The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube

The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube


– You know what that tastes like? Freedom. Every year at the open
air Delacorte Theater in Central Park, New York City, they put on a big Shakespeare play. Thsometimes thstarring a famousth thcelebrity. And it’s free! You don’t even have to pass an exam to show that you understand Shakespeare, they just let anybody in! But there are limited seats. So you have to turn up at dawn
on the morning of the show and wait in line until the
box office opens at noon. And maybe you’ll get one if you’re lucky. Or if you have the money
you can pay somebody to stand in line for you. If you really want Shakespeare
in the Park tickets, then you will presumably
handsomely for them (albeit indirectly) so the free market is a way of making sure they go to the people
who want them the most. If the person you hire
to wait in line for you really wants your money, they’re
going to work hard for you. And people who don’t want
your money all that much, won’t take the job, or
they’ll half-arse it and won’t get hired again. So you get what you want, the person you hire gets what
they want, everybody’s happy. Multiply that across borders and nations and you have successfully
privatized world peace, my friend. The person you hire has an
incentive to do a good job, so the quality of the product goes up and not charge too much
so the cost stays low and if they really want your money maybe they’ll come up with some new way to make it sweet for you. Like, they’ll text you
updates while they’re in line, so there’s an incentive
to innovate as well. And the more people
they’re competing against, the more these good
effects get multiplied. This is what economists mean when they say that free markets are efficient
at maximizing utility. Utility is a philosophical term. John Stuart Mill, who was a
philosopher and an economist, wrote a famous book
called “Utilitarianism”, in which he says that
the moral thing to do is to maximize utility for
the greatest number of people. There are debates about
what utility should mean, but for now we can take it
to mean happiness, pleasure, people getting what they want, and that’s what the free market does. If I don’t like your
service, I can go elsewhere. If you don’t like the job,
you can get another one. And that, my friends, is the
sweet, sweet taste of freedom. And do you know what else is excellent about free market capitalism? You don’t get ahead by
sucking up to the dictator or the king who’s in power. If you want to succeed,
you have to earn it by giving other people
something that they want. You might say that it’s perverse to pay for Shakespeare in the Park tickets, you might say that it’s supposed to be for everyone to enjoy, not just the rich. But if I want to spend my money on it and if somebody else
wants to sell their time, then it’s voluntary and
it benefits us both. Why should anyone stand in the way? I say the freer the markets,
the freer the people. Markets don’t ask questions, they don’t make you feel guilty for spending hundreds of
dollars on a gold-plated lamb’s leather dog collar and leash with customized engravings… For instance. The only question is:
how bad do you want it? And all that innovation and freedom means that if we compare
the average person today to someone living 500 years ago, we have a much better standard of living, a thing that can definitely
be objectively measured. 500 years ago, nobody had gold-plated lamb’s leather dog collars and leashes, but now can you even imagine having sex without one? I’ve made so many videos on this channel that have social or political messages, and they’re such a downer, it’s nice to finally make one that has absolutely no politics in it whatsoever. The free market is just
naturally the best system. Everything I’ve just told you is science. Stop shoving politics into my champagne! Look at any free market
and you’ll see people flourishing and happy. Pick any free market in the world, pick, I don’t know… video games! – [Jim Sterling] The video game industry, more than other entertainment industry, operates with as much cloak and dagger as it can friggin muster,
concealing sales figures, budgets, revenues, profits
as much as it can from us. Only ever telling the truth when talking to the shareholders, AKA
the people they consider their actual customers. – [Folding Ideas] Fortnite
is first and foremost a store front. – [Jim Sterling] Mario Kart Tour is just more lackluster mobile garbage. – [Zero Punctuation] The Ubisoft swarm continuing to slap the name of a corpse onto its hideous hypercapitalist
live service garbage feels like a move specifically
designed to annoy me. – [Jim Sterling] The companies
have seen something work and they’re gonna hump
it into f*****g oblivion, leaving a trail of industrial and intellectual corpses in their wake. Oh. ♪ Born different! ♪ ♪ Born innocent! ♪ ♪ Born perfect! ♪ ♪ I’m not like you, I’m a ♪ ♪ Born lover! ♪ ♪ Born livid ♪ ♪ And I know, I’m ♪ ♪ I’m not like you! I was ♪ – This is a copy of the special edition of Skyrim for the PS4. It belongs to my flatmate
and we’re both replaying it at the moment. He’s a khajiit mage and I’m a
high elf sneaky scout type. Skyrim was released in 2011 by Bethesda, a video game company based in
the state of Maryland, USA. The box and the physical
disc were made by Sony, the company that makes the PS4. They have a sub-corporation
called Sony DADC with manufacturing plants
all over the world. But according to the back of the box, this particular copy was made in Austria. Which means it came from
their factory in Thalgau, which is just outside
the city of Salzburg, which is where Mozart was born. Here’s a look inside that factory! You can see the room
where the discs get made. And they printed the artwork
