Pokémon Go is everything that is wrong with late capitalism

Pokemon Go takes money out of local communities and centralizes it to big corporations, and that’s what’s wrong with late capitalism, says Timothy B. Lee at Vox:

If you were looking to have fun with some friends 50 years ago, you might have gone to a bowling alley. Maybe you would have hung out at a diner or gone to the movies.

These were all activities that involved spending a certain amount of money in the local economy. That created opportunities for adults in your town to start and run small businesses. It also meant that a teenager who wanted to find a summer job could find one waiting tables or taking tickets at the movie theater.

You can spend money on Pokémon Go too. But the economics of the game are very different. When you spend money on items in the Pokémon Go world, it doesn’t go into the pocket of a local Pokémon entrepreneur — it goes into the pockets of the huge California- and Japan-based global companies that created Pokémon Go.

There are, of course, some good things about this. Pokémon Go can be a much more affordable hobby than going to a bowling alley or the movies. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money on it. And the explosion of options made possible by online platforms creates real value — the average teenager has vastly more options for games to play, movies to watch, and so forth than at any time in American history.

2 Replies to “Pokémon Go is everything that is wrong with late capitalism”

  1. Lee has no idea what he’s talking about. The game gets people into local businesses, with no need for them to advertise. The businesses can offer their visitors specials to encourage buying, but the game has already got them in the door. I think Lee did little research or thought on the game’s impact and took the lazy “kids these days” approach. He focuses only on how much he thinks the publishers are fleecing users and doesn’t consider how much users will be contributing to the local economy by playing and consuming out and about instead of at home.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.