“Agreeing that books are a thing you read is easy enough. But what it means to read, what the experience of reading requires and entails, and what makes it pleasurable or not, is not so easy to pin down.”
Few are excited about the Apple Watch—its burdens are too easily imagined. And yet we treat it as an inevitability. How did this happen?
FarmVille’s mimicry of the economically obsolete production unit of the family farm, in short, proved all too apt—like the hordes of small farmers sucked into tenantry and debt peonage during the first wave of industrialization in America, the freeholders on FarmVille’s vast virtual acreage soon learned that the game’s largely concealed infrastructure was where all the real fee-gouging action was occurring. Even those who kept their wallets tucked away in their pockets and purses would pay in other ways—by spreading “viral” invitations to recruit new farmers, for example. FarmVille users might have been having fun in the moment, but before long, they would look up to discover they owed their souls to the company store.
– Game designer Ian Bogost, writing in The Baffler, explains how the real cost of video games is in the addiction and financial drain, not the violence.