Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hasbro Gaming On Credit Card Debt?

Boing Boing via The Consumerist levels this claim:

The Game of Life called Twists and Turns that will replace play money with a Visa-branded card. Matt Collins, Hasbro's vice president of marketing, said of the switch, "When we started to design a completely new edition of the popular game, we knew it was also time to reflect the way people choose to pay and be paid - and replacing cash with Visa was an obvious choice."

They also changed the goal of the game from accumulating the most money to earning the most "life points." Supposedly this a combination of wealth and life experiences, but it's not hard to see parallels between "life points" and the reward points and airlines miles offered by certain credit cards.
-- Debt: Hasbro And Visa Pervert LIFE Board Game To Train Children In Racking Up Credit Card Debt - Consumerist

Wait. Really? Can we check the math here?

Reward points are granted to you for spending money with a credit card. From my understanding of "life experiences" - that would be game events like getting married or making friends or taking a vacation. The only parrallel would be if you can't get married except by earning (spending) so many dollars on your fake Visa.

If you don't then the game is merely rewarding people for doing things in life other than accumulating money. It's setting up a dual point system where actually living your life has merit alongside earning money. I know that's a bizarre concept in American culture, but it is hardly evil. If anything it has made the game less orientated to being materialistic.

Course, I don't entirely disagree with Mr. Consumerist here. I think converting a credit card into a toy for kids is inherently a bad step. I just don't think it allows for open ended analogies to prove a point.

No comments: