From SHilbert’s description of a talk at a game development conference:
Another interesting technique Last Day of Work has come up with is what they call “coercive conversion,” a process Arthur admits is somewhat “evil.” The general idea can be summed up in his example of a virtual pet game his company developed, in which it was free to raise and play with your virtual puppy character, but medication cost money — and the puppy was guaranteed to get sick within a few weeks, dying in 24 hours without medical attention. Despite angry letters from parents, the technique apparently works monetarily.
So their business model is to make kids cry? I wouldn’t call that “somewhat” evil — I mean, it’s not like shooting protesters or cutting infant nutrition aid in order to fund tax cuts for the rich, but it seems about as evil as you can get in game design. I’d say “without killing kittens,” but.
(via an unrelated post from Emily Short.)