This blog post will just present a brief idea. That games may help us envision real, working alternatives to capitalism.
Last Wednesday I saw a movie called a Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (watch trailer). Result: Mind Blown. The main focal point of that movie is an intellectual superstar called Slavoj Zizek. I ended searching some more and found this Big Think video where Zizek gives some thoughts on capitalism.
Zizek points out that anti-capitalists are often ashamed to critisize capitalism. Their shame stems from not being able to provide real alternatives to capitalism.
I haven’t got an alternative to capitalism either. However, I believe that games may provide a great way to prototype alternatives. Case in point, some years ago the MMO World of Warcraft experienced a pandemic incident called the “Corrupted Blood incident.” Researchers discovered that the incident showed a number of real-world parallels. They argued that this meant that MMOs like WoW could be used for simulated research on pandemics. Source:Reuters.
The point is simply that just as MMOs like World of Warcraft can be used for research on pandemics I think that they could also be used to research alternatives to capitalism. So, instead of simply recreating capitalistic systems in games it would be cool if game designers would start researching radically different in-game economies for their games.