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Exceeding the debt limit does not mean default. It means that all further spending immediately gets reduced to the level of tax revenue; implying a 30% drop in spending.
It is up to the treasury to prioritize where the cash on hand goes.
They say they have neither the technical ability (the software can't handle the use case) nor the legal authority to prioritize payments (a de facto line item veto). They might just be lying to us, but if you believe they are capable of that, you also believe they totally would default just to prove a point.
Besides, if the government is going to pay you in a couple weeks, we swear, that would be a debt. It has just been shifted away from the people who want to lend us money voluntarily.
But printing money was one of the possible outcomes of hitting the debt ceiling. Both the Fed and the Secretary of the Treasury have the legal authority to declare that they are covering the deficit by creating money rather than borrowing it, and they may well have done so. It wouldn't have been great monetary policy, but there is a reasonable argument that it's better than default.
*shakes his cane the newbs*
If it's the latter then that's a good example of what I was suggesting, but I think it's more likely the former. Effectively, had these people been given the choice of say, NWN or this they'd almost certainly have gone with NWN. His sales are likely based on people who are not much in to gaming accidently stumbling across his site, not realising there is anything better out there or previous customers who found his products in this manner etc.
I think you're entirely wrong in this characterization of Spidweb's audience. They've been around a long time and has cultivated a devoted following that actually wants tile- and turn-based RPGs. I'd be very surprised if they didn't make up the majority of Geneforge 4's paying customers. I doubt he gets very many first-time buyers on any particular title. Perhaps he'll provide these numbers in the followup he mentioned in the blog.
That audience includes me, by the way. I lost interest in Baldur's Gate 2 very early, and have never played Neverwinter Nights, but I have bought half a dozen Spiderweb games going back many years.