The Video to Dance Gavin Dance “Midnight Crusade” is Woke AF

Last week, Dance Gavin Dance released a song from their upcoming album Artificial Selection called “Midnight Crusade.” Given that DGD is my favorite band, of COURSE I was gonna check out the song and listen to it on repeat for 5 hours. What I was not expecting was that the music video would be so incredibly Woke AF.

The reason this video is so damn good to me is because it articulates the complex relationship between technological advancements, anti-human capitalism, and exploitation in roughly 3 and half minutes. The video starts up with shots of metal and a human head shaped mold. Then we see Tilian reveal his robotic creation, which is Jon Mess. Of course, this version of the robot is imperfect. He can’t even perform basic functions properly. Then Tilian upgrades him and that’s when things get really interesting.

At about 1:10 in the video we see this:

Jon and Business 9

Now like any good inventor, Tilian wants to make the absolute best product he can so that there can be the most return on investment when he markets his product. That’s the basic structure of how business works, right? Well, that isn’t the case anymore since technology has been used to exploit its user base in order to make more profit. Take Facebook as an example. Why do you think it tracked its users’ data? It’s because there was opportunity for profit in it. Why does Tilian upgrade Jon Mess? Same exact reason. That, and if he gets Jon to function properly, he could effectively change how society functions, much like social media has done.

So how can one Fully Functioning Robot change our entire Capitalist structure? Easy. The video shows this very quickly, but it’s there.

Jon and Business 1Jon and Business 2Jon and Business 3

The American Workforce is dependent on labor. Without getting too technical here, our economy no longer values manufacturing positions. So when a certain shit-bag president says he would magically help coal miners, the reality was that only those at the top would ever see this “help.” Actual miners are left out because it is much cheaper and effective to automate the business using machines so that you can undercut your labor costs and therefore make more money. Welcome to how capitalism ACTUALLY works.

So I guess now you may be asking yourself how do companies do this? How can they get away with it?! Well, the answer to that is really complicated, but if you happen to be familiar with Antonio Gramsci’s work, then you may already know. I won’t dive too into this because it’s wildly complicated, but Gramsci was asking himself why Italians were not actively protesting the Fascist regime under Mussolini. His answer was that power works in a very frail yet complicated way, where those who HAVE
power must constantly request consent from those they are subjugating. Now how does this look?

Jon and Business 4

Jon and Business 5

Like a crazed robot giving a human a massage so that he thinks robots really are okay. Look at this dude’s face. You think he’s gonna suddenly say Tilian is evil or that robots are terrible? Nahh. That’s the face that says “Y’know that there robot is alllright.”

In the video, after Jon presents his whole business strategy, they all have a party, and what do you think happens? Do you think robots taking over humans would be a good thing? Welp…

Jon and Business 6Jon and Business 10

It’s met with thunderous applause and a party for the Robot. I like how the only Black employee is still suspicious of Jon, but has no problems partying with him later. That’s what you gotta do when you’re a person of color working in a predominantly white, capitalist structure. You kinda have to go with the flow, even if it’s dumb as hell. Which brings us to this pivotal moment in the video:

Jon and Business 7Jon and Business 8

Yeah, who didn’t see this coming? Of course, Jon Mess kills all the humans during the party and then makes them into machines. What does this mean? Well, I believe it’s to get society to think about its reliance on technology and how our lives are being dictated by it. More rapidly, we are surrendering parts of ourselves to it, and we become what the robot was supposed to be: a product to be sold. Does this sound familiar? It should. It’s been all over the internet after all.

I’ll give you a minute to think…..

 

 

FACEBOOK! That’s right. Now I’m not saying that the video somehow had the precognition to see what would happen with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but it does carry a lot of overlap, namely in how Facebook exploited its user base (I.E. humans),  gathered data on us without proper consent (automation), and sold that data to various third parties (capital). What Facebook became was a digital human farm for advertisers to curate what we see online. What makes Cambridge Analytica so damning is that it had a direct relation to the Presidential election. It invaded and made those it targeted one with the machine. Facebook is not a website that encourages communication. It longs to be the ONLY site for it, to limit people’s choices to communicate online so that we HAVE to use its technology. After all, Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. Are there really any alternatives?

