a look at what type of value we attach to games, and how it relates to price. Inspiration for the article came from the complaint of a user who bought Bogost's latest game and afterward wanted a refund. The price of the game? 99 cents. Quoting: "Games aren't generally like cups of coffee; they don't get used up. They don't provide immediate gratification, but ongoing challenge and reward. This is part of what Frank Lantz means when he claims that games are not media. Yet, when we buy something for a very low price, we are conditioned to see it as expendable. What costs a dollar these days? Hardly anything. A cup of coffee. A pack of sticky notes. A Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. A lottery ticket. Stuff we use up and discard. ... I contend that iPhone players are not so much dissatisfied as they are confused: should one treat a 99-cent game as a piece of ephemera, or as a potentially rich experience?"
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On the Expectation of Value From Inexpensive Games

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