Not to sound mean but....

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Flecko 101 Dec 09, 2006 at 01:11

Don’t take this the wrong way. I love devmaster. Its a great site. But why is it that the news page ONLY has the same news as gamedev.net?

I mean, gamedev.net has been around a lot longer than devmaster. The devmaster forums are a MUCH nicer place to visit, and the devmaster site isn’t just a hole for advertising…so what gives? There is a lot of game development news going on out there…but the news page here seems to just echo what gamedev.net posts.

It doesn’t hurt the this site to mirror what gamedev.net has, news-wise, but I’d love to see some additional news items.

Thankyou, and keep up the good work everyone!
-Flecko

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fireside 141 Oct 18, 2008 at 17:43

Hope this helps and wish you will like it. By the way, we are a professional wow gold online store have been created for many years, we supply cheap wow gold for local customers.

I would hope people seek professional help with their problem before doing something as stupid as buying imaginary gold. Do you get paid to spam boards like this? How in the world can there be so many people stupid enough to buy imaginary gold to pay your wages? Have we dropped that far as a society?

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Nick 102 Oct 18, 2008 at 22:15

@fireside

I would hope people seek professional help with their problem before doing something as stupid as buying imaginary gold. Do you get paid to spam boards like this? How in the world can there be so many people stupid enough to buy imaginary gold to pay your wages? Have we dropped that far as a society?

Good luck arguing with a bot. :sleeping:

Anyway, aside from the fact that this is clearly spam, buying imaginary things for real money isn’t that stupid. Why pay for a video game in the first place if it’s mainly going to waste some of your time by projecting interactive images? Right, because it also provides some enjoyment. Buying extra gold for WoW is exactly the same thing. If people are willing to spend hard-earned money for more gaming fun then I don’t see much wrong with that per se.

Just because you can’t touch it doesn’t mean it’s imaginary. The feeling it provides is real for the person buying it. And things you do can touch aren’t necessarily real. Why pay for a nicer looking car when there are less expensive but uglier ones that can get you from A to B just a well? Is your money even real? It’s pieces of paper with numbers on it or even just a number your bank keeps track of.

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fireside 141 Oct 19, 2008 at 00:00

Good luck arguing with a bot.

Had to get it out of my system.

Buying extra gold for WoW is exactly the same thing.

Not really, no. You are actually losing play value by buying the gold, plus you are showing what a complete idiot you are if you do something that stupid. It’s not at all the same thing as buying a game. The game is giving you a challenge, the gold is escaping the challenge that you paid for when you bought the game by paying some addict to do the game play for you. A loser paying a different type of loser. Both need to find a life. Although, you have to give a little credit to the guy selling the gold, but that’s why you get spam like this. They stop at nothing, but it’s the moron buying the gold causing the trouble. It’s like that saying, a fool and his money are soon parted. Arguing with a bot is completely different, btw. Someone told me they actually pay people to get past the people checker, but looking at it, it does appear to be a bot. Don’t they use those number things, or don’t those work anymore?
Anyway, if you buy gold you are a complete honking idiot causing all this spam and short changing your game play.

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Nick 102 Oct 19, 2008 at 00:54

@fireside

You are actually losing play value by buying the gold…

Not necessarily. Saving up gold for a certain object/capability can get pretty boring at times. Personally I don’t see any “play value” in farming. I rather go on another quest and I certainly don’t encourage just buying the gold, but I can definitely understand that some people just want the bling and not the journey that leads to it.

People certainly have to make an educated choice. But if they got what they paid for then I don’t see the issue.

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fireside 141 Oct 19, 2008 at 02:04

People certainly have to make an educated choice. But if they got what they paid for then I don’t see the issue.

I think people are starting to lose the difference between the imaginary worlds of MMO’s and reality. Take the people that come here and decide they are going to write an MMO without knowing anything about programming, modeling, or sometimes even having decent communication skills. Buying gold like this is just another example. People really can’t have that much extra cash lying around. There is a negative savings rate going on in the U.S. Most of us are actually spending more than we are taking in.

