Tuesday, January 16th 2018

Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare

An artificial intelligence (AI) will deliberately tamper with your online gameplay as you scramble for more in-game items to win. The same AI will manipulate your state of mind at every step of your game to guide you towards more micro-transactions. Nothing in-game is truly fixed-rate. The game maps out your home, and cross-references it with your online footprint, to have a socio-economic picture of you, so the best possible revenue model, and anti buyer's remorse strategy can be implemented on you. These, and more, are part of the dystopian nightmare that takes flight if a new AI-powered online game revenue model is implemented in MMO games of the near future.

The paper's slide-deck and signed papers (with corrections) were leaked to the web by an unknown source, with bits of information (names, brands) redacted. It has too much information to be dismissed off hand for being a prank. It proposes leveraging AI to gather and build a socio-economic profile of a player to implement the best revenue-generation strategy. It also proposes using an AI to consistently "alter" the player's gameplay, such that the player's actions don't have the desired result leading toward beating the game, but towards an "unfair" consequence that motivates more in-game spending. The presentation spans a little over 50 slides, and is rich in text that requires little further explanation.
The rest of the presentation follows.

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71 Comments on Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare

#1
Konceptz
"names redacted" lol thats an Anthem screenshot.
Posted on Reply
#3
TheinsanegamerN
RCoon said:
I'm guessing people glossed over the images entirely. I for one read each and every one. The ones of most concern are the fact that the AI can discern whether a subject is female or not, and then subsequently learn their menstrual cycle based on the language they used throughout the month and then tailors that users experience in order to sell them more crap during that cycle. Also the use of wireless waves and telemetry to build a 3D map of the users entire surroundings aka their freaking house.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. This is too far.
I'm curious how this works. Is it pulling this from a console/PC's WIFI chip? Does all this require hardware other then the initial computer? The fact these games are figuring out people's personal lives is just.....sickening. It's freaking me out. And people will willingly purchase this, or unwillingly, because you KNOW they will never disclose any of this.

This is also why I am done with modern gaming. These pushes for intense monitization of every part of a game is ruining the industry. Once all the dedicated gamers stop buying this trash, it will only take a single misstep for us to be back in 1983 all over again.
Posted on Reply
#4
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
TheinsanegamerN said:
I'm curious how this works. Is it pulling this from a console/PC's WIFI chip? Does all this require hardware other then the initial computer? The fact these games are figuring out people's personal lives is just.....sickening. It's freaking me out. And people will willingly purchase this, or unwillingly, because you KNOW they will never disclose any of this.

This is also why I am done with modern gaming. These pushes for intense monitization of every part of a game is ruining the industry. Once all the dedicated gamers stop buying this trash, it will only take a single misstep for us to be back in 1983 all over again.
The use case is mobile phones, and yes, they're able to acces the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth radio etc in order to do said mapping. They're also using the sensors to detect the phones elevation to map out chairs/floors etc.
Posted on Reply
#5
Katanai
Parts of this are already implemented in "f2p" games. I will give you just one example: If you don't play dota 2 for a long time when you come back to it, after the first match you will "win" an item. If you play normally getting an item is very rare and far between but it happens each time after a long break. This is just a small example how the reward system is being manipulated for a specific goal: to make a player come back to the game. Now, if this happens in this instance then who knows what else is being done behind the scenes for similar purposes? So the article here presents maybe an extreme case but parts of it are already true...
Posted on Reply
#6
yogurt_21
Graphics cards prices through the roof, games trying to manipulate and spy on you, Memory prices up, massive exploits in the cpu microcode...

what a great year for gaming this is going to be:shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#7
bug
yogurt_21 said:
Graphics cards prices through the roof, games trying to manipulate and spy on you, Memory prices up, massive exploits in the cpu microcode...

what a great year for gaming this is going to be:shadedshu:
It's almost as if someone's trying to herd us towards consoles which are closed system by design ;)
Posted on Reply
#8
Steevo
R-T-B said:
It was only a matter of time before "telemetry" met "free to play," and had this as its baby.
I love the use of words to obfuscate the meaning as if no one will understand the simple fact, that if you aren't (and sometimes are) paying you aren't the customer, you are the product. Facebook, and almost all other "free" or "freemium" apps are underhandedly this way. I got my woman an Ipad and she is playing sims on it, but apparently you can't play without an internet connection, which is wierd since once you start you can shut down the connection and it still works fine, and all the rendering and calculations are taking place client side, so the server side is just to log data.
Posted on Reply
#9
rruff
RCoon said:
I don't want to live on this planet anymore. This is too far.
Me neither. And this is not just games, and it isn't just product marketing. All electronic traffic is being mined and analyzed. If anyone is surprised by how much info can be gleamed from how you play a game, imagine what can be learned from your Facebook activity, internet searches/posting/buying, cell activity, etc.