on and slapped it in a box and shipped it out to the UK, where it probably went to the
Sony DADC distribution center in Enfield, North London,
before it went anywhere else. Fun fact, during the 2011 riots, that building was burned down
and then they reopened it. Although they’re thinking about
closing it again next year. Possibly because there’s a move
now towards streaming media rather than having physical discs, or possibly because Google
Reviews said they have “very rude management,” “most
of them inside r*****s, lazy people.” Still gave it four stars though. From Enfield, it went 300
miles north to Berwick, which is a very beautiful
town in Northumberland, to a CEX store which has since closed down where my flatmate bought it and he took it to where he used to live and then took to back down
to London where we live now, and then I took it to
the studio here today. The reason I’m telling you all this is that a lot of the time when
we talk about videos game, we think about them as stories or systems. What they’re like to play. And not so often do we think about them as material things, products
that get made and sold. And if we start doing that
then some really interesting philosophy comes up. Materialism is quite a stretchy concept. In ordinary language if
somebody’s materialistic, it means that they’re
concerned with possessions and money and having lots of stuff. ♪ ‘Cause we are living
in a material world ♪ But in philosophy materialism
(has lots of meanings, but today’s is) where we go – Okay, Skyrim was a lot of fun, I enjoyed the bit where I got
to use magical telekinesis to play basketball with cabbages, but this didn’t just fall out of the sky, where did it come from? Who made it? Who makes stuff? Who owns stuff? Who has money? If we sweep aside the PR,
what’s really going on? And when it comes to
games there is one man who is excellent at cutting
through the bullshit. If you know him already,
I’m gonna help you step back and put his work in a bigger
philosophical context. If you don’t know him then
you are in for a treat. Jim Sterling is a video game
journalist and a creator and sometime professional wrestler, best known for his
series: The Jimquisition, which you can see right
here on YouTube.gov. Disclosure, disclosure. Jim and I worked together a tiny bit on a charity fundraiser
thing that I did a while ago and he’s very, very lovely. The Jimquisition has
been running for longer than I’ve been on YouTube,
which is a long time. And I’ve been watching it since it began. You might not think it, but I – I’m actually the world’s most gamer. I’ve gamed the lot: Dirk
Souls, Tale of Zoulda, Rad Dads Redacted.100%ed on Rad Dad! I was in an advert for Astralis
a while ago with Gla1ve and I only had to look up like
half of what the script meant. And I like listening to the podcasts and watching the videos
because I like hearing what the gaming world is up to. And according to Jim,
there’s some pretty wild stuff going down. ‘Cause he doesn’t just have his
eye on the games themselves, but also on the market. And he even has a reputation
for being able to predict what the video game market will do. Jim has talked a lot in recent months about the Epic Games Store. Epic is a video game company, best known as the creators of Fortnite. In 2012, Chinese media company Tencent bought 40% of their shares. And flushed with all that cash, Epic has been offering
developers fat stacks of bills to sell their games on the
Epic store exclusively. Since gamers have to go to Epic
if they want certain games, the company is essentially
paying to avoid competition. Even if Epic exclusives aren’t
what gamers want, too bad. – [Jim] Epic has tons of
money and with tons of money you don’t have to build a quality product, offer a superior experience
or otherwise give advantages to the end user, you just
have to have more cash than the other f*****s and crush them with it. Why bother being better when being richer gets you what you want quicker? – And this is a thing
outside of video games too. Jim has mentioned on his show before about how broadband companies in the U.S. have divvied up the country to avoid competing with each other. All of the food that’s sold
in supermarkets in my country is controlled by, like, five brands, there’s like six energy companies. And this is called the
tendency towards monopoly. And before any gamers get worried, there certainly isn’t any politics here. We’re gonna be talking about
video games and philosophy and nothing else: I’m not even gonna mention Lenin! To be honest, if you tell people that you’ve been reading Lenin, there’s this slightly awkward moment as they check to see whether
you’re carrying a gun. I mean, yes he was the most
famous Counterstrike player in Soviet Russia for a while and you’ve gotta respect the graft, but he also had a heated communist moment and team-killed a bunch
of dudes in Kronstadt. Anyway, who wants to read
about coal extraction in 19th century Germany, when we could be talking about Fortnite? I – I actually do wanna read about coal extraction in 19th century Germany, but… So ideally, a free
market means competition, better products, and
freedom for the consumer. But what Jim has pointed out with Epic (and what some philosophers
who were talking about 19th century coal predicted) is that once a company gets enough money the advantages of the free
market can get undermined. Supposedly it means more freedom, but…
Hi, I’m Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea on behalf of the Roman Empire. Or as we’re now rebranding
ourselves, Empyre, a content delivery platform
for a more connected world. And if you’re watching this, it’s because your city, your state, or maybe your whole country has just joined the Empyre family. Congratulations. The story of Empyre begins with a dream, the dream of optimizing
relationships between people. And it begins with a lot of