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starstutter 101 Oct 19, 2008 at 03:10
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_oisyn 101 Oct 20, 2008 at 17:13

@Nick

Good luck arguing with a bot. :sleeping:

Anyway, aside from the fact that this is clearly spam, buying imaginary things for real money isn’t that stupid. Why pay for a video game in the first place if it’s mainly going to waste some of your time by projecting interactive images? Right, because it also provides some enjoyment. Buying extra gold for WoW is exactly the same thing. If people are willing to spend hard-earned money for more gaming fun then I don’t see much wrong with that per se.

Just because you can’t touch it doesn’t mean it’s imaginary. The feeling it provides is real for the person buying it. And things you do can touch aren’t necessarily real. Why pay for a nicer looking car when there are less expensive but uglier ones that can get you from A to B just a well? Is your money even real? It’s pieces of paper with numbers on it or even just a number your bank keeps track of.

How true that might be, it fails to meet common economy criteria. We trade things for other things. Whether that is 12 eggs and pig against a cow, or $15 to see a movie, the thing that you are trading against is not free, so aside from profit you also pay for the other party’s cost. We do buy videogames for enjoyment, but the amount we need to pay depends on two things: the cost for making a game and how much we are willing to spend. Creating and distributing a game ain’t free, so it’s all fair that you have to pay for it.

Which brings us to the gold in WoW. It doesn’t cost anything. It has zero value. It can be created with a click of a button in unlimited amounts. Of course, you could argue that it isn’t really the gold itself you are buying - you are merely exchanging your money for another currency, one you can use to buy other stuff in WoW (further referred to as “content”). Content has to be made by the Blizzard folk, so things do have a cost. HOWEVER, you are not paying Blizzard for the gold. You pay Blizzard with your WoW subscription, which they use to create the content. You do not have to pay anything else to anyone in order to get that content. What you do when you are buying gold is paying other people who have invested time to gather the gold for you. Now you could see that as a service worth paying for, but that brings me back to my first point: gold has no value! It merely allows to you use what you have already payed for with your WoW subscription.

Now, if Blizzard chooses to get in on those shady deals they can make a lot of money. Because they do have the magic “generate a gazillion gold” button right under their fingertips. The Wow economy would crash instantly, because it is based on absolutely nothing of value. An internet bubble, if you will. A decent economy in general disallows you to create money out of nothing (well, ok, the latest stock crashes might suggest otherwise :)), but that’s not true for WoW. They literally create gold out of nothing. And I, for one, will never subject to a virtual economy based on nothing and without any strong and enforced rules. :)

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Nick 102 Oct 20, 2008 at 19:33

@.oisyn

They literally create gold out of nothing.

Wrong. It costs months of farming to get a pile of gold. So in exchange for the gaming fun of spending that gold why would it be wrong to pay the farmer who put his precious time into it?

Yes, Blizzard holds the ‘gazillion gold button’ at its fingertips, but this is no different from the real world. The money you pay for food, clothes and a roof is worth nothing without everybody agreeing upon its value. It represents the work you had to do to make that money. You’re trading with virtual value every single day. And to get back to blizzard, if they ever pushed that button the entire World of Warcraft would collapse, making people emigrate to other MMO games. In the real world there are also a few people with the power to just make more money, but the value (which is entirely virtual) would drop so low that they’d be stupid to do that. And the reason it drops in value is simple because people no longer agree upon a higher value.

So I can see no fundamental wrong with buying WoW gold from an honest farmer. If the buyer agrees upon the ratio between the real money (or actuall his labour to earn it) and the pleasure he’ll get from the WoW gold (or actually the work put into obtaining it), who is to say that this is a bad thing?

I’m sure that the first paper bills also caused lots of confusion and discussion, but today I don’t have to explain to you that it drives the economy even though it’s a piece of paper. So I have little doubt that we’ll be seeing more types of ‘virtual’ currency in the future, that is very real to the ones using it…

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JarkkoL 102 Oct 20, 2008 at 20:04

There has been multiple occurancies of hyperinflation even in the real world.

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Reedbeta 168 Oct 20, 2008 at 20:09

@.oisyn

It has zero value. It can be created with a click of a button in unlimited amounts.

Governments that issue currency also have the ability to create unlimited amounts of it for essentially no cost (the cost of printing/minting is much, much smaller than the value of the currency produced). The currency becomes worthless if this is done, but the currency has value so long as the amount available is limited (and people want to use it as a medium of exchange). It doesn’t become worthless because someone could produce an unlimited amount of it.

