Time, Commodification, and Videogames: a Comparative Study of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokémon Go
thesisposted on 2022-10-20, 19:17 authored by Alexander Ross
Time has played a crucial role in the development of the videogame industry, particularly how games are developed, distributed, marketed, and sold. This paper critically examines how time has been commodified in the “premium” and “freemium” variants of the videogame industry through a comparative analysis of two representative games — Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012-2013) and Pokémon Go (2016). It draws on a combination of critical political economy and textual analysis to demonstrate how the production, distribution, and consumption of these videogames is affected by how they commodify time. Time is money for the videogame industry and this has had a negative effect on digital play, by creating games that expect a significant investment of time and money for the player to fully enjoy their promised virtual rewards.