It isn't just for sales. It's knowing exactly what button to push to get you to respond in the desired fashion. That's power, baby!

_JP_ said:
AI is as smart as the ones coding it, so there will always be a way around.
Not so. On narrowly defined tasks, AI has been smarter than humans for decades. Soon they will be smarter at everything.
Posted on Reply
#10
HTC
lexluthermiester said:
This has been going on for years. And people wonder why I rarely play games online anymore. When Blizzard's servers screwed up and borked over a ton of players in 2013, myself included, and then refused to set things right, I stopped playing online completely. Eff that. I play games to relax and enjoy, not to be frustrated, irritated and cheated.
You're referring to the time when they changed the server the chars belonged to, right? I was affected by that as well, with my Wizard suddenly belonging to the America's server ...

Then they screwed me over again, back in 2016, when they banned me permanently, accusing me of using "automated programs". 1st they tell me to check my PC for viruses but then deny me the chance to try to clear my name, and i won't stand for that, so i banned them: destroyed every single Bizzard title i had, including the authenticator.

Then, a few months later, they had the gall to email me about a new game they were launching ... so i said "what was on my mind" and told them never to contact me again!
Posted on Reply
#11
Gasaraki
bug said:
That's why we have governments in place. They're supposed to set to rules of the game (and, very important, stay out of the game itself). So the next time you think you have a problem with capitalism, maybe you should look at your government first.
This stops working when corporations are considered "people" and have the same rights as a living person. They also have unlimited resources to bribe politicians and have lobbyists working with government.

How can the government function when people vote in politicians that are systematically weakening the government from within. For example the FCC just disbanded Net Neutrality but they also neutered themselves by saying they can't regulate this anymore. It's scorched earth policy.
Posted on Reply
#12
Totally
bug said:
Well, this is messed up, for sure. But games that adjust difficulty based on how you play aren't really new.
Really diffuclty that changes on based how much you spend with where you live and how much you make factored in that amount?
Posted on Reply
#13
bug
Gasaraki said:
This stops working when corporations are considered "people" and have the same rights as a living person. They also have unlimited resources to bribe politicians and have lobbyists working with government.

How can the government function when people vote in politicians that are systematically weakening the government from within. For example the FCC just disbanded Net Neutrality but they also neutered themselves by saying they can't regulate this anymore. It's scorched earth policy.
System can be gamed. What else is new?
Totally said:
Really diffuclty that changes on based how much you spend with where you live and how much you make factored in that amount?
I'm not sure what's used in the backend (hint: that's why the push for MMOs - data can be safely mined on the server and the user can do little about it), but as I said, games adjusting to the player are nothing new. Hell, even irl team lineups are determined by the opponent's lineup, so video games didn't even invent this.
Posted on Reply
#14
skates
Katanai said:
Parts of this are already implemented in "f2p" games. I will give you just one example: If you don't play dota 2 for a long time when you come back to it, after the first match you will "win" an item. If you play normally getting an item is very rare and far between but it happens each time after a long break. This is just a small example how the reward system is being manipulated for a specific goal: to make a player come back to the game. Now, if this happens in this instance then who knows what else is being done behind the scenes for similar purposes? So the article here presents maybe an extreme case but parts of it are already true...
I agree. You don't need AI to get the same results when you can manipulate RNG based on user analytics like last logon and in-game data. You can get the same results of pushing a player to purchase more if they have a good K/D and tend to utilize micro transactions. In this case it's a simple matter of putting that player on losing teams.

I played world of tanks, a F2P game for quite a while when it launched. It was uncanny how you could play all night and lose nearly every game, then if you took a break for a few days you could win nearly every game. Since they rely on people buying premium tanks or gold to help grind faster, I always felt they pushed you down a road of misery and frustration until you gave in and bought some gold. One thing was for sure, once you bought a premium tank, the next couple of days using it was glorious, then slowly but surly it felt like every shot thereafter was a miss or bounce.

Same thing.
Posted on Reply
#15
GoldenX
skates said:
I agree. You don't need AI to get the same results when you can manipulate RNG based on user analytics like last logon and in-game data. You can get the same results of pushing a player to purchase more if they have a good K/D and tend to utilize micro transactions. In this case it's a simple matter of putting that player on losing teams.