Before this post gets any longer, I wanna just ask a question. Why was Tilian’s character no longer shown once Jon Mess shows his “business plan” and then goes on his killing spree? I think it’s to showcase the relationship that Silicon Valley has with society. Why would Tilian’s character just disappear from all this chaos he caused? Why would he just turn a blind eye? That answer is in the lyrics.

“You’re salty

Can’t fault you

I’m numb to the rhythm that guides you

Take all your confetti away

I know I know what’s killing me

Don’t need your love Your sympathy”

For the purpose of the video, I think these words are to reflect the seeming indifference that Silicon Valley has when it comes the effects their tech has on humanity. For the record, I’m not saying technology is bad. I mean, I’m a media scholar after all. I’m saying that replacing humans with technology and not leaving them a place to function in society is evil. If we’re gonna do that, we should have some sort of Universal Basic Income to insure that anyone can still live. That, and all health costs be covered. I think that’s a fair compromise isn’t it?

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My Super-Late Nintendo Switch Review

Unless you have been either incredibly lucky in getting a pre-order or even luckier finding one in stores, you’re probably wondering if the Switch is worth all the buzz and attention it’s been getting. Hell, I’m sure that for some of you, you’re probably wondering what took Nintendo so long to make a new console, not realizing the Wii U has been around. Welp I was one of the lucky ones who not only got a Switch, but I also have had no problems with it. I can also safely say that without a doubt, this is one of the most important console releases in years.

When you look at the current state of gaming, it may not shock you that apps and smart devices are now being counted as game consoles as well. In fact, they are the reason many people wanted Nintendo to just give up and go third-party a few years back. I have never wanted to embrace smart devices as game consoles. I hate the Free-to-play model, and I loathe the luck-based bullshit surrounding these Gachapon-style RPGs. But then something interesting happened and that was Pokemon Go. Nintendo embraced the mobile device and made something that could really only exist on that hardware. Now, you might think I was pissed off, but to be honest, I realized that exposure to a Nintendo IP on a smart device could fuel interest in the rest of Nintendo’s brand. It’s actually a good thing. The smart device creates different experiences that you can’t really find on console, at little to no financial risk to the user. People embraced it, and it’s definitely here to stay. Now why am I mentioning all this? Well….

Thanks to the rise of the mobile game space, it’s a little less clear just what exactly is a game console. If you ask Sony, they feel it’s something to bridge media platforms in order to create all-in-one devices, sort of like a weaker version of a PC – only, this plugs into your TV and is dedicated to playing your games no matter what. If you ask Microsoft, they look at Sony and say “whatever they do, except with a green tint and better online functionality”. If you ask Nintendo, they don’t really seem to offer much of an answer. That is, until you actually play on the Switch for yourself.

Embed from Getty Images

The Switch looks exactly like a tablet. You can connect your controllers to the edges and make the ultimate portable console, or you can connect it to your TV and do some traditional gaming. The important thing to remember here is that it looks like a tablet. Nintendo saw that the smart device has changed gaming. Nintendo is asking the gamer, with the Switch, “What is a game console?” If you look at the start up screen, it’s very minimal. It shows your game library and a couple of icons at the bottom, one of which is for the E-shop, where you can obviously buy more games.2017031201232000-57B4628D2267231D57E0FC1078C0596D You can’t surf the internet on it. You can’t use different apps on it like you can on your phone/tablet, and yet it looks like a smart device….Why?

