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Comment Car dealerships have a legal monopoly (Score 1) 160

Has anyone ever wondered why we buy cars the way we do? If you wanted to buy a banana, you wouldn't go to a banana store. You would go to a grocery store and pick from a multitude of different fruits. Yet with (new) cars, there is no grocery store equivalent. Why is that? Well the reason is that in all 50 states dealerships have established a legal monopoly which basically prohibits this.

Planet Money did a podcast on this very issue.

Comment Re:EA and Bioware (Score 2) 106

I'm not defending the ending. I only brought it up as an example of what can happen when fans are led to believe that they have an influence on what happens in a story. Leigh Alexander wrote this over at Gamasutra and I believe it:

"One of my friends thought the name of the fan petition, "Retake Mass Effect," (a subversion of the game's own "Retake the Earth" marketing tagline) was particularly interesting -- "as if it ever belonged to them," he reflected. But if games really are the owned vision of a team of creators, then BioWare's first mistake was committing so fully to the fiction that it did.

If you promise your players agency and involvement, they are going to take it seriously. If you use every trick in your repertoire to immerse and engage, to create a sense of ownership, it seems you will need to consider the implications of those promises beyond how much downloadable content you can sell. "


Comment Re:Some people (Score 3, Informative) 109

"However, unlike with Office, Windows licensing has been heavily scrutinized ever since the Consent Decree Microsoft signed with the Department of Justice, so it just isn’t possible for Microsoft to cut special deals without getting into legal hot water."

According to this article over at ExtremeTech, Microsoft isn't allowed to have separate licensing deals for Windows.

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