hard work and disappointment. Eight months ago my team made the decision to execute Jesus of Nazareth. I’m sure you saw the headlines. A lot of people had a
connection to the Jesus brand. In that aspect, we didn’t walk the line as well as we could have. When I got in an elevator in Jerusalem a week later with my security team, I noticed that nobody would
talk to us, nobody smiled. And I realized that when
you’re a big platform, you have to deliver value. And always err on the side of delivering more value, not less. More choices, not fewer. So I came up with the concept
of fulfillment living: Empyre’s guiding philosophy. A totally organized community where all the difficult tasks and the hard decisions are taken care of, leaving you more time to
choose the life you wanna lead. And I spoke to Emperor
Tiberius and he said, “Pontius, you got no chance! There’s no way you can disrupt something as big as the Roman Empire!” But I had big dreams. And just last month he apologized. So as we begin the process,
you may notice some changes as we revolutionize your
culture and your government. Public crucifixions allow
members of our family to come together and bond
over our shared values and enjoy community, and
they are really popular. So we’ll be increasing the
number taking place each day as well as allowing you to
purchase tickets in advance, offering greater choice in seating. If you order them through Empyre, the app’s AI will recommend
other community events to you that you might also enjoy. We’re also pleased to
introduce new uniforms for all our execution assistants, including customizable badges and hoods. We want all our family
members to feel free to express their unique individuality. So volunteer for your local execution squad today. #SquadGoals. These are just the first of the changes and I’m super stoked to
be working with you guys. If you have any questions,
feel free to visit the offices of your local prefect or
talk to one of our friendly security officers who you’ll find
on almost any street corner. We are Empyre. And we’re always right behind you.Jim also has a bee in
his bonnet about games becoming live services. The live service model has been adopted by a lot of companies
as a way to try and keep making money off you after
you’ve already bought the game. Rather than just selling
you a complete experience, a lot of games will now come packaged with a subscription service, or there’ll be a very basic cut down game with additional paid content later, or they’ll be full of microtransactions. Little things that you
can spend smaller amounts of money on, like cosmetic
upgrades to your character, or even sometimes outright
gameplay advantages. Microtransactions are big business. Activision Blizzard claims that they made $4 billion in 2017 from
microtransactions alone, and the majority of that money comes from what the industry calls whales. The small number of
players who spend big bucks in these games, either
’cause they have the cash and they really want
to, or because the games are deliberately designed in such a way as to psychologically hook you
into spending compulsively. And I do mean deliberately designed. I know that there are a
lot of parents and teachers who watch my show, and if you
take nothing else from today then seriously I would advise you to go and watch Jim as he exposes the way that some of these systems are made. A particularly controversial
example is loot boxes. Mechanics that provide random rewards and can cost real world
money to roll the dice on. They use all the psychological tricks and language of gambling. And like gambling are
potentially very addictive. But in most places loot
boxes aren’t currently regulated like gambling,
because you don’t play with real money, you buy an
in-game virtual currency, like V-Bucks or Gold or
Donuts and you play with that. And because you can’t
convert that virtual currency back into legal tender, it
isn’t technically gambling, at time of recording,
depending on where you are. Basically it’s the plot of
the villain from Rush Hour 2.
Imagine a business where people hand you money and you hand them back absolutely nothing. Now that’s a real American dream. – The goal of the live service model is to keep you in the game
for as long as possible so you encounter as many
opportunities as possible to spend money. Often games are constructed in such a way as to psychologically pressure the player into coughing up the dough. A great example would be Fortnite again, which YouTuber Dan Olson has said is basically just a store front
with a video game attached. Given that most of the world
does not use credit cards and does not have stable internet access, the move towards always
online live services with loads of microtransactions
is a bit of a weird one. As Jim has said, it seems
like they’re trying to make more money off
the audiences they have rather than making new games
that reach new audiences. And this is a nice illustration
of another weird problem that markets can run into…In 1866, there was a bank called Overend, Gurney and Company (who sound like they should’ve been selling mortgages to Bilbo Baggins, but) they went bust. They invested a whole bunch of money in the railway industry and
then the railway bubble burst.Thing is, if you invest a
bundle in railways and lose it, there are still railways,
people can still use them. But that’s increasingly
not how investment works. A lot of companies,
especially tech companies, borrow money not to make anything, just on the promise that they
will eventually make it back. Let’s take a case study: WeWork. WeWork are an American company
that provide office space. They dress it up as
revolutionizing your workplace and bringing people closer together, but we’re doing materialism, remember? They own a bunch of offices, and if you need one you