I believe it’s because Nintendo is reclaiming what it means to be a dedicated gaming device. They wear the smart device as a kind of mask to hide what lies beneath: Nintendo’s interpretation of what a game console should be. Let’s look at the games that Nintendo  launched (not the third-party ones): The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips, and 1-2 Switch. These games were released on purpose to send a message. If you look at Zelda, it’s a game that has nothing but an open world to explore. This is something that has been done before, but it feels so amazing to be doing it in Hyrule. I’m dying more times than I ever have before in a Zelda game. I’m completely lost and unsure of where to go. I’m slightly overwhelmed by how gigantic the world is, and yet, it is one of the most sublime gaming experiences I have undertaken and it’s one I won’t soon forget. Snipperclips is a game that looks childish and stupid, but requires constant communication with the person you are playing with. You have to work together to solve the puzzles, and more importantly, you have to speak to illustrate your idea for what to do as a team. 1-2 Switch, despite its slightly hefty price tag of $50, will give you memories that you won’t forget because of how ridiculous you look playing these mini-games with your friends. With these games, Nintendo is saying that gaming is inherently a blank canvas, full of open ideas for the gamer to explore and see what they, as individuals, like and don’t like. However, Nintendo feels that one thing games should be is inclusive for all people and gaming skills, so it’s vital for Nintendo to create experiences that can only be had by playing next to the person and not just communicating digitally through the internet. That’s what I meant by the Switch treating its tablet structure as a mask. It’s using its tablet appearance to tell us that these devices have indeed changed our lives, but we may have lost how to communicate in person as a result. For Nintendo, it’s also never about graphical power or teraflops of their console; it’s about the unique memories and experiences that can be had with its hardware.

So what has my time with the Switch been like? Magical. Mesmerizing. Incredible. Not something I will forget. I think it goes without saying (but I’m gonna say it anyway) that if you have even the slightest interest in gaming, you should buy one. It’s probably the greatest game console to come out in a long time.

Do you own a Switch? Is there anything else you would like to know? Feel free to leave comments!

Nintendo Switch!! (The NX Revealed!!!)

Unless you have been living under a rock these past few months you have undoubtedly been berated by nonstop rumors and speculation about Nintendo’s new console code-named the NX. What could this device Nintendo has been cooking up be? What could NX stand for? What would become of the Wii U? Ok that last one was an easy one. The Wii U, despite my unending love and appreciation for the console sold terribly and needed to be replaced badly by something consumers can understand. So enter the many many many months of guessing. Thankfully Nintendo has decided to finally show off their new concept in this preview.

 

Now I am completely excited for this new console…though I’m not too crazy about the name. Switch? I dunno it just doesn’t scream hype to me. Then again neither did Wii or Wii U or hell even the Vita. Whatever in time I’m sure I’ll be fine with it. What you saw here was that it is a sort of hybrid console. Essentially it’s a home console you can take on the go. Pretty exciting stuff. Especially since Nintendo is not actually splitting their resources between a separate home console and portable. They have bridged the two together in part thanks to how popular smart devices have become. Not to mention the removable controller features. I hope this doesn’t negatively effect the rumble capability of the Switch. I really value a good rumble. Also I hope that replacement controller parts won’t be too expensive. But all that will be released with time so for now I’m really excited for Nintendo. I can’t wait for the Switch to be released. Hmm actually it doesn’t sound so bad now. The Switch. Ok I can see what you were going for Nintendo.

Now with all that outta the way there are some things that I hope Nintendo will do with this machine. In fact I have a list so here are my 5 wishes for the Switch.

1) A Virtual Console that is updated much more frequently with new games from various publishers/developers and that uses our Nintendo Accounts so we won’t have to buy the same games over and over and over again. Plus it helps to always have something to play on the console.

2) A really solid price. To be honest I don’t think the Switch should cost more than $250. This is mostly because due to the portable nature of the Switch it can be assumed that it is not going to be a graphical powerhouse like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Both of which start at around $299 (with the “fat” Xbox One gong for less I imagine). So Nintendo has to keep in mind the expectations that people have now when it comes to power. $300 will get a person a PlayStation 4 with the best graphics but will they pay the same, or perhaps more, for essentially a weaker powered concept? Keep in mind that the Wii was only $249.99 when it launched as well.

3) Backwards Compatibility. It’s really difficult to see how it can work with the Switch but I’m gonna assume that it will not be backwards compatible with the Wii U. At least not physically. As in if you bought a digital title and its linked to your Nintendo Account (which I really really hope keeps these things in mind!) you can play it on the Switch. Maybe the Switch can connect with the Wii U gamepad? I’m not sure. It probably won’t. However due the use of cartridges for the Switch I wonder if it can play 3DS or DS games through it’s cartridge slot. Again I’m not too sure but it would be cool. Or they could release an add on for such features similar to what they did in the 90’s with the Super Game Boy for the Super Nintendo. This will also help in adding value and content to the Switch as well.

