The Problem of Voting With Your Wallets – Cold Take

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This week on Cold Take, Frost dives into the idea of “voting with your wallet,” and how that ship might have already sailed.

Check out more recent episodes of Cold Take, including Baldur’s Gate 3 Has Caused Quite a Hubbub, 10 Years Later, Early Access Turned Out Okay, and The Indie Game Identity Is In Danger.

The Problem of Voting With Your Wallets – Transcript

The internet is a technological marvel. Just a few months ago my power went out during a storm and I looked up a youtube video that helped me open my electric garage door from the inside. I use it to look up recipes for my air fryer on the regular. And I can get a rough translation of a different language in almost an instant. But, with its aggressive curation, echo chambers disguised as communities, and engagement based algorithms, it can feel like the internet consists of only two people: people who think exactly the way I do and share my every opinion or people who are spawned simply to fight me on every opinion. I have to remind myself constantly that that is not the case. It’s an illusion, I am out of the common spheres. If you’re taking an interest in a hobby to the point where you’re looking for objective or opinion based content for it, you are no longer a part of the average body of hobbyists. That can create a bit of dissonance with your favorite hobby, because the target audience for many businesses is the average body. If you’re as knee deep as I am, it can feel as if everyone is in agreement that pre-orders, microtransaction, bad ports, and terrible first day releases are a problem, but corporations have somehow found a way to foist these on to the general public against their will. Or is it consensual? We constantly say voting with your wallet will make it so businesses will only create what you’re willing to buy. So then a scary assumption rises to the top: gaming is in the state it’s currently in because the vast majority of gamers are okay with it? Have the wallets already voted?

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Sebastian Ruiz
Sebastian Ruiz joined The Escapist in June 2021, but has been failing his way up the video game industry for years. He went from being a voice actor, whose most notable credit is Felicia Day mistaking him for Matt Mercer in the game Vaporum, to a video editor with a ten-year Smite addiction, to a content creator for the aforementioned Hi-Rez MOBA, before focusing his attention on game development and getting into freelance QA. With a lack of direction, Sebastian sought out The Escapist as a place to work with like-minded individuals and fuel his ambitions. While he enjoys dabbling in all kinds of games to expand his horizons, even the worst roguelikes can get his attention.