How to exploit idiots…
There was a big commotion today, as a Flash Developer made a post about how best to exploit game artists. You can dress it up any way you want, but that was what the post was about. How to get the best art, for the cheapest price, through various sneaky methods (Keep them in the dark, force them to make the first offer etc…). It was so morally fetid, that I originally thought it was a hoax. Honestly, I don’t think he expected it to strike quite as loud a chord as it did with the artist community (Well, a lot of the dev community, to be honest).
But when it did, and he started receiving hate mail and even death threats, surely he would pull the post and admit that it was a very badly judged piece? Well… no. Instead, the post is still there in it’s original form, along with a very frank and, admittedly, pretty reasoned response, in which he tries to argue that you should ‘blame the game, capitalism, not the players’
He’s effectively saying “It’s sad that people can exploit other people… but they can, so I’m going to. HA!” And he expects that to be the end of it? That’s obviously going to piss people off even more! Sadly, the comments thread has now become even more offensive than the original post ever was. Surely nobody would want such a string of abuse on their website?
Here’s why he’s doing it…
By making a big deal out of it, the people posting are in fact making him an absolute mint. He gets paid by the click! It’s no surprise that he’s even provided them with his username, which links directly back to his games. By goading them on, and encouraging them to continue to post, he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Perhaps calling everyone who falls for this an ‘idiot’ is a bit harsh, although when I read some of the comments, it was the first word that sprung to mind. What he’s really taking advantage of is their passion. I’m not saying you have to like it. The biggest winners in capitalism are the ones who don’t mind looking like total arseholes. In those terms, this guy is a real winner, hats off to him!
What’s really missing in all this is an equivalent guide for artists to make sure they get properly paid for the work they do, and aren’t taken for a ride. Anyone care to write one of those?