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Darren Garrett

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A child has just keeled over from exhaustion on my factory floor. I could have stopped it; when they get to that state you can give them a glass of water and they get straight back to the production line. But I've found it's cheaper to give them training instead of water. If a kid's looking peaky I can spend a little cash to have him trained up. He'll get over his exhaustion and he'll work faster. It's a win/win situation. If I let them work to the cusp of collapse before training them I maximise the amount of time they can work. I don't have to hire new workers and I don't need to waste money on a water fountain.

Littleloud's Sweatshop has me making decisions like this all the time. Do I hire older, specialised workers or just go the brute force route of creating a large (but cheap) child workforce? There's even an elegance to it, finding methods within the rules of the game to win. The factory floor is like a black box in which anything goes.

It's a similar approach that led to the largest financial crash the world has ever seen. The events of 2008 are still something that experts don't fully understand, and for the large majority of people something barely comprehended. As we learn more about the events that led to the crash, then the more parallels arise between the unregulated systems of greed that led to the crisis and the systems in the games that we play. The tools game makers employ to allow and encourage players to shed their ethics and business sense are present throughout the markets involved with the crash.

Read moreā€¦

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