I don’t see a fundamental difference between trading real-world currency for WoW gold and trading one real-world currency for another. Not many people have a problem with the latter. :)

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Blaxill 101 Oct 20, 2008 at 20:24

@.oisyn

How true that might be, it fails to meet common economy criteria. Which brings us to the gold in WoW. It doesn’t cost anything. It has zero value. It can be created with a click of a button in unlimited amounts.

The basic concept is true with any currency and the same rules apply to WoW gold. WoW probably falls into the category of a ‘Hands-on’ Private-oriented System.

Nick has the right idea.
@JarkkoL

There has been multiple occurancies of hyperinflation even in the real world.

Reading the figures of Zimbabwe’s inflation always makes me smile before guilt of the realisation of the effect it has had/ is having.

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fireside 141 Oct 20, 2008 at 21:16

I don’t see a fundamental difference between trading real-world currency for WoW gold and trading one real-world currency for another. Not many people have a problem with the latter.

Because one is real, which is my point. There is beginning to be a disconnect between the real world and the virtual. The trouble is that MMO’s are societies where everyone plays someone, so I think people are having problems distinguishing the difference. The gold in the game becomes more important than it should be. Video games can cause anxieties just like real world problems cause anxieties which can be a little weird. It’s not OK. These people have a problem. They have real bills to pay and they need real money for it.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 20, 2008 at 21:37

@Nick

Wrong. It costs months of farming to get a pile of gold.

Wrong. It costs the farmers time. It costs Blizzard nothing. The whole point is that Blizzard is not a government under the watchful eye of it’s inhabitants. In a way, they can do whatever they please (like either decrease or increase the in-game value of gold) without themselves being affected (well, ok, aside from the fact they might lose users). Because they do not get payed for the gold. It’s not their economy. It’s the economy of the farmers and the users. That is in essense very different from a local governemt IRL. Also, it is unrealistic to think that WoW will go on forever. In time there will be better mmorpgs out there, so the support for WoW will stop eventually. You can’t really say that for a real government.

Yes, Blizzard holds the ‘gazillion gold button’ at its fingertips, but this is no different from the real world. The money you pay for food, clothes and a roof is worth nothing without everybody agreeing upon its value.

I’m not saying that gold and only gold has no value. I’m saying that that what the gold represents has no value itself. Thusly the items you can buy with it. IRL, this is not true. Sure, we agree upon the value of money, but the point is that with that money I can buy things that are not simply “up for grabs” and created out of nothing. If something can be created out of nothing, the value of that thing (and thus the value of money) is severely reduced.

I guess my whole point relies on the fact that I think it’s naïve to think that Blizzard will continue to treat WoW’s economy as a real economy. Now I’m not a wow player myself, but I thought the EULA said something about not being allowed to sell items, but I could be wrong on that. But if that is true, it’s not unrealistic to think that they ever find a way to stop that. Also, you can simply run a bot that farms gold for you at no cost (well maybe like $30 for the bot). Of course that is also not allowed, but hey, worst thing that can happen is that you are kicked from the game. Which is another big difference from a true government - there are no severe punishments that scares people from not breaking the rules.

I’m sure that the first paper bills also caused lots of confusion and discussion, but today I don’t have to explain to you that it drives the economy even though it’s a piece of paper. So I have little doubt that we’ll be seeing more types of ‘virtual’ currency in the future, that is very real to the ones using it…

Well paper bills are a bit outdated. There’s more virtual money on bank accounts around than there are goods to back that up. Not that this is a counter-argument btw, it makes it even more like wow gold than actual paper money :).
@Blaxill

The basic concept is true with any currency and the same rules apply to WoW gold. WoW probably falls into the category of a ‘Hands-on’ Private-oriented System.

Well thank you for giving some ammo to shoot with :). Because I would severely rather NOT invest any money in such economies. Luckily for us there are laws against forming cartels and monopolies and such. But who’s watching over wow’s economy? Absolutely no one.

