Scheduled Obsolescence? Feature or Bug?

When the capitalists have their way at the late-stage marketplace and their business plans come to fruition, it looks very much like online multiplayer gaming, if you were to compare aspects of material and immaterial(real-world and virtual) capitalist production systems and their exploitative economics, durability, lifespan, etc.

For example, everyone’s favorite cellphone game, Pokemon Go, which has economic aspects that many other games also have, expects you to buy items that “break” after 3 uses, forcing to buy another. As the game progresses and your “trainer” gains levels, catching Pokemon does not get *easier*, but instead becomes harder, leading to using more “special items” that allow you to capture them. When did RPG-type games, where your character skill develops over time, begin to introduce reverse development?

Some games have weapons or items that you buy — which you genuinely need for completion — that are time-limited and “break” after so many uses.

Others simply make you use a special item to get more “game time”, to continue playing, and if you play that game like a normal game, you spend exponentially more money just achieving average daily use.

Still others feature “clothing” items that “E-Sports” gamers happened to be wearing when they won a competition, and those clothing items are fast approaching (think PUBG) the cost of real-world items, despite requiring EXPONENTIALLY less labor to create and replicate. Also the artist workforces used to generate these caches of digital assets are temporary and contracted, and companies typically lay them all off after completion of their tasks.

How does all of this relate to real-world production systems that pump out real goods 24/7? How does this relate to scheduled obsolescence in material goods?

If we go back in time, we find the Phoebus Cartel, a loose-knit group of early lightbulb manufacturers who met and decided that bulbs should have strictly limited lifespan so these business owners could continue to profit for the long term. How would you profit from a bulb that lasts 70 years? (and counting?)

Later we see textiles and durable goods of all manner, built with intentional (always accidental or cost-saving measure if something bad happened) flaws, sewn with fewer and fewer threads, forged with less metal or cheaper alloys, etc etc.

We see INTENTIONAL obsolescence under capitalism, at every level, which has of course led to oligarchy, environmental catastrophe, human health risks and surging levels of environmentally-caused disease, etc, and has brought us all precisely where we are today.

If you want to know the true will of the capitalist, look inside the growing markets of digital assets in online gaming. See how they “expire” after 2 days, or less, and require new purchases. The economics of this are *perfect* for the lazy, parasitic capitalist, who will use their expertise to design a bulletproof, self-sustaining wealth generation system of this kind if you allow it. Think about how this relates to real-world goods, materialism, over-consumption, and of course oligarchy and political consolidation that comes from wealth generation systems of these kind.

Ask yourself, is this a feature of a bug within capitalism? Are the other bugs features, too?

Published by milkman76

Father and husband, idealist, activist, argumentalist, masterdebtor, and all around swell guy. Also- likes to aim spotlights at piles of ideological bullshit, and taking a magnifying glass to the material conditions that caused our current capitalist hellscape.

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