Despite living in one of the wealthiest and most advanced socieities in history, Americans know very little about themselves and the rest of the world.
Mike Warnke was a con artist. He traveled the country for years, packing the pews of evangelical churches with his message of salvation from Satan, selling thousands of books and records while hauling in millions in donations for the children he had supposedly rescued from the clutches of Satan-worshipping abusers.
But that huge eager audience he tapped into is still there. The fascination or temptation or corruption that made so many evangelicals so enthusiastically gullible, so willing and eager to believe stories of imaginary monsters, is just as pervasive and popular as it was in Warnke’s heyday.
That demand-side aspect of the story is a much stranger phenomenon than the supply-side con game Mike Warnke was running. It’s not hard to understand what he was after or what he gained from selling his lies. He got rich and famous and lived the life of a rock star.
But what did his audience gain? What were they chasing after in choosing to believe his unbelievable and implausible tales?
Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will try to block certain online games after midnight
I think one of the rather unique features of video gaming as compared to pre-tech ways of spending one’s free time are that it is not predominantly done by the rich (e.g. Victorian fox hunting, world travel) and beyond that is actually amazingly cheap (compared to gambling, prostitutes, or going to a bar even just once a week) at only a few hundred dollars a year (including depreciation of the computer, electricity, internet access, and game access).
Some other interesting aspects include the number of man hours being sunk into video games, the addictive aspect of modern games built with external reward systems and psychology in hand, and the social aspect of modern gaming communities on the internet.
There’s an easy way to determine if something is a scam or not. For any particular offer, ask yourself if anyone would buy the product or service if the terms were clearly spelled out for them, and they weren’t being bribed with in-game currency. The answer for many of these is a resounding “no.”