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JarkkoL 102 Oct 21, 2008 at 19:09

I have never played WOW, but doesn’t people get gold in order to buy items in the game? And you buy items in the game for your entertainment? To get gold you have two options 1) do work to get gold 2) buy gold. I can see that some people rather take the shortcut to buy gold to increase the entertainment value of their time rather than work to get the gold which they may not find as entertaining.

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z80 101 Oct 21, 2008 at 20:18

@.oisyn

Which brings us to the gold in WoW. It doesn’t cost anything. It has zero value. It can be created with a click of a button in unlimited amounts.

Then software has no value either… The code you write can also be created in unlimited amounts with a press of a key.

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Blaxill 101 Oct 21, 2008 at 21:45

When you buy into any currency you are taking a gamble on how its exchange rate will fluctuate and also on its purchasing power parity.@.oisyn

It costs the farmers time. It costs Blizzard nothing. The whole point is that Blizzard is not a government under the watchful eye of it’s inhabitants. In a way, they can do whatever they please (like either decrease or increase the in-game value of gold) without themselves being affected (well, ok, aside from the fact they might lose users). Because they do not get payed for the gold. It’s not their economy. It’s the economy of the farmers and the users. That is in essense very different from a local governemt IRL.

Blizzard can print money for nothing but so can any government in an economy, and as with any economy it is possible to flood and devalue the currency. If they under value the WoW gold they will cause inflation, but the effects may be different from a other economies due to NPC traders, which wont change their prices. It will however effect players (as you agree) but as players get richer in the game the exchange rate will change (i.e. buying WoW gold from blizzard will no longer be worth it.)
Governments are not stuck to their currency and the value of their currency does not directly affect them. An example of this is government deficit. At first look it would seem that Blizzards economy would be running in constant deficit as there is no form of in-game tax but this isn’t necessarily true as players have to pay a subscription fee. So whether or not it runs in deficit is really down to how they handle in game money sinks, which unfortunately we don’t know.
My main point is, although not a common economic system, I don’t see how WoW’s economy is not a real economy.
@.oisyn

Well thank you for giving some ammo to shoot with ;). Because I would severely rather NOT invest any money in such economies. Luckily for us there are laws against forming cartels and monopolies and such. But who’s watching over wow’s economy? Absolutely no one.

You are confusing economies and enterprises within an economy. Economies are regulated by the state, as is the economy of WoW(which is the owners/runers of WoW), and there is nothing stopping the government creating monopolies within its economy (public sector.)

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_oisyn 101 Oct 22, 2008 at 09:51

@z80

Then software has no value either… The code you write can also be created in unlimited amounts with a press of a key.

Oh come on, how old are you? You don’t actually think that is a valid argument, do you? I hope for your sake I don’t have to explain writing software is not about producing code…
@Blaxill

You are confusing economies and enterprises within an economy. Economies are regulated by the state, as is the economy of WoW(which is the owners/runers of WoW), and there is nothing stopping the government creating monopolies within its economy (public sector.)

Fair enough, but that doesn’t really change my point, which is in the paragraph you chose not to quote.

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Nick 102 Oct 22, 2008 at 12:26

@.oisyn

Wrong. It costs the farmers time. It costs Blizzard nothing. The whole point is that Blizzard is not a government under the watchful eye of it’s inhabitants. In a way, they can do whatever they please (like either decrease or increase the in-game value of gold) without themselves being affected (well, ok, aside from the fact they might lose users). Because they do not get payed for the gold. It’s not their economy. It’s the economy of the farmers and the users. That is in essense very different from a local governemt IRL. Also, it is unrealistic to think that WoW will go on forever. In time there will be better mmorpgs out there, so the support for WoW will stop eventually. You can’t really say that for a real government.

Blizzard gets raging critique for making unpopular changes in the gold system, resulting in people cancelling their subscriptions. That’s real money. So rest assured, Blizzard is a lot more like a government under watchful eyes than you think. And just like any government Blizzard would be mad to press big red buttons, for its own sake, its own economy.

And I don’t think it’s unrealistic for WoW to go on for quite a while. They actively create new content and patch the graphics and gameplay regularly to keep things exciting. So if they can keep doing that and keep the value of WoW gold intact (some fluctuation is expected) there’s no reason for it to dissapear.

