The discreet charm of scarcity gaming

“Equilibrium with the environment, even dynamic equilibrium, is nigh impossible to achieve. Develop a large enough town to build a town hall, and you can gain access to statistics and graphs that show your settlement’s slow accretion and periodic massive shocks. It is striking how closely these resemble the infamous chart from the Club of Rome report The Limits to Growth (1972): output and population accelerate, peak, and abruptly collapse. That chart still hangs over our civilisation, part-warning, part-prophecy: with one side of politics preaching economic ruin and the other environmental ruin, it is hardly surprising that a taste for austerity has crept into playtime.”

—Will Wiles, “Hunger Games”


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