A Special Radio Transmission: Steam and the Value of Videogames

It’s been awhile, but I’m pleased to present to you episode 6 of the Sufficiently Human Podcast!

In this episode, we have with us special guest Austin Walker, a PhD candidate in Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario and formidable freelance games critic. Using the Steam Holiday Auction as a springboard, Walker joins us to talk about the devaluation of the labour cost of games and other digital creative work in the Web 2.0 era, how platform holders obscure exploitation with freebies and “pro-consumer” rhetoric, and what it means to participate in the exchange of capital when people no longer have any money. We also ask what can be done, exploring a few potential approaches to online distribution, community-building, and wealth creation that may be turned into viable alternatives to the processes of contemporary capitalism. 

Please check out Austin’s writing at Paste and his blog, Clockwork Worlds, and be sure to support his Patreon if you can!

Extra Reading: 

  • The Bank of Gaben by Colin Bayer
  • Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey
  • How to Cut Food from Your Indie Game Budget by Dylan Jones
  • Mountain Could Be A $1 Joke, and I Think I’m the Butt by Ben Kuchera

The music for this episode was Frettchenjazzmusik by Armeline Zobelpelz off their album, Hodge Podge. You can check out (and purchase!) more of their music on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.