I’m not saying that gold and only gold has no value. I’m saying that that what the gold represents has no value itself. Thusly the items you can buy with it. IRL, this is not true. Sure, we agree upon the value of money, but the point is that with that money I can buy things that are not simply “up for grabs” and created out of nothing. If something can be created out of nothing, the value of that thing (and thus the value of money) is severely reduced.

Ok, I think I see what you’re getting at, but you’re viewing things differently. What bothers you is that Blizzard can create new items, making existing items less valuable, and making certain people want to buy WoW gold with real money to obtain these items. Correct? I can see why that appears wrong at first but there are two sides here and they are in balance:

The gamer gets new excitement from obtaining the item. Some find the quests the most exiting, putting time into reaching achievements and making gold. Others just want the item for bragging rights. Competition and bragging is present in every human in certain amounts and it gives them pleasure. And we pay for it every day in real life. Personally I would never buy jewelry for myself; a diamond is about as precious to me as a pretty shard of glass I found on the street. I would also never pay money to collect used stamps. I might however consider paying extra for matching shiny black computer parts even though mauve ones probably work just as well. :ninja: > :cool2:

From Blizzard’s side of view it might look like they create items out of nothing. But let’s not forget that they have to pay real artists, real programmers, real IT specialists, etc. All this adds a lot more real value to these virtual items. And the paying subscribers expect nothing less from them than to keep creating new content and excite them. So it’s a complete circle.

Also, note that the value of the items is actually mainly determined by the gamers. I’ve seen medium rare items that lower your stats sell for hundreds of gold, extremely rare items that sell for silver because somehow nobody wants it (this can change overnight if you create some sort of hype around it), etc. Although I don’t participate at that level I can certainly see how it’s all pretty exciting for the big gamers (not so different from competition and hype surrounding competitive sports). But it doesn’t help Blizzard to create an item so rare that nobody can afford it in an honest way, or items that are abundant and valuable at first but drop in value real quickly (both leading to frustration and critique). So there’s a fine balance that needs to be respected which is no different from real world economy.

I guess my whole point relies on the fact that I think it’s naïve to think that Blizzard will continue to treat WoW’s economy as a real economy. Now I’m not a wow player myself, but I thought the EULA said something about not being allowed to sell items, but I could be wrong on that. But if that is true, it’s not unrealistic to think that they ever find a way to stop that. Also, you can simply run a bot that farms gold for you at no cost (well maybe like $30 for the bot). Of course that is also not allowed, but hey, worst thing that can happen is that you are kicked from the game. Which is another big difference from a true government - there are no severe punishments that scares people from not breaking the rules.

Since you’re Dutch: Jongeren veroordeeld tot werkstraffen wegens diefstal virtuele goederen.

You’re partially right though, legislation and criminal justice is seriously lagging behind on this front. For Blizzard it’s a full time job to prevent and stop foul play, within the limits of their powers. But when looking at football or cycling or other sports people pay real money for to watch I don’t think the problem is that much worse in the electronic entertainment.

Anyhow, all my above arguments assumed buying WoW gold with real money from an honest farmer. And I think that in the future we’ll see a lot tighter control of trading virtual goods.

Well paper bills are a bit outdated. There’s more virtual money on bank accounts around than there are goods to back that up. Not that this is a counter-argument btw, it makes it even more like wow gold than actual paper money ;).

See, you’re starting to flip that switch in your head that sais it’s not real money. :happy: After all, value is all in your head, no matter if we talk about real or virtual goods. Percentage-wise a lot of people consider virtual goods of very low value, but for a select group it’s as real as it gets. But no matter to what group you belong there are always things you value more than others and things you value less. All you need is a bit of understanding why some people find certain things valuable, irrespective of how you value them.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 22, 2008 at 13:48

@Nick

Blizzard gets raging critique for making unpopular changes in the gold system, resulting in people cancelling their subscriptions. That’s real money. So rest assured, Blizzard is a lot more like a government under watchful eyes than you think. And just like any government Blizzard would be mad to press big red buttons, for its own sake, its own economy.

Yes I guess that is true. Maybe it matters more to Blizzard that I originally thought. It would be nice to see some figures of the amount of people on WoW buying the gold from the IRL market and the amount of people who don’t care about it or farm themselves.