I played world of tanks, a F2P game for quite a while when it launched. It was uncanny how you could play all night and lose nearly every game, then if you took a break for a few days you could win nearly every game. Since they rely on people buying premium tanks or gold to help grind faster, I always felt they pushed you down a road of misery and frustration until you gave in and bought some gold. One thing was for sure, once you bought a premium tank, the next couple of days using it was glorious, then slowly but surly it felt like every shot thereafter was a miss or bounce.

Same thing.
Play something more realistic like War Thunder, the only premium advantage is faster grinding, only "needed" for the last tanks/planes.
Posted on Reply
#16
skates
GoldenX said:
Play something more realistic like War Thunder, the only premium advantage is faster grinding, only "needed" for the last tanks/planes.
Yeah, I should pick that up. I played it briefly, but at that time they didn't have tanks, just the planes.
Posted on Reply
#17
xkm1948
This is really nothing comparing to the subtle influnce done by all major search engines / social media groups / MSM outlets. A small set of people controling the majority of population, while makes the majority feels like they have a say in it is the most successful form of absolute control. The illusion of choices is enough to persuade people to accept this dystopian situation.
Posted on Reply
#18
GoldenX
Orwell and Huxley would be proud.
Posted on Reply
#19
DimBo
GoldenX said:
Play something more realistic like War Thunder, the only premium advantage is faster grinding, only "needed" for the last tanks/planes.
Just wanted say a couple of things about WarThunder specifically (I played WT for several years mostly because my friends are addicted to this sh*t and can't pull them out of it) :
1) It is not realistic at all.
2) Playing at high tiers is pay-to-win. If you won't spend A LOT of money on crews and modules you're going to be an easy kill for those who do.
3) I strongly suspect that WT already has a system like the one described in the slides (albeit more primitive). Their CEO himself confessed that they have means to adjust ricochet and critical hit probabilities per player account.
To put it briefly: stay away from WarThunder - it is the same crap as the other F2P games.
Posted on Reply
#20
Prince Valiant
dj-electric said:
.....

UT99 anyone?
:fear:
I still play '04 regularly :D. Don't have to worry about garbage like this :cool:.
Posted on Reply
#21
GoldenX
DimBo said:
Just wanted say a couple of things about WarThunder specifically (I played WT for several years mostly because my friends are addicted to this sh*t and can't pull them out of it) :
1) It is not realistic at all.
2) Playing at high tiers is pay-to-win. If you won't spend A LOT of money on crews and modules you're going to be an easy kill for those who do.
3) I strongly suspect that WT already has a system like the one described in the slides (albeit more primitive). Their CEO himself confessed that they have means to adjust ricochet and critical hit probabilities per player account.
To put it briefly: stay away from WarThunder - it is the same crap as the other F2P games.
As I usually just play Japanese planes, I don't get those problems (you don't BnZ or head-on with a Zero, so hitting critical components is less important), but those are really valid points. Can't testify for the Pay to Win, as a jap pilot, I'm always at a disadvantage.

Maybe we should just go back to the olde CS days.
Posted on Reply
#22
Divide Overflow
So we're actively teaching AIs to enslave us?
What won't humans do for a quick buck! :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#23
BiggieShady
Divide Overflow said:
So we're actively teaching AIs to enslave us?
What won't humans do for a quick buck! :shadedshu:
Yes ... and the quick buck here is in detecting big spenders ... mapping the house to see how much space there is, detecting the squeaking of the chair to detect income level (non squeaky chair is an expensive chair) ... next it'll be voice recognition trying to catch you speaking about your paycheck
Posted on Reply
#24
GoldenX
BiggieShady said:
Yes ... and the quick buck here is in detecting big spenders ... mapping the house to see how much space there is, detecting the squeaking of the chair to detect income level (non squeaky chair is an expensive chair) ... next it'll be voice recognition trying to catch you speaking about your paycheck
My chair is VERY squeaky, and I have never spend a single penny on micro-transactions or DLC, or legal purch... ejem. Do I qualify?
Posted on Reply
#25
BiggieShady
GoldenX said:
My chair is VERY squeaky, and I have never spend a single penny on micro-transactions or DLC, or legal purch... ejem. Do I qualify?
Sure, you qualify for an endless grind in pve and being a cannon fodder for pay2winners in pvp ...
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