4) Constant content. What I mean by this is a reason to turn on the console. Switch is not just a name or an adjective describing the console. It’s also an action. Now in the preview trailer it was pretty clear that “switch” meant the ability to switch between displays to play your home console games on the go. But I wanna see switch evolve further. I want this console to enable people to truly switch to a Nintendo product when they go out. For this to happen Nintendo needs app support beyond what is obvious and expected. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are nice but it would be pretty cool to see Nintendo support things like Spotify, Social media apps, their own mobile games and by extension (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) other mobile games. This would make it so that while the average Switch user want’s to play their Nintendo games on the go they also would not have to lug around other devices beyond their phone. Although if they did maybe they would realize the value in having real games, as opposed to just mobile games, on the go?  Plus it would be helpful in keeping your phone battery fairly charged. Though the Switch’s would probably drain fairly fast. Hmm I’m assuming this battery life will be at least 5 hours. It would be great if it were 8 or at least if Nintendo allowed us to buy stronger batteries in the future. Is that a separate wish though? I dunno Let’s just make the battery life wish a branch off the content one. They go hand in hand after all….right?

5)  Different colors. Now I know this is probably the most superfluous wish here but I’m getting tired of every new piece of tech being black. Hell white somehow seems to be a more refreshing color but even that is getting boring now. I always appreciated how the Gamecube had different colors and let’s not forget that Nintendo’s portables always eventually got new colors as well so maybe just maybe the Switch can launch with a red or blue or hell green. I dunno don’t just go with black. Though I will admit this isn’t exactly a deal breaker so let’s just move on.

So that’s about it. Are you excited for the Switch? I am. Though truthfully I just wanna play Zelda. Breath of the Wild can’t come out soon enough!

What The Google Pixel Phones Mean for Android

A few days ago, Google announced their highly anticipated new phones under a new brand called Pixel. I believe the idea was for Google to leverage itself as a more direct competitor to Apple in terms of smart phone manufacturing.

A few days ago, Google announced their highly anticipated new phones under a new brand called Pixel. I believe the idea was for Google to leverage itself as a more direct competitor to Apple in terms of smart phone manufacturing. You see, Google developed the Android OS. As you may know, it’s free and open source, which allows for free manipulation of it. Yet, it’s rare to actually see this “pure” form of Android realized in an actual device. So what happens? If you own any Android phone from a carrier, you’ll be very familiar with what I’m about to say. Let’s use me as the example. I own an HTC One M8 which I bought through a carrier. It ran on Android 5.1 Lollipop. After a few months of owning my device, I saw the news that Google was set to roll out Android 6.0. “Hooray!” I thought, “I’m gonna get the latest version of Android to use on my phone!” Did I receive it? Nah. Only the lucky Nexus users and some of those Samsung users were ever so lucky out the gate. The reason? Since the Android code is open by nature, it gets altered by the manufacturer and then altered AGAIN by the carrier. The result? Bloatware and other shitty apps for which you probably don’t have any use. So as an Android fan, imagine how ecstatic I was to hear that these Pixel phones were coming, that they were being made by HTC, that they would have some pretty incredible specs, AND that since Pixel is the successor to the Nexus brand, that these devices would always have the latest version of “pure” Android. Seems like an awesome time for an Android fan right? Well. The phones were announced, and wow, they’re a massive disappointment.