And I don’t think it’s unrealistic for WoW to go on for quite a while. They actively create new content and patch the graphics and gameplay regularly to keep things exciting. So if they can keep doing that and keep the value of WoW gold intact (some fluctuation is expected) there’s no reason for it to dissapear.

Then we simply differ from opinion. As with everything, sometimes you need a fresh start to progress, and Blizzard might do that just as well.

Ok, I think I see what you’re getting at, but you’re viewing things differently. What bothers you is that Blizzard can create new items, making existing items less valuable, and making certain people want to buy WoW gold with real money to obtain these items. Correct?

Well, aside from that piece I made bold, yes. Why does Blizzard want that people buy bold on the public market? They don’t gain (or lose for that matter) anything with that. Blizzard couldn’t care less how you get the gold. As long as you keep playing.

From Blizzard’s side of view it might look like they create items out of nothing. But let’s not forget that they have to pay real artists, real programmers, real IT specialists, etc. All this adds a lot more real value to these virtual items. And the paying subscribers expect nothing less from them than to keep creating new content and excite them. So it’s a complete circle.

Well, no, it’s not :). The point is that Blizzard gets payed with the subscriptions. They will make those items whether you pay for your gold or harvest it yourself (either manually or using a bot). They would even make the items if they were never for sale but only available by doing certain quests (of course, then these items will in turn turn up on the public market aside gold themselves).

Since you’re Dutch: Jongeren veroordeeld tot werkstraffen wegens diefstal virtuele goederen.

Being an active tweakers.net visitor of course I have already read about that :), and I think this is very good news.

For the non-dutch members here, two teenagers (14 and 15) had taken some Runescape items from another teenager (13) by force and intimidation. They have been convicted in Dutch court for the crime of robbery (in other words seizing property through violence or intimidation), as the court ruled that virtual property is property just as well. The sentences were 2 months probation and 200 hours of community service for the 15-year-old and 1 month probation and 160 hours of community service for the 14-year-old

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Blaxill 101 Oct 22, 2008 at 14:11

@fireside

Because one is real, which is my point.

I’d be interested in your definition of a ‘real’ currency.
@.oisyn

Fair enough, but that doesn’t really change my point, which is in the paragraph you chose not to quote.

Ok sorry (I believe this is your point)@.oisyn

I’m not saying that gold and only gold has no value. I’m saying that that what the gold represents has no value itself. Thusly the items you can buy with it. IRL, this is not true. Sure, we agree upon the value of money, but the point is that with that money I can buy things that are not simply “up for grabs” and created out of nothing. If something can be created out of nothing, the value of that thing (and thus the value of money) is severely reduced.

I believe if the players themselves could create the items (and the amount they could create was not time restricted or resource restricted in anyway) this would be true. Value of things that have no variable cost (i.e. can be mass produced for nothing) relies solely on supply restriction, and this is the same reason that software carries a value. For instance a software company restricts supply by setting a price for its products, which is different to products that carry a variable cost that would be produced where marginal costs equals average cost(and price will be set according to demand.) So as there is a limited supply of the items they have an attached value (WoW currency or US currency.)
As I also don’t play WoW I am unsure about this next issue. If the items you can buy with in game gold cannot be traded it can substantially devalue them and the currency but I don’t believe this is the case. Also as Blizzard does not let people sell their in game gold, it does decrease the value of the WoW currency, but allows them stricter control over the circulation of the gold.

To address another issue, of course a bot can run without player guidence and this certainly reduces the value of the currency, but it still takes time. Since you cannot make infinite amounts of gold in an instance the currency still has value.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 22, 2008 at 20:00

@Blaxill

Ok sorry (I believe this is your point)

Actually, this was:

I guess my whole point relies on the fact that I think it’s naïve to think that Blizzard will continue to treat WoW’s economy as a real economy. Now I’m not a wow player myself, but I thought the EULA said something about not being allowed to sell items, but I could be wrong on that. But if that is true, it’s not unrealistic to think that they ever find a way to stop that. Also, you can simply run a bot that farms gold for you at no cost (well maybe like $30 for the bot). Of course that is also not allowed, but hey, worst thing that can happen is that you are kicked from the game. Which is another big difference from a true government - there are no severe punishments that scares people from not breaking the rules.

