Father Hires In-Game “Hitmen” To Deter Son From Playing (markets in everything)

Here is one way to boost the employment to population ratio, two birds with one stone you might say:

Feng’s 23 year-old son, “Xiao Feng” (小冯) started playing video games in high school. Through his years of playing various online games, he supposedly thought himself a master of Chinese online role playing games. According to his father, Xiao Feng had good grades in school, so they allowed him to play games; but when he couldn’t land a job they started looking into things. He, however, says he simply couldn’t find any work that he liked. Feng was annoyed that his son couldn’t even tough it out for three months at a software development company.

Unhappy with his son not finding a job, Feng decided to hire players in his son’s favorite online games to hunt down Xiao Feng. It is unknown where or how Feng found the in-game assassins—every one of the players he hired were stronger and higher leveled than Xiao Feng. Feng’s idea was that his son would get bored of playing games if he was killed every time he logged on, and that he would start putting more effort into getting a job.

The full story is here, and for the pointer I thank Michael Smiddy.


Wasn't there an episode of South Park about this?

Nope, that was about someone randomly griefing.

Thankfully, no one is going to be hiring any sort of hitmen in response to this recently recurring ad at Marginal Revolution -

'YAMIE CHESS was written by America's top math teachers and a US Chess Champion to help kids succeed in math class.

GLENN BECK sells Yamie Chess math games on THE BLAZE to support elementary and middle school education. Yamie Chess is backed by Harvard/MIT experts.'

Chess, the traditional Western kind, deserves more popularity. People cheer for some tall dude to drop a spheroid through a hoop --akin to me playing NERF basketball in my bedroom-- yet they could care less about the mental gymnastics a chess athlete has to perform. It's a crying shame that chess, like soccer in the USA, is only reserved for kiddies rather than adults. There should be enough societal support for a grown person to support themselves just by playing chess, complete with medical and dental plan. If it was so, Tyler Cowen might still be playing chess as part of some local team (obviously not at the international level, but at the very least at a regional level). And the world of economics would be poorer for it? But we chess fans would be in for a treat.

The 2,5 times per decade footie tourney was decided by non-soccer means. Get back with me when it isn't broken.

Chess is thriving pretty well in certain corners of the world.


Chess is like memorizing the digits of Pi; it used to be a neat trick until computers made it irrelevant. Why on earth are you wasting time on something a computer will always be better than you at?

With that attitude, I can't wait to see how you react when the sexbots arrive.

The son needs to create a new account and contacts his father about being an online in-game assassin. "Dad, I have a job!" Problem solved.

If this spreads, maybe the job of in-game assassin would suit young Feng more than software development? I'm sure that if not Chinese, South Korean parents represent big and untapped market. Spells away!

Remember, from TC's book "Average is Over", the economy of the future will comprise such oddball jobs, including (from TC's book): centaur hybrid-chess-human player, sycophant for the rich, team-oriented woman, and now, based on this example, virtual reality hitman. All the while "total welfare" is rising, no worries. Except for the total welfare rising part, it sounds like the Philippines. Here, the people are into appearances more than reality, and smoothing feathers. Get ready America for this brave new world. And you have nobody to blame but yourselves, due to your poor IP protection, as I have said before. Suck it up, content non-provider consumer slacker toads!

Wait, we install a bunch if IP frictions, then you Asians just use the patents to he'll reverse enginer them. Then what?

We already had examples of this with the Chinese gold farmer. Labor is so cheap that you can hire people to play the boring parts of games for them, harvesting virtual resources to sell. Most MMOs have put measures in place to make this unfeasible, but between this and arbitrage for parking spaces the economy of the future will be very wild indeed.


Feng had good grades in school, so they allowed him to play games

I rewarded my son for sitting in a desk and doing what he was told 8 hours a day for 16 years, then got mad because he wasn't an amibitious go-getter.

Justice Stevens said something like "I always told my children that if they work hard and do all their homework, one day they can be like me and do homework for a living."

+1. Keen observation. It took much of my life to realize that's what I'd become. I remember being a kid and just telling myself to study hard, get good grades, listen to what adults tell you to do, etc - it'll all work out. I'm reminded of the Mark Twain quote: “What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.”

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