Google announced two models, a regular Pixel and a Pixel XL. Aside from screen size, there really isn’t too much to differentiate the two devices. Essentially, they have similar specs to some of the most top-of-the-line phones, and Google boasts that it has a pretty powerful camera. OH, I almost forgot. It has Google Assistant integration, which, if you are familiar with Google Allo (more on that in a future review), should function exactly the same. It also has support for VR if you care about that. Now, why does this not excite me? Well, it comes down to price. The phones come in two storage capacities, 32GB and 128GB. In today’s world, a lot of faith is put into cloud uploads and streaming various media to not take up space on a devices limited memory.Because of this perhaps memory is not a big concern for most people nowadays, but is for me. So naturally, I want the 128 GB phone. Guess how much it is. You know what, I’ll just tell you: For the Pixel, it’s $650 for the 32GB and $750 for the 128GB. The XL costs $770 for the 32GB and $870 for the 128GB. I should also mention that Verizon is the only carrier that you can buy these phones from. You can order it from the Google Store or waltz into a Verizon store to get the phone. So now do you see what disappoints me so?

It’s more than the price. Google is trying to pivot Android to make it more like Apple’s IOS. Apple is somewhat of a pompous company that thrives by making their OS closed off so they have absolute control over it. It works for them and their customers love not thinking about their relationship with their tech or worrying about certain nuanced things that Apple just takes care of. However, the consumer ultimately pays a hefty price for these “premium” devices. I use premium in quotes because though Apple is a popular brand, they really don’t make great devices anymore. In fact, if you observe their latest phones, a lot of them have to catch up to features that have been available to Android users for years now. Not to mention the fact that the iPhone costs around $225 to manufacture and sells them for damn near $800. So what does this mean for Pixel? Google took something that is meant to be open and put its best version beneath a massive pay wall that goes against what Android was about. I can understand Google wanting to compete more directly with Apple, but to try and make Android itself more like Apple is where I draw the line. Look at how similar Pixel looks to an iPhone! It’s clear this phone is meant to try to take Apple customers away. Does this really say that Android is better? To me, Google is conceding that Apple is superior and that Android needs to be more like Apple. Android is at its best when it can be enjoyed in its purest form across all devices, so instead of putting a massive pay wall for an iPhone-wannabe, Google should offer a way for Android users to alter (or unalter perhaps?) the already altered code of their phones to gain the pure experience. That way, no matter what device, anybody who has an Android phone can enjoy Android safely and without all the bloat on their favorite devices.

Google took the hype surrounding their new brand and dropped the ball pretty bad. I’m sure these phones are awesome in their own right, but with the high price and Verizon-only support, the only way to get one is to go to Google’s wireless service Project Fi (which is not bad at all), or go to Verizon and contend with Verizon not sending updates from Google to their customers because they have to slowly, if ever, make alterations to it to fit their bloatware (though they claim otherwise but who knows what will actually happen). If Google could take the idea behind Pixel and make it more affordable, “free from the shackles”of carriers and have external storage support (some of us prefer expanding memory through micro SD card support ya know!), then we might have something that truly disrupts the current Apple led smartphone ecosystem. Until then Pixel is just a missed opportunity for greatness in my eyes.

The PlayStation 4 Pro Has Been Announced!

Unless you have been living under a rock you undoubtedly have heard the news that the rumored PlayStation Neo is real and is in fact called the PlayStation 4 Pro. This “new” console (if you can even call it new. I’m not even sure what new means in this generation anymore) will support true 4K specs and will naturally allow for developers to make some better looking games. Should you be excited? My response is no. In fact hell no. You should be skeptical that this will lead to any innovation in the industry.

I am of the opinion that better graphics do not make for better games. Games are truly great when their gameplay or stories or both are compelling and engaging. When you look at gaming that way graphics are not that important in the overall scheme of things. Take a look at Shovel Knight, Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, Axiom Verge these Indie games do not have realistic boundary pushing graphics but are wildly fun to play. They are also very successful, popular and have been released somewhat recently. It’s really difficult to gauge what Sony and Microsoft, with their Scorpio, see in this generation of gaming. It’s clear that they no longer believe in the somewhat dated, yet functional process, of having a dedicated games console for 4-7 years and then replacing it with something new and hopefully stronger. The benefit to this has always been that the first 2 years will be the growing pains cycle where developers will usually not release anything worth while they try to figure out the console’s advantages and disadvantages. More often you get games that don’t look to nice, function a little obtusely or just don’t age that well. However the upside was that once that period was over you had access to better games. Games that made you wanna buy them and have a blast playing. Once that happens that’s when I consider a gaming generation to have truly begun. For example, for me that did not start until I finally played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Once I finished it I felt that I had truly come in to this current generation.

