On Friday Tycho of Penny Arcade veered into…

On Friday, Tycho of Penny Arcade veered into discussion of parenting, and how he deals with his kid wanting to play freemium, micro-transactional games:

Games of this kind really know how to get their barbs in; my male heir has suffered under their yoke, but I have endeavored to create a buffer. His access to the App Store is gated off by a truly Byzantine, deeply manipulative, and wholly imaginary economy based on “stars” which can be redeemed for things he wants at rates which are constantly in flux. Sometimes he owes us stars. I’m trying to simulate the crushing uncertainties of a capricious universe, and he’s haunted by it. It’s working.

As I remember it, the fiat currency of my childhood was buttons. I dimly recall a posted sheet with the pegged commodities value of the currency, although how I earned them or spent them, I can’t recall.