can rent it from them. They’re landlords! Easiest job in the world, a job so easy you can literally inherit your way into it. In summer of 2019, WeWork
was valued at $47 billion. Now, just a few months
later, they’re worth… Well actually, it’s not
clear how much they’re worth. But nowhere near that. So what happened? Was there some kind of disaster? Did the offices burn down? No. The truth is, they were
never worth 47 billion. – At 47 billion, which is a
little bit of an illusory number, it’s not real. Illluuusssoooorrry nuuuumbeeeer. – It’s false, it never
happened, it’s a fake. It’s fiction, it never happened. – If I’m the CEO of a
company and I convince you to invest a million dollars with me, “’cause I’ve got this great idea that’s gonna change the world, look at my hardworking team
of go-getters on a mission in our swanky offices!” then I can go to the
next investor and say, hi, I’m a million dollar company. Look at this great investor I just got. Lend me two million, and
I’ll make you huge profits. And the next investor I can go, lend me five, eight, 10, 50, a billion, and I can keep going without
actually generating any profit. WeWork lost $3 billion from 2016 on, but all of a sudden I’m
getting invited on the news to talk about what a
great businessman I am and what a fantastic family I’m building! 47 billion is how much I think
I could get if I sell it. But that’s like me claiming
to be the best gamer in the world ’cause I could totally beat SonicFox at MK11 if I really wanted to. I just don’t want to. And when WeWork tried to go public, they had to disclose
their financial documents, and everybody realized that
they were full of shit. ♪ BTO’s “Takin Care of Business” plays, distorted ♪ You’re landlords! All you had to do is
sit still and wait for house prices to rise! How did you cock it up?! It would almost be funny,
were it not for that fact that thousands of people got fired, and the top guys resigned
with millions of dollars in severance packages. Doesn’t that just sour your champers? And here’s the kicker. When Overend, Gurney and
the other wizards went bust, there was still some railroads, but WeWork didn’t make anything
that wasn’t already there. Their business model was just owning stuff and charging rent, and if
nobody wants your stuff or nobody can afford the rent, then all the money that
was invested in you can just vanish. – [Ricky Tan] Imagine a business
where people hand you money and you hand them back absolutely nothing. – Games as live services,
and disasters like WeWork and the 2008 financial crash
are examples of what’s called the rentier economy. They get money less by making stuff, and more by owning stuff. Licenses, platforms, property, debt, and sucking as much blood as possible from the people using it. You’ll remember from the start that one of the advantages of free markets is they stimulate innovation. And to a point that’s maybe true. But as the tendency towards monopoly and the rentier economy grow and combine, that might happen less and less. Why bother making anything new when you can get more
money by owning the stuff that other people made? And I remind you there is
absolutely no politics here. This isn’t Marxism. This is something that John
Stuart Mill talked about. And John Maynard Keynes, famous economist. And even the Financial Times, a magazine that is
purely about video games. So how come all this happened? Remember the example with
the Shakespeare tickets? It all seemed so neat and
perfect, what went wrong? And how can a video game critic predict the market
better than an executive? Jim has talked about some other problems in the video game industry too, like nasty working
conditions, crunch periods, companies getting big profits but then firing lots of workers. He’s even managed to successfully predict that some studios will be shutdown. And what he’s doing is called dialectics. Really boring philosophy, absolutely nothing exciting there. Dialectics is when you
wanna understand something, so you imagine it as a unity
containing opposing forces. Like Yin and Yang. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tse, he said, If you wanna understand the world you gotta understand Yin and Yang, they’re opposing energies,
they’re in everything. Another example would be atoms. If you imagine atoms as containing positively charged particles and negatively charged particles that are in tension with each other, then you can do chemistry and predict how they’re gonna react. A German philosopher called Hegel, picked up on the idea of dialectics and wrote a whole bunch of stuff about it. I’ve talked about Hegel on my show before, if you’re curious. And then some other philosophers, whose names I can’t remember right now, said that, you know society is kind of a little bit like that in
a purely philosophical, non-political way, obviously. You know, there’s
different groups in society that kind of conflict with each other, like a group that makes
money by making stuff and a group that makes
money by owning stuff. Some of the problems Jim has talked about might make sense if we think of the people who make the video games being in tension with the people who own them and sell them when they’re done. A lot of companies like to talk about, oh, we’re all one big happy family and we’re all on the same team, but the dialectical way of
looking at things anyway is to say, well actually
if you work at a company you’re doing a very different job than somebody who owns a company. And in fact, there’s some tension there. And what’s really interesting
about that tension is that it’s nothing to
do with greed or evil. Jim does recount the
hilarious antics of CEOs in the video game industry,
people like Randy Pitchford. A man who left important work documents on a USB drive containing squirt porn, which he then forgot at a
