I was debating with myself whether it is worth getting into this argument as I ultimately don’t think the sealed video-game speculator’s market is a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I do take some issue with the framing that Frank used in the episode and that Goonbag is using here. This is with all due respect to both, so please don’t take it the wrong way, but I feel like maybe there is some confirmation bias in play in the way you perceived the video?
I understand that there are a lot of gamers who like to gatekeep and whom, although often angry at aspects of the gaming industry never blames capitalism but rather the “bad” capitalists. However, the impression I got from the video was not really that the thesis being put forward is “Market manipulation and price fixing is a unique terrible thing being done to games and poor gamers”, in fact a big part of the video (whatever you may think about the evidence presented) was comparing it with a similar speculative bubble in the coin collectors market. Yes, the video didn’t explicitly state that market manipulation and insider trading is an inevitable consequence of capitalism and the creator may not believe it to be, but I would hardly call believing in well-regulated capitalism a reactionary position as it is the default position of the majority of people (at least in much of the world, there are exceptions), even if I personally think it is short-sighted. The video simply treats it like a speculative bubble which is being (supposedly) pushed by some degree of market manipulation, same as any other bubble.
I take particular issue with the comparison of people being uncomfortable with rich people entering a market for the purpose of asset speculation with white nationalists. This has some weird “socialists are just racist against rich people” vibe, although I am sure that this is not what was meant as Frank has clearly stated his opinion on capitalism many times. But nonetheless that’s how the statement came off to me. Similarly the idea that just because some people are concerned about collusion this automatically makes it gamergatey is strange, gamergaters were (and are) bad for many reasons including targeted harassment, reactionay bullshit and yes also some basic misunderstandings of what counts as collusion. But this doesn’t mean that collusion is never bad, particularly in financial matters.
With the information revealed above about Karl Jobst’s past I am of course slightly more sympathetic to your view, although to be clear as far as I can tell from a bit of internet-sleuthing there is no damning evidence that he is currently alt-right and he doesn’t seem to be promoting alt-right ideas or people, but some of his past behavior is in the shady category as far as I can tell (particularly people he associated with). However I may have overlooked something, I have no interest in defending him and if he still has any sympathies for the alt-right, fuck him. The above statements are just about how I perceived the framing of this particular video as someone who had no idea who the guy was.
While I disagree somewhat with the opinions presented, I do appreciate the vigilance in looking for right-wing narratives and who knows, maybe you are more correct than me. So again, please don’t take this comment the wrong way goonbag .
Finally, I do agree with Frank that the sealed copy speculative asset bubble probably has very little effect on the used game market in general. The fact that it is so clearly speculative and driven by a bunch of rich and semi-rich people looking to make a buck and that is is so clearly separated from the normal market makes it unlikely that it has a large effect. Also, compared to large-scale stock-market manipulation where the fallout of bubbles can effect the whole economy negatively, it is certainly preferable that people play their games in collector’s markets, where the fallout of a burst bubble is relatively contained. I still don’t think it’s a good thing though and I am also not naive enough to think that both things aren’t happening, anyways. I think the game collectors market is mostly attractive to the moderately rich and hustlers so there may not even be much overlap with organizations that engage in the more dangerous forms of market manipulation and speculation.
Also, note that even if everything is done legally and with no illegal market manipulation whatsoever, speculative bubbles happen all the time and the stock market is fundamentally unstable in its current form (many other markets are as well, but the stock market is by far the worst). In that sense I agree that just focusing on the bad actors is not enough, the system itself even when it runs as intended leads to bad outcomes.