There’s a nesting doll quality to many of the game’s recipes. Early on, for example, I had to build and charge my ship’s Hyperdrive. That required me to scour planetary surfaces for heridium, in addition to obtaining or crafting some antimatter. The recipe for antimatter calls for another craftable ingredient, electron vapor, whose recipe calls for yet another craftable ingredient, suspension fluid. It’s crafting all the way down. The reward for gathering and combining all of this interstellar stuff is a trip to another star system … where you can begin the process of exploring and crafting all over again, before moving on to the next sun and its planets to do the same. In some cases, you can obtain ingredients through trading, or via the whims of inscrutable aliens, but the objective, always, is to craft more so you can explore more, in an endless, monotonous loop of non-achievement.

— No Man’s Sky is an existential crisis simulator disguised as a space exploration game – Peter Suderman. I would love to read a good historical account of how video games developed this quirk: demanding that players perform tedious repetitive tasks in order to level up – tasks so tedious that many players pay others to perform them. According to what logic does this make sense?

In 2005, The Lancet published a comprehensive review of the literature on media violence to date. The bottom line: The weight of the studies supports the position that exposure to media violence leads to aggression, desensitization toward violence and lack of sympathy for victims of violence, particularly in children.

In fact the surgeon general, the National Institute of Mental Health and multiple professional organizations — including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association — all consider media violence exposure a risk factor for actual violence.

To be fair, some question whether the correlations are significant enough to justify considering media violence a substantial public health issue. And violent behavior is a complex issue with a host of other risk factors.

But although exposure to violent media isn’t the only or even the strongest risk factor for violence, it’s more easily modified than other risk factors (like being male or having a low socioeconomic status or low I.Q.).