Shit Crayons

Ian Bogost makes a scathing critique of social games:

Several years ago, Chaim Gingold gave us the useful concept of the Magic Crayon. A magic crayon is a tool that facilitates creativity in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. A magic crayon lets its users breathe life into things.

Some would like to think that all crayons are magic ones. That just any old thing can conjure. But that’s not true. The magic crayon has a shadow side.

Some barriers are benign, but others are insidious…

Inspirations like that are not magic crayons, but shit crayons…

Even if creativity comes from constraint, there’s constraint and there’s incarceration. A despot in a sorcerer’s hat does not deserve praise for inciting desperate resilience.