medieval-themed restaurant. ♪ Taking care of business ♪ But even if Randy was a saint
and very good at his job, that tension would still be there. As much as I satirize them as vampires, there are people who sincerely believe that free markets and
privatizing everything would be great, and that the
problems can be contained. The philosopher Michael Sandel, the guy with the Shakespeare
example from the start, says that the problem isn’t greed, people haven’t gotten
more greedy or selfish. It’s that markets have gotten into more and more of our lives. And there hasn’t really been a serious philosophical examination of them.In science, if a theory can
correctly predict observations, that’s usually a sign
that it’s a good theory. And if it doesn’t look like it’s working, we’ve got two options. One is to say that actually
the theory is great, but you kind of suck. If you’re working two jobs just to keep a roof over your head, then
that sounds like a you problem, maybe you should get a cheaper roof? Or we could put on our compassionate faces and say it’s not your fault you can’t find your place in the market, we just need to make it easier for you to get the skills and education you need to crush the competition. Maybe you could start by taking out a nice… big… loan!Or maybe the theory is the problem. Remember with the Shakespeare tickets? The idea was that they’ll go to the people who want them the most,
the people who will enjoy them the most, the
people who’ll pay for them. But how much you’re willing
to pay for something isn’t just about how bad you want it, it’s about how much it costs
relative to how you have. If I’m a millionaire with bad taste, I might not really give a toss about Shakespeare in the Park, but I’m damned if I’m
waiting in line all day. So whatever, I’ll give you a hundred bucks to stand there, and then I
might not turn up to the show. So the idea that free markets
are the most efficient way of maximizing utility kind
of has a big hole in it. We assumed that people who need money will take the job, work hard and innovate. But we didn’t stop to ask why they might want
money in the first place. If they have medical debt or legal fees or they’re just struggling
to put to food on the table the market doesn’t really
address the root cause of what they need. And what if the work is
so exhausting or degrading that they don’t have the time and energy to work hard and innovate, ’cause they’re just trying
to get through the shift. We also assumed that
voluntary transactions in a market are the same thing as freedom. But are they? If you work a job that you hate just to make money for somebody whose job is owning stuff, then are you free? Just ’cause you can choose what color socks you wear and what to have for lunch? I’ve been at Empyre for over 25 years and I still struggle with
the external perception that we’re just a bunch of bad guys. Some people are skeptical
and that’s healthy. But our mission is
bringing people together. And helping them organize their whole lives more efficiently. And I’m proud of the progress we’ve made. We’re offering flexible, fulfilling jobs protecting Empyre’s community. In an internal poll,
our legionaries reported high levels of job satisfaction and said they didn’t feel
they needed to unionize. In the last year alone membership
of our execution squads has gone from 82% male to just 63%, reflecting the diverse
and inclusive atmosphere we want our families to have. During Pride month, our security officers wore the rainbow flag for the first time. And we’ve invested over
$20 million in recruitment to our security services from racially minoritized communities. I think it’s a small number of people who are stuck in the past. I think the average
citizen enjoys what we do and gets what needs to happen
for a family like this one to exist and evolve and grow. We don’t need combativeness,
or divisiveness, we aren’t political, not
capitalist or socialist. In the end everybodyon Earth is just… Roman. We work hard to ensure that
we stay true to our mission of bringing people
together and allowing them to be part of something
greater than themselves. And that something is Empyre. Empyre. Shake hands with the future.In today’s video we’ve learned about the tendency towards monopoly, and the rentier economy,
and the financial crash, and dialectics, and… it
can be a bit overwhelming. This is all really hard stuff and it’s frequently very depressing. But if you can understand
what Jim is saying about video games, then you
can understand this stuff. And once you understand it, you can decide what you wanna do about it. If we were to do a material
analysis of YouTube, we would quickly see that YouTube are beholden to advertisers. If your videos routinely get demonetized cause they aren’t advertiser
friendly, like mine do, and also they’re expensive to make ’cause you put things like musical numbers and fancy costumes in them, like I do, then even if you’re lucky enough to the have the support of
patrons on Patreon, like I do, you might find yourself
a little short one month and have to take a sponsor… Nebula is a new platform
that’s trying to not do that. Instead of being paid for by advertisers, viewers like you pay a
subscription and there are no ads. Some creators have big plans to make original content for Nebula and I’ve got a way that
you can try it for free. You see, some of that original
content is being funded by companies like CuriosityStream. You know them, they’re the
subscription streaming service, they host documentaries,
they’ve got thousands of them. I watched a really cool
video about parasites. There’s a fun original
one David Attenborough made about ants. Normally CuriosityStream is 2.99 a month, but if you go to
curiositystream.com/philosophytube, then you can get it and
Nebula free for a month. Thank you for watching. And thank God for Jim.

