“Main Objective: Don’t Starve”: Representations of Scarcity in Virtual Worlds


Although video games seem to be a product of a culture of abundance, they create challenges for their players by requiring them to negotiate conditions of lack. Recently, video games have revealed a trend towards portraying post-apocalyptic worlds in which scattered survivors have to scavenge for basic resources in barren environments and destroyed ecosystems. Like the hero of the novel Robinson Crusoe, players are faced with the task of rebuilding civilization using limited resources and their own ingenuity. This article argues that such games offer middle-class consumers a way to reflect on the anxieties and threats of capitalist society and revisit their perspectives on scarcity and abundance.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7146