The Theft Protection

Myths and Facts About Identity Theft


– 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

  1. I know I'm very late with this comment, but I would like to share my thoughts on this.

    I do like the idea of the free market system, but for the past couple of years at least (definitely prior to this video), I have definitely realized that it has some major flaws. So I'm glad to see those being discussed.

    Now, the trend to monopolize is definitely a complaint, although different industries take a different amount of effort to monopolize. Something like the oil industry is easy to monopolize while something like the food industry is difficult to monopolize. And this is basically down to what needs to be owned in order to monopolize an industry. The oil industry, for example, only needs to own the oil wells to monopolize the industry, while the food industry would basically have to own all land which can produce food, at the very least (actually, this is kind of already done, so maybe my example wasn't the best. When I typed the original statement I meant the restaurant industry, but then realized that the food production industry also counts and would be more relevant). The concept of ownership also needs to be talked about here, since something needs to be "owned" for a monopoly to ever happen. Hell, to have any sort of market the concept of ownership is required. But yes, a monopoly needs to own all of something. Most conventionally, this is land. And unfortunately, ownership of land isn't really something which can be removed without causing massive harm to the concept of civilization in general. However, ownership of ideas, stuff like patents and copyrights, can also result in monopolies.

    The other thing which contributes to monopolization is, while, just letting the free market system continue to run. If everyone starts with equal money, and then is put in a free market system which is left to run it's course, then the smart, inventive, lucky, greedy, and/or manipulative are likely to accumulate money while everyone else loses money, due to better utilization of the stuff they own to get more stuff to own. The later they get in life, assuming no new births and no deaths, and assuming they keep doing stuff at a certain pace, the more they accumulate. When births and deaths are factored in, it means their kids are A: going to, on average, be better at taking money from society; B: are more likely to survive due to having a better lifestyle; and C: have more stuff to start out with to utilize to accumulate more stuff from everyone else. The whole system here, in a completely free market with government backing, is basically Darwinism on crack. This sort of system results in only the few at the top actually having enough resources to form new businesses and thus, new competition. And, as such, monopolization happens due to the natural accumulation of resources from a set of people with different traits in different situations trying to achieve the same goal. I should also mention that this system would eventually somewhat stabilize, where upwards accumulation of wealth compared to the overall wealth of society basically stops over a long period of time basically because of the birth and death rates of different classes of society, as well as how money moves around. But this world where wealth accumulation over wealth of society is a constant number from just letting the free market be is definitely not a good one.

    I do suppose there is another way for monopolization to occur: through the government. Some of this ties into the first reason I mentioned, making it illegal or impossible for anyone else to own the things required for the monopoly, but it's also possible to target the ability for other businesses to operate, to try to legally shift the advantage to you. I'll just be talking about all laws in this area as "regulations," but the concept might be able to be applied wider. The concept is simple, try to get regulations which help you more than your competitors/potential future competitors, or harms your competitors/future potential competitors more than you, and try to avoid other regulations (do note that in some cases you may not want regulations which harm your competitors more than you). And do note that "future potential competitors" does entail new businesses that could form. Make it hard for them to form, and you're well on your way to a monopoly. Bribing the government to pass/remove regulations to favor you is also a possibility, as well as bribing the government to overlook your breaking regulations which others have to follow.

    So despite these major flaws I do think the benefits of the free market system are benefits we should go after. What needs to be done is to not just ditch the free market system entirely, but instead to make it slightly less free so that these 3 issues can be patched out to a significant enough degree that society flourishes (basically the whole maximum utility for society thing), and so that the system can stay relatively stable (assuming that is possible).

    Patching out the first argument requires a 2 step process; first deciding what forms of ownership are essential and what are not. Ownership of land and materials are required for a functioning market, so those have to stay, but the ownership of ideas is unnecessary and can go. The second step involves anti-trust acts; basically laws preventing corporations from owning too high of a percentage of the total amount of stuff available to the market. This is probably the most difficult thing to permanently patch out of the free market system.

    Patching out the second argument requires limiting how rich people can get. Basically setting higher tax rates for the rich and lower (or even negative) tax rates for the poor. I mean, it's probably more complex than that, but that gives a general baseline of what needs to be done. Basically, if the wealth gap is kept at a reasonable level and it can't increase over time (percentage-wise), then more people retain the ability to form businesses, which allows for more competition to form.

    The third argument is, again, a 2 parter. Firstly, no bribing, or as we like to call it in the US, lobbying (although lobbying is a more general term which can be done without incentives to those in power), shouldn't be a thing. Make it against the law and difficult to do. The second thing is to just be really careful with what laws are passed and removed, and to make sure that changes to/additions of/removals of laws aren't being done in such a way to discourage competition from forming to a particular company or set of companies. Ideally, these laws should either favor no business or favor the small business.

