South Park Unloads On Free-To-Play Gaming
I haven't watched an episode of South Park in probably 10 years or more. But when I saw that the latest episode was titled "Freemium Isn't Free," I figured I'd check it out. You know, for work reasons.
In brief, Stan gets addicted to a terrible freemium mobile game, blowing $26,000 in the process. It's all a scam designed by the Canadian Department of Mobile Gaming to make millions and capture everyone's money and souls -- you know, just like real mobile games.
The episode hits on all the right notes with regard to "free" gaming, especially mobile games, comparing them to all sorts of addictive habits, and actually does a surprisingly good job of describing why they're successful. As one exchange goes:
"Can't the game hidden inside the charade just at least be fun?"
"If the game was too fun, there would be no reason to micropay in order to make it more fun!"
Oh, and then the Devil shows up and succinctly explains it all with genetics, dopamine, and Skinner boxes. Yeah.
If you're in the U.S. -- but, ironically, not Canada or any other foreign country -- you can watch the episode above or on its Hulu page. It's free -- we swear!
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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