Of course with the Scorpio and PlayStation Pro looming I can’t help but feel there is no reason for these consoles to exist so damn early. Look 4K looks amazing. It really does. But to apply it to gaming now would be a mistake in my opinion. All it will succeed in doing is making games much more expensive to produce. This will in turn make publishers more conservative when it comes to the types of games they make. So don’t be surprised if everything that ends up being made is a shooter of some sort. It’s the genre that is arguably the most popular currently. So any new IP that could be made will just follow the path of genre stagnation. Now I’m not trying to jump on an anti shooter bandwagon but come on. So many games now are shooters and even more are first person. Trying to appeal to as many people to recoup the cost of development is not necessarily a good thing. Do you really want to be in a world where Uncharted 4 gets another re-release in the same generation? That’s what could happen. Games just released will get re-releases to take advantage of 4K.

It’s pretty obvious that both Sony and Microsoft are looking now to compete with PC’s in terms of raw power and processing. This is not a smart strategy at all. Why? Because no matter what gaming box Sony or Microsoft make it’s ultimately going to be outdated by the tech advancements of tomorrow and I do mean that quite literally. Like how as soon as you buy a computer within a week it’s already technically outdated. When you are competing with a platform whose parts are constantly evolving you are forgetting the key concept of having a dedicated gaming platform. GAMES. PC’s are our gateway to the internet, our business tools, things students use to write papers or thesis'(sometimes even pirate), a communication tool to loved ones, a device to process high amounts of information at high speeds and yeah it can play games too. PC’s have to be constantly updated because the world demands that of them. Their upgrades dictate the software that we use. Not our games. To apply this logic to game consoles pretty much means you want to nickel and dime the consumer or market yourselves to a very small group who have the expendable income to buy all the things needed to take advantage of these upgrades. Not to mention that the games made will be compatible across all the “weaker” consoles too. But for how long? Even games made on PC’s stop supporting certain video cards after a while so what does this mean for the PS4 Pro and Scorpio? Seem stupid yet?

There is a lot to dislike about this. But at least the PlayStation 4 Pro will be able to play those 4K movies right? Nah apparently it won’t but the Xbox One S can? Boy I sure do miss gaming from my childhood.

 

 

 

Metal Gear….Survive???????

 

What?

What?

What?

What?

What in the hell did I just see???

Konami put up a trailer for what is going to be the first Metal Gear game since Kojima left them. Now I never had any real hopes that Konami would actually be able to make great Metal Gear games. I only wished for the laziest remake of Metal Gear 1 and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake done in the Fox Engine. That’s it. That’s all I hoped for. Turns out Konami wants to create a cooperative game where you survive against some kind of biological threat. As you can probably imagine this was not met with the warmest reception especially since everyone is still angry about that Metal Gear Solid 3 pachinko machine that’s out there. My feelings? I honestly don’t really give a shit. In fact I’m not surprised that this is what Konami wants to do in a post Kojima Metal Gear game. Though I will say the wormholes being an important plot point is goofy as hell and detracts from me taking the game seriously.

That isn’t entirely true though. I do feel somewhat disappointed but only in the sense that Konami has pretty much given up on ever making “traditional” video games. So while they may continue to make PES for the years to come I see now that they are more concerned with short term profit and possibly annualization of very few franchises. Metal Gear Survive I feel is just an attempt to capture the audience who enjoys games like Left 4 Dead. However I’m only speculating since the game is not released yet. I think it’s clear that this game will be primarily online co-op. So if there exists a competitive mode where 4 on 4 teams compete against each other its not too far-fetched to assume that Metal Gear Survive could be Konami’s foray into the world of competitive E-sports. So essentially Konami might have 3 streams of revenue. PES, E-sports, and Pachinko….Can anyone explain to me what the hell Pahcinko is and how you play it? It seems insane.