    Once those patches are applied, assuming they're applied well, you should have a pretty sustainable mostly free market, which provides most of the benefits of the free market without most of the drawbacks. I'm kind of annoyed that no-one right now seems intent on applying all 3 patches properly, with the only ones who would really try to fix all 3 do it by just removing or neutering the system all together.

  2. Please tell me I’m not the only one who can’t concentrate when he’s wearing the fangs.
    Uh…because of reasons. Totally, completely wholesome reasons.

  3. You can't have capitalism without capital. Arbitrary quasi-governmental rationing credits created by bank fiat is not capital.

  4. Ollie AND video games? My two favourite things amalgamated.
    I think what I'm experiencing is the true definition of an orgasm.

  5. Is it just me, or does that wework situation sound exactly like the plot of the producers, except without the foresight to fail so miserably your investors don't even bother following you up?

  6. Um, how does "virtual currency" in a video game differ from chips in a casino? Spoiler: It doesn't. Oh, except that you can't cash out.

  7. Why do mortgages even exist? I don't need to take out a loan to go to the grocery store, why is it considered a "good idea" to pay nearly twice as much for a property over 30 years than the actual agreed upon "purchase" price?

  8. I appreciate you putting in CC so much for these, it's so great to follow along to the absolutely non-political messages with captions, keep up the good work!!!

  9. Glad to see Kit Harrington moving past his iconic role as Jon Snow and taking up this Pontius Pilate – Steve Jobs mashup gig! You go Kit!

  10. Pretty good but I feel like it was missing a larger conclusion on the body of Jim’s work and the overall subject, though I suppose your petition at the end to learn philosophy and do something about the issues facing the game industry is asking us to draw our own conclusions.

  11. Most tolerable video yet, but the limited scope is frustrating. Sure EA and Tencent are kind of scummy, but there's so much exciting stuff happening in the industry it's annoying that people scrape up AAA hype for attention when there's interesting stuff happening with smaller devs and indie platforms. AAA may be in a bubble but there's always going to be decent money in high quality independent productions, and the people that get churned through the studios don't just disappear, they get experience and connections that they carry forward in their careers. We wouldn't have Johnathan Blow's art games if he wasn't on his grind in the 90's.

  12. Oliy: "If you don't know him, then you're in for a treat. Jim…"
    My brain: "…Fucking Sterling Son!"
    Oliy: "…Sterling."
    My brain: "aww…he got his name wrong"

  13. The WeWork does not really own property like a traditional commercial land lord. The WeWork sublets and then dresses the space for co-working. That can work: shared offices are nothing new. But WeWork claimed to be a Tech Innovator and wanted valuation to match. However, losing money on every co-worker "sale" is not sustainable. And then there is the funny stuff in the financial filings….

  14. fool! "games as a service" is just the start of something much much bigger. soon, when there are no real jobs left, we will all work in the gaming industry. that's what our future holds in store for us.

  15. ha ha, "pleasure", of paying outrageously high mortgages and bills.
    the false free market never existed and never will. so philosophical pondering about a system that doesnt exist whilst not addressing inequality of what is, is not particularly helpful.
    btw Shakespeare is not the height of poetic/linguistic discourse. it's rather drama for the masses, just like gladiators diring Roman times. the lowest common denominator. i dont pretend superiority but, mediocrity is hardly to be cherished.
    Shakespeare was a successful thief, just like you stole your presentation from another youtuber.

  16. I typed out a comment about how much I love the captions when I saw them at the beginning of the video and I almost cried at the end because it made me laugh and it's just so thoughtful to put in those little bits of humor for people who want/need captions. Thank you <3

  17. Love tuning into my favorite YouTube channels and seeing them put my former employer on blast. I'm party of history, I guess that's something. :/

  18. This is the most powerful ad I've seen in my entire life
    Altough when I saw the Neoliberal Vampire, I knew I was in for some <chefkiss> video

  19. Feh. Illustrating the flaws of capitalism does not de facto illustrate the virtues of socialism, which, although I applaud you for not stooping to just blatantly shilling Marxism, I couldn't help but notice- a lot of your sources come from socialists.

    No one has ever said capitalism was perfect, and you're right that monopolies are pernicious, ugly things that distort the way free markets are meant to play out, but at least they do play out, even now, even if it takes a longer time to happen. EA's value is plummeting as more and more people get fed up with their surprise mechanics bullshit, Bethesda's absolute crapfest in 76 will probably spell the end of Todd Howard's career, and all the while, indie dev studios are still getting recognized for their work in low-graphic, high-quality games on Steam.

    Even now there is still hope.

