Over on ihobo today, the first of a short serial looking at the game design lineages of money and shops – or rather, looking at what this research method reveals about shopping in videogames. Here’s an extract:
The two key lineages in the early days of videogames are the arcade games and the descendants of TSR’s hugely influential Dungeons & Dragons. The player practices of the arcade, however, being based around fast-paced play that ended suddenly to encourage further coin drops, rarely involved shopping – although Atari’s 1986 top-down racer Super Sprint is a notable exception. Tracing the lineages of money and shops in games always suffers from the general problem that the imaginative practices of money are something we are all embedded within every day, and thus game shops could appear anywhere, in any kind of game, with no clear inﬂuence of a preceding game. Nonetheless, even with game money and shops, the conservation of player practices remains the norm, even if our everyday money is not considered a game (which could certainly be argued).