Getting back on point. What Konami is doing is taking their established franchises and turning them into low risk profit makers. I have no idea if this is benefiting their bottom line or is even economically feasible but this is what they have been doing for the past few years now. Like I said earlier I’m not surprised. But that’s because of how stagnated the gaming industry has become and the simultaneous rise in free to play apps. Konami seems to be taking a risk alienating Metal Gear fans with this new “Metal Gear” game but really is it unique? It doesn’t look it to me. Will it be fun? I have no idea. I don’t plan on buying it at all but who knows maybe Konami will have a massive hit on them and if so then maybe they will return to traditional game development and then I can get my lazy remakes or at least a Castlevania reboot that pays homage to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure where a Belmont and Dracula actually grew up together and Dracula was a huge dick like Dio. See Konami, I just gave you a million dollar idea right there!

Let’s Talk About the Digital Economy

I was on my twitter feed the other day and I came across an article by Vox that, how should I put this, made me very annoyed (I’m putting that lightly mind you). Stating that Pokemon Go is everything that is wrong with Capitalism is like saying Sesame Street is everything that’s wrong with modern day values. It just doesn’t make sense. The only reason such an article would exist is because of the viral popularity that Pokemon Go has achieved and piggybacking off it for clicks and ad revenue through angering fans of Nintendo and Pokemon.

Now the article describes real life problems that have been occurring for quite some time now. Various tech companies create products or apps that exist to suck out as much market value as possible all without benefiting anyone involved. They exist simply to please the shareholders and continue to rake in billions as opposed to being satisfied with millions. Now I’m gonna use Uber as an example here because while its a mega popular app and makes traveling so much simpler it also treats its workers terribly and severely underpays them. However because the app is so popular regular taxi companies cannot even come close to competing. What’s even worse in this case is that Uber does not think of itself as a taxi company but rather a tech company. Crazy right? Considering that when someone says the word “uber” images of a car arriving in  5 seconds more than likely come to mind. Here’s a more concrete example of what I mean.

That’s the Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Pay close attention to what he says around the 5 minute mark in the video. He calls Uber a tech company and that they are now experimenting with self driving cars from Tesla. Tell me something reader. How the hell does that remotely benefit the taxi industry or even help drivers? It doesn’t. It will probably take away an entire industry of jobs thanks to the ability to “push a button and get a ride”.

Companies and apps like these are really the problem here and even then they are just a by product of this Digital Economy that values growth above all else. While I can attempt to deconstruct the Digital Economy here, I believe Douglas Rushkoff does it best. In his book Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus he says:

Not even Google’s investors, officers, or the infamous 1 percent are to blame for the growing inequalities of the digital economy. Silicone Valley executives and venture capitalists are simply practicing capitalism as they learned it in business school and, for the most part, meeting their legal obligation to the shareholders of their companies.

So the digital economy is nothing more than a direct result of capitalism doing what capitalism does best. Maximize the value of something and take as much money from it before sucking everything else dry. That’s the real culprit here. Capitalism that does not work for the common good of humans anymore.

Now is Pokemon Go guilty of this? No it isn’t. Not even close. Do you know why Vox? It’s because Pokemon Go has done so much good for the betterment of people’s lives and looking at things from a nickel and dime perspective devalues what it is that Nintendo stands for. They are a company yes. Though personally I do not consider them a Tech company, they are primarily a Games company. That is they seek to enrich the lives of everyone, especially children, with their creations, especially, their games. It’s what makes Nintendo timeless. Hell it’s what makes me so adamant about defending them from this blatant accusation that they are negatively affecting the local economy. But wait. Is that even true? Is Pokemon Go somehow helping small businesses?

  1. http://www.marketplace.org/2016/07/11/business/how-small-businesses-are-profiting-pokemon-go
  2. http://time.com/money/4402662/pokemon-go-small-business/
  3. http://www.pcmag.com/article/346047/pokemon-go-how-the-pokeconomy-is-changing-business-one-lur

Wow would you look at that. Trust me when I say that’s only the surface being scratched when it comes to Pokemon Go. With that said it’s time for me to go out and see if I can find myself a Ghastly hanging out in my local Pizza shop.