  20. Hate him or love him, Jim is right about the game industry most of the time. His taste in quality of games is questionable but he is someone to listen to if you want the seedy reality of the business side of things.

  21. I can't tell if you're being sarcastic when you say that there's no politics in this video when you're talkin about monopolies which is all politics. A company that gets to the point to where it's too big to fail got that way because of politicians. You just can't go into a space and start digging for cold? You just can't go into a space and say that you're going to build a factory. You can't do any of those things without one even the politicians on board so they can convince the people that this will be good for them. But maybe you were being sarcastic.

  22. Companies like wework do that on purpose. You just said it they were CEOs and they walked away with Severance packages. That was the goal of the plan in the first place. It is a very common business practice to invest in companies and drive them purposely into debt. People think Trump filed for bankruptcy because you know how to run a business. No this is how Trump kept from having to pay people who built his cancino's. You go to a bank and say give me a hundred million dollars. They give you a loan of credit. You go out and you Bill that company. You hire people. Most of those people are working promissory note. Construction does it all the time. Then you take that company driving into the ground File for bankruptcy and you ain't got to pay nobody and all of your assets are protected because you don't shift all your assets into other things. This is why Millard Millionaires and billionaires start nonprofit and they buy high-end art. These are tax shelters. None of this is done by accident it is all on purpose. That's what capital Ventures are. Mitt Romney got in trouble because he worked for a company that bought businesses and drove them into the ground and then they file for bankruptcy and got the money off of that.

  23. The purest Jim Sterling in this video:

    “You might not think it, but I, I’m actually the world’s most gamer. I-I’ve gamed a lot. Dirk Souls, Tale of Zoulda, Rad Dads Redacted.”

    Also, Tale of Zoulda – Whiff of the Jungle 7/10

  24. "500 years ago, nobody had gold-plated lamb's leather dog collars and leashes, but now can you even imagine having sex without one?" You earned your subscription, now if you'll excuse me, I need a towel to mop up all this coffee on the monitor…

  25. Does he wear fangs in more of his videos or just this one? Cause. I'm about to obliterate that subscribe button if he does.

  26. The visuals in Olly’s videos are starting to remind me more and more of the evolution of Contra’s videos. They have become so much more visually creative and lush as time has gone on. I love it.

  27. Olly: Makes a video critiquing the renteir economy
    Olly: "I'm doing a sponsorship with this streaming service which buys the rights for films they didn't make and then makes money off them!"
    Me: 🤔🤨

    From a materialist point of view, isn't CuriousityStream just a film-owning type of landlord?
    How do you reconcile the sponsorship with them with the fact you just made a whole video critiquing the ruling class that makes money by "owning stuff" as opposed to the working class that makes money by "making stuff"?
    Very few of the films you can stream on CuriousityStream are actually made by them originally. The others are just ones that they bought the rights for. It seems odd to me to advertise and make money off a buisness that is so obviously part of the renteir economy, in the very same video you made to critique the ethicality of that buisness model as a whole.
    This whole contradiction reminds me way too much of the "Liberal Communists" you talked about in your video about Elon Musk.
    And I learnt that term from you!

    I love your content Olly, I really am a fan for quite some time. So could you please give an explanation to this?

  28. 28:40 I have seen HUNDREDS of videos promoting Nebula/CuriosityStream; this is THE FIRST ONE that actually "gets me" to like the underlying concept.
    Congratulations!

  29. Brilliant. I love how you circumvent mentioning socia–I MEAN, "alternative" socioeconomic ideologies/conceptions to avoid the collective aneurysms that usually burst across American listeners.

    Sociali—-ahem, "alt" economic systems need to rebrand, I think. And quick. Something catchy and clever, and, of course, memeable. Maybe that'll finally take a bit of that Cold War taste off.

  30. Except it doesn't work once matter conversion technology is introduced. When supply is infinite, demand (and price/profit) becomes zero. That is the dilemma humans currently face that is completely hush hush about.

  31. Please go and look at the Extra Credits channel, at their earlier gaming content specifically. Amongst the enormous array of subjects they covered, they touched on some of the industry's more sinister intentions. I remember their Skinner box upload especially. The team are ex-industry devs, they upload history now but about 7/8 years ago they foretold the present situation.
    Jim has been doing a great job highlighting issues these last few years. I think a lot of disingenuous channels have emerged, some use the "angry" tag to sensationalise for profit. On the other hand, more thoughtful content such as Mark Brown or Joseph Anderson has garnered lots of interest.
    Ideally Jim should be uploading in respect to the latter but it's undeniable his recent content is highly effective and most definitely necessary.

  32. Wait… does this mean you're about to launch a professional wrestling career as well? I would pay (Horray for the free market!) to see that…. I mean, pay with my time, not money.

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