The book sustains the argument that agency and self-interest informed producerist Methodism, not social control by elites, nor a "bottom up manifestation of collective lobotomization
" (15), nor "pious docility, otherworldly transcendence, or feminized obedience" (44).
His lengthy explanations of programming procedures elevate the game's premises to philosophical categories, for instance, in his chapter "The Wonderful World of Insurgency." Most revealing are his confessions about axing earlier features of the game to make it "accessible." At every turn he talks about "painful" deletions: eliminating trade options, the "lobotomization
" of minor countries, concessions made--to whom?