100 thoughts on “The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube

  • November 27, 2019 at 4:38 pm
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    Gamers rise up

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    FUCKING RANDY

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    Please never reference any physics anymore.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    No "TRIPLE AAAAYYYYYY" said in a mocking tone 0/10 I'm asking for a refund.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:45 am
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    At the time I discovered Jim (early 2017) I was a disillusioned libertarian. I was disillusioned because, well, Trump. All my libertarian friends voted for him, and at the time, I didn’t understand why.

    I leaned left on most social issues, but I didn’t have a very deep understanding of a lot of those issues. But … I was all for laissez faire capitalism. It was one of my strongest held beliefs.

    Jim Sterling (son) slowly chipped away at this belief. He opened my eyes to what corporations and wealthy people are truly capable of, which opened my eyes to other things. I can honestly say he has made me a better person. Thank god for Jim

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:46 am
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    Jim is the best boy in the world!

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:46 am
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    Just yesterday my libertarian brother claimed that everything currently wrong with the game industry is because of governments. Well, he changed that to A government *wink wink*. There's no point talking to libertarians about politics and society, there's something seriously wrong with their brains.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    Olly, could you please make a video about the BBC being biased against Jeremy Corbyn when he exposed the Tories for trying to sell the NHS to America?

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    How fucking dare you have a megalovania remix at the end of this great video. Unsubscribed so i could subscribe again

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    Congrats for making Rush Hour 2 relevant.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:48 am
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    Loved the video : } Just going to put a reference here for GAMES OF EMPIRE by greig de peuter and nick dyer-witheford. They started academic games studies in this kind of direction, and you can look up all the many theorists building on them and referencing them, to learn more of the games industry AS an industry. Most games conference archives and many games studies journals are free to browse and read articles from. There's a ton of interesting industry histories: how the call of duty era of action games likely started from military-funded games projects to create in us hardened veterans who've not yet seen war, how………. going back to actually finish the video now.

    Oh also PLATFORM CAPITALISM by Nick Srnicek, on the history of tech-monopoly-run global economy and what those few corporations running everything now have left to exploit and to offer us.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 7:50 am
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    I feel like a lot of talking was done, but the point got pretty muddled. The topic was so meandered about that I was left scratching my head as to why you made the video. I say this as a fan of Jim and agreeing with your criticisms of capitalism. I generally enjoy your content but am just left scratching my head at this one 🤷‍♀️

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:51 am
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    Thank you

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:51 am
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    Ollie if you manage to radicalize the gamers there's no telling how powerful you'll become

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:52 am
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    Is……is that meglovania at the end ?!?!?!?

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:53 am
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    Wonder if he that rich guy ever saw that movie 🤔 or if the guy waiting in line for him was PhilosophyTube

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:55 am
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    Skyrim sucked tbh lad. Never pay for video games.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:56 am
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    Well, this was one weird episode of jimquisition..

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:57 am
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    Fantastic video. So many layers and nuance spread throughout.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    Also, a free market means that companies are free to undermine said market to their own benefit and the suffering of all others. Open your eyeballs. The system is rigged by pseudo-aristocratic buffoons who jerk off to diaper furry porn and then criticize us for doing the same. I might not be into sick shit, but I'm not a prejudiced boi either. I'm an apolitical gamer after all.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:01 am
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    “Videos…game”
    A+++
    5/5 stars

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:03 am
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    Anyone know the song a 15:03?

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:03 am
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    This video is honestly probably the best intro to Olly's work he could've made??

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:04 am
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    Video games are not ideal for socialism or government-run production, but much like big tech, big vidya could also do with some antitrust probing.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    You missed your chance to say "Jim Fucking Sterling Son". But aside of that, great video. I once said to my friend that I watch Jimqusition not as gaming related videos. but as critique of corpocapitalistm, with the gaming industry as an example

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:14 am
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    Uh. Fuck yeah sterling!

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:15 am
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    great video, absolutely delightful to hear people talking about jim fucking sterling son, and the jim costume makes olly look like hes gonna invite me to a threesome at steampunk/bdsm event at a hotel near the airport

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    I'm also a fan of jims channel. Hearing him bicker about predatory capitalism in the gaming market soothes my soul

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    Nice sneaky Ganondorf.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    You actually ended a video with Thank God For Jim

    That's so excellent

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:17 am
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    Olly: casually cites Prager U in intro
    My brain: i WoNdEr If ThE oPeNiNg Is SaTiRiCaL

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:17 am
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    Nice video. However, I will never forgive you for setting me up for the goosebumps outro, only to suddenly cave my face in with a Megalovania remix.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    i like how you sourced prager u at the beginning, that gave me a good laugh

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    Wow what a crossover episode, perfect!

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    Olly makes me feel stupid, but in a hopeful way. Like my stupidity is just an opportunity to learn. I love that.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:20 am
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    Your cosplay of Jim Sterling was something I didn't know I needed.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:22 am
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    Okay it's official. I'm totally gay for Ollie.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    The meglovania remix at the end must symbolize the action that Gamers should take..

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    Thoroughly entertaining, Ollie! I got a kick out of your Jimpression! You do great work exploring ideas and helping people learn.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    I kind of miss the days when you could buy or rent a game, put into a console… and actually play the game.
    If it didn't work, you gave it a blowjob for a few seconds first and it'll work.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    Olly is going to found the world's first university of theatre and philosophy

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:32 am
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    You look like an anime character in the thumbnail lmao.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:35 am
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    Sees thumbnail before premiere: What are the chances this is just a 1 min vid saying "I've got nothing to add, go check out Jim Sterlin, he's said it all" (After video: Well, close enough)
    There's a video games conference happening in my German city today in a 19th century coal mine. So why not both?

    Can't you inherit your way into almost any job?

    I was just wondering at the start of the video, what is it with those materialism-critical video essayists and their videos full of… material? Do you at least get all those props second hand or borrow them from friends or something?

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:40 am
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    What is the alternative? What government-made games are up to par with modern gaming titles or the gaming titles of whatever year they were released in? You say that capitalists claim that free markets are perfect, this is an obvious strawman. It's not that capitalism is flawless, it is that the benefits outweigh the flaws.

