cell phone user and bikeYour Money or Your Life!”

– Game Show Host
(Time Bandits, 1981)

What a shocking and horrible game show to play for your money or your mortality! It’s so absurd don’t you wonder who would dream up such nonsense and what kind of people would watch that kind of nonsense and be entertained? Yet the scene and show take place in a fictional comedy adventure, so you suspend disbelief for the sake of the entertainment ride of the movie.

Yet I wonder… how absurd is it really?

I have a video game on my cell phone that’s a type of world-building game. It’s bright, colourful, has entertaining animations. Upon completing quests and levelling up, I am treated to new characters and new animations – virtual prizes. There are many such games available for phone, tablet or PC, and you’ve probably played at least one. Ever notice how we are often presented with two choices?

Choice #1: spend real money to buy virtual hearts or stars or gems or whatever to speed up quests and advance to the virtual prize as soon as possible; or

Choice #2: trigger the quest and wait for it in real time for free to earn the virtual prize (noting that the more you play the game and higher level you are, the quest duration extends from a seconds to minutes to hours to days and on and on).

So, when you think about it, the choices are: (1) Your Money or (2) Your Life.

That game show on Time Bandits isn’t so absurd after all, is it?

Cheers & wise spending to you,


Deborah (Deb) Patz is the author of Write! Shoot! Edit! for teens and Film Production Management 101 for the industry – both books are published worldwide by MWP. She’s also part of the editorial board for Prism International. She’s thinking twice about that game on her smartphone.

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
Sat.Feb.17 – Author Participant – Digital Media Youth Expo, North Vancouver, BC
Mar.26-28 – Instructor – Write! Shoot! Edit! Screenwriting Workshop for Teens – VPL
Aug/2018 – UFVA Conference – New Mexico

Paperback or eBook: AmazonBarnes & NobleChapters/Indigo, direct from the publisher, and plenty of other great bookstores worldwide.