Status Report — “Do Evil,” Clicking Cows, and Emails to the Experts

Bogost's Cow Clicker

It’s been a busy week of background research on micropayments in games.  To that end, this will be a short link round-up and update on the interview requests I’ve been sending out.

First up is this Gawker article from Sept, 2010, exposing Zynga’s secret “Platinum Purchase Program” for hardcore casual gamers.  With a minimum wire transfer of $500, these folks must be serious about their digital farming.

Then there’s Ian Bogost’s classic Cow Clicker post.  Professor Bogost is a game designer and teaches digital media at Georgia Tech.  His four points on social gaming boil down its problems to their essence, and the paragraph on “Optionalism” really draws out what I’m going for in this piece.

Also, the AV Club’s Tasha Robinson reviewed Zombie Misfits for the Gameological Society.  Her thoughts? “It would be well worth paying for if the designers had asked for cash up front.  But the pay-to-win plan eventually becomes more offensive than a zombie horde.”

Money in the bag.

Interview requests have been sent to Bogost, the Gameological Society editors, and Robinson.  I’ve also reached out to Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. of the Nerdist network’s The Indoor Kids podcast for their thoughts on micropayments in games.


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