    If a whale spends a fortune to make a game better for themselves and thereby make it free to play for a bunch of other people, then isn't that exactly the kind of economics you as a socialist like? The broadest shoulders must bear the heaviest burden, except when it comes people voluntarily bearing the burden instead of being forced to do it. I know you're kinky, but bdsm is only fun if both people are agreeing to it, otherwise it's just rape. You wouldn't want to monetarily rape anyone would you?

    I have been one of the wales and I'm okay with this, I spent more than 95% of people did on Hearthstone while I played it, I enjoyed the virtual cards I got. I've spent way more on League of Legends than most, I enjoy my champion roster, I enjoy my skins. Free to play players can still enjoy the game, they still get enough cards and champions to enjoy the game and they enjoy it totally free of charge because of whales like me and that's fine.

    Whether you spend your money on hookers, blow and blackjack or loot boxes, humanity has vices and when in a shitty place in life spending money on stupid things and enjoying short-term pleasures can make things feel better. Some people might actually be fulfilled by doing these things or might enjoy it alongside owning a house, working 9-5 and having a wife.

    An empowered consumer and worker is important, but so is an empowered investor, no investment no product. Workers self-organizing and self-investing is awesome, but if workers can't or won't then it's great they can get help to do it. Gaming history is full of people working to stack up experience and investment money so they can create passion projects. Yes it'd be amazing if people could create passion projects all the time, but game-development costs money and if someone is paying, then someone has to provide oversight unless you have a basic income they can live off while creating their passion projects.

    Monopolies form and break under natural circumstances, when governments step in they can make monopolies last longer or shorter depending on how much money the monopolizing business wants to spend on lobbying. I think it'd be better if the life of a monopoly was measured not by a politician's goodwill based on campaign contributions but on the market's value of the product the monopoly produces. Not creating hurdles for new companies by keeping laws simple means that bad monopolies get replaced by new and better companies.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:43 am
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    Aw man, I wish this video came out like a year or two ago. I had a bootlicking former co-worker who always tried to start fights about capitalism and made me feel like a three-headed doo-doo monster for being pro-socialism (I didn't have the heart to tell him I was an anarcho-communist) but if I had showed him this video…actually I don't think he would have changed much, dude was very set in his ways lol

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:44 am
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    This is the second time Pontius Pilate has been used as metaphor for go getter executives

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:44 am
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    5 minutes in and I can already smell this video is bullshit. Everyone knows theres only one race/class in skyrim and its called stealth archer.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:44 am
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    Videos game? Welp, there's a plural I'm using from now on.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:44 am
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    That Megalovania remix tho🔥
    Also liked the bit where Epstein didn't kill himself

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:45 am
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    Dialectics? So we got the gamers in one side versus the femoids on the other? Oppressed Vs oppressor?

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:46 am
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    Get well soon

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    been a fan of Jim Sterling since jr high school reading destructoid nice

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    nobody should take gaming advice from a man that gets beat up by whamen

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:48 am
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    The Bubblegloop Swamp theme was a nice touch.

    EDIT: I mean the Grunty's Lair theme. Been a while since I played Banjo-Kazooie lol

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:50 am
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    I didn't know I needed a Goosebumps/Megalovania mashup until I heard it in the credits. Not to take away attention from another amazing video by Olly (especially with how sorely the video game industry needs lefty takes right now), but that mashup is everything I wanted.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:50 am
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    "i watched a cool one about parasites…"

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:55 am
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    Olly is a virgin stealth archer confirmed

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:57 am
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    I never thought Philosophy Tube and Johnathan Frakes Tells You Things would be two worlds that would collide. Truly, the world is shrinking.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 8:59 am
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    That is the voice of a man who’s going to enunciate around these damn teeth if it kills him

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:00 am
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    Finally our capitalist sith lord has arrived

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:00 am
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    this guy absolutely loves himself.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    1) great american accent 2) this really satisfied my schadenfreude tendencies and 3) when do you think our lived experiences will become monetized and the most influential people will be those with the best personal memories (a la Fahrenheit 451 exiled drifters)? Also your comment about thinking of video games as stories or game mechanics, as opposed to tangible objects, seemed weird to me until I realized I have lived a greater portion of my life pre streaming. The fact that a lot of media (music, games, books) are digital permission slips, to be able to "access" said media instead of personally holding a physical copy of the media, is beyond ridiculous to me.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:04 am
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    Obligatory comment to increase traffic and getting this beaut out onto more recommended lists.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:05 am
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    Is there a link to Goosalovania (credits song) anywhere? I can't find any mentions of it on Google.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:09 am
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    Awesome video. Definitely what I needed trick my boyfriend into marxi-OH I MEAN philosophy, yes… Just harmless philosophy… For now.
    <Hope your toast is painful in the future, Olly>

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:09 am
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    Very interesting points mate, thanks for the vid.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:13 am
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    Gotta love Olly citing PragerU 2:52

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:14 am
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    In my psych class I was taught:
    Irregularly rewarded behavior takes the longest to extinguish.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:15 am
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    2:51 – Holy shit he literally cites PragerU

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:15 am
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    Thank god for Jim fucken sterling son

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    WHERE'S LICKITUNG???? LICKI LICKI LICKI LICKI

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:23 am
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    From a german perspective "the rentier economy" is a pretty confusing term

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:25 am
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    I saw you dressed up like Jim Sterling in the thumbnail and immediately started grinning like a giddy child.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:29 am
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    “If you work at a job you hate just to make money for somebody whose job is owning stuff, then are you free?”

    This reminded me of what my dad told me (whose, funnily enough, job is owning things). He told me that if you work for someone, you eventually become a slave, you don’t have time for yourself so you can’t improve as a person while owners can sit back and relax as money comes to them. He said it’s unfair because most of these people became owners by luck and that there’s people who work so hard yet have shit jobs.

    I once asked him how he knows where to invest his money and where not to. He simply told me “the more money a person has, the smarter they become.”

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:32 am
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    Olly, I love your work, but there's a strange disconnected feeling to this one – like mentioning lootboxes and capitalism in the same sentence along with lots of suggestive pointing and raising of eyebrows (and phenomenal presentation, as always) which leads to little else. Every criticism levelled at free market economics rings true and the biggest players in the video game industry right now are shining examples – which makes it all the stranger that tendency towards monopoly is discussed without a single mention of Valve and the Steam store, who have undeniably been THE monopolistic market power in PC game sales for an entire decade, and who arguably reduced their cut of game sales – for the first time ever – in response to the meteoric rise of Fortnite and Epic (who notably thumbed their nose at a couple of other giants – Google and Apple – in order to independently sell their mobile app).

    Should we not be applauding Epic for challenging the tyranny of the monolith? Is this not competition literally at work? Shitty business practices abound, for sure, but one does not challenge Steam as a platform "organically". In another instance, Steam's refund policy was famously draconian until our glorious consumer rights watchdog legally smacked them down, effectively forcing them to offer the policy in other markets. And then I wonder about the (anecdotal) success of indie games and developers in recent, and why Steam is still almost universally adored by consumers.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:35 am
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    Why…would a hat need a corset?

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    I'm sorry, I had to pause because I laughed for 10 seconds at "videos game"

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    This was absolutely excellent!

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:41 am
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    It is impossible to watch these videos with any family in earshot distance, even the ones that are about such innocent topics as videogames. And that is a great compliment.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:41 am
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    Is that the Sans Undertale theme? Wow. What an epic gamer moment.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    Why did I know you were playing a high elf 😀

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    Thank god for Ollie and Jim Sterling.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    This was weirdly entryway, but not enough entryway that I think I could actually introduce any apolitical gamers to it

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:44 am
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    My roommate just walked in and commented on the vampyre costume with "Yeah, that seems like a show for you. Would have a hard time finding a better suit than that though." lmao

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    That Empire ad is one of the best skits Olly's ever done

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:49 am
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    Thin Jim Sterling looks really weird and uncanny

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:51 am
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    I'm not a fan of the contra-esque theatrical stuff, but your words are good. Please continue saying words

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:54 am
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    Is this guy extremely high? I only say that because he is taking Jim Slearling to another level and (while right most times) is to the extreme of calling game developer of slightlyd shady shit.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:55 am
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    Didnt hbomberguy rb a version of the outro song on his tumblr? Or was that just another megalovania mashup? 🤔

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    the only epic exclusive i actually bought was outer worlds. everything else I just pirate until I can buy it on steam or gog.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    The goosalavania link doesn’t work

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:01 am
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    That was some cringe, brah

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:02 am
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    0:00 BACK ON THE ROCKS, BACK ON THE ROCKS, BABY

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:02 am
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    You look like my boyfriend when he wears my glasses.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    Tremendous as usual!

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    Hey mr thorne you've produced a lot of really really beautiful work this year and have grown so much with each new release and it's been so great to see, i'm genuinely so grateful for your videos during a point at which i'm rapidly having to learn how to live as an adult man without so much of that life experience others have — since — beginning transition at 25. Good role models (sorry) are so valuable to me

    The personal touches that anyone with common life experiences will see and benefit from — that stuff really touches me. for real man, thank you <3

    really wish you all the best hey

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:10 am
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    the corprate video spoof was pure genius! I wish more people, those who like those, see just this fragment…

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:11 am
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    All of these youtubers I have seen for years have slowly converged to become some Leftist YouTube Cinematic Universe.

    Can't wait to see the big, ambitious crossover effort.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:12 am
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    The Empyre sections were exceptionnally well made : it took me 20 seconds each time to want to leave the video to escape the bullshit. Of course, you were merely replicating a style of communication I could never stand, but you did it very well.

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  • November 30, 2019 at 10:14 am
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    If you're interested in fiction that covers similar ideas from a similar perspective– specifically, a leftist exploration of the video game industry– check out Cory Doctorow's novel For The Win. It follows the struggles of video game workers around the world as they fight to unionize, in a not-far-from-now future where eight of the twenty largest economies are virtual and video game companies have the power of governments. It's very accessible (you're likely to find it in your library's YA section), but it's practically ECON 101 carried on the wings of an incredible story of rebellion and revolution.

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