I think you can bluntly summarize it as that I don’t trust Blizzard with their economy, as maybe they don’t value that economy as much as the users do (or at least those interested in buying and selling gold or items). Suppose there were 10.000 WoW users active in the economy, but another 10 million other user not interested in trading stuff but merely engage in quests and other “social” activities within the game. Then Blizzard would not care much about those users and they will change things that will improve the game itself even though they might have a negative effect on the economy as a whole. Suppose, for example, there is a rare item that gives the carrier a certain ability. Then Blizzard releases a bunch of quests for which you need the item that already existed, and in order to let more people do the quest they make the item less rare, in which case the economical value of that item diminishes. And the only reason is that Blizzard decided to make the item less rare.

But, as I said, I’m not a WoW player and I don’t know how much Blizzard and the wow users value the actual economy, and maybe I’m just too suspicious about it. I’ve heared some bad stories about Eve Online, about the employees being arrogant pricks and are misusing their admin abilities while they play the game like everyone else and are placed above the law. Much like some countries in real life. I would rather not go there :). But I digress.

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fireside 141 Oct 23, 2008 at 18:49

I’d be interested in your definition of a ‘real’ currency.

A real currency can be traded in the real world, outside of a virtual community. Go to the supermarket or pay your bills with WOW gold sometime. This is no more than monopoly money, exactly the same. It has value when you are playing the game, if it has value outside of that, then you are confusing reality with a game. The word for that is delusional. They might not be trying to buy their groceries with it, but it’s still pretty strange behaviour. If you were playing monopoly and one guy sold some of his monopoly money to another guy for real money, you would think one person was a little crackers and the other person was taking advantage of someone that was a little crackers, which is exactly what’s going on with this WOW gold selling. Not only that, but it essentially changes the game for the other players in a way it wasn’t meant to be changed.

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Reedbeta 168 Oct 23, 2008 at 20:05

Is money in a PayPal account unreal because you can only use it on websites? You can’t go down to the supermarket and pay for goods with it either. Also, assuming you live in the USA, try paying for your food with Euros sometime. They will not take it any more than they would take WoW gold or Monopoly money. The fact that a currency has value only in a particular context does not make it somehow less valid.
@fireside

If you were playing monopoly and one guy sold some of his monopoly money to another guy for real money, you would think one person was a little crackers and the other person was taking advantage of someone that was a little crackers

http://www.amazon.com/Parker-Brothers-Monopoly-Money/dp/B00000IWCW

Of course, since you can create bills on your own computer and print out arbitrarily many and play Monopoly with them, the value of this money is basically nil (about $15,000 Monopoly for $3.59 US). But you can’t counterfeit WoW gold, there’s only a limited supply, and people want it - so it has value, and there’s no good reason you shouldn’t buy it.

By the way, the Zimbabwe dollar (a real-world currency by any standard) is now worth far less than Monopoly money (in July, $4 US was about equal to $150 billion Zimbabwe).
@fireside

it essentially changes the game for the other players in a way it wasn’t meant to be changed.

This is the only point you have made that I agree with.

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fireside 141 Oct 23, 2008 at 20:20

Is money in a PayPal account unreal because you can only use it on websites?

Not true that I know about. You can use pay pal for real businesses and I’m sure find some way of exchanging for most businesses. This would not work for WOW gold.

By the way, the Zimbabwe dollar (a real-world currency by any standard) is now worth far less than Monopoly money (in January, $10 million Zimbabwe was roughly $4 US).

Yes, but I could go to the bank and get the exchange rate. It’s still a real currency. I can’t go to the bank and get the exchange rate for WOW gold because it is game currency, although banks have been showing delusional behavior of their own lately.

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Reedbeta 168 Oct 23, 2008 at 20:27

@fireside

Not true that I know about. You can use pay pal for real businesses and I’m sure find some way of exchanging for most businesses. This would not work for WOW gold.

Oh, so now it’s currency if you can “find some way of exchanging”. Well, in that case, you could sell your WoW gold online to gamers and then go down to the store and buy food with the money you made. That’s a way of exchanging. :)

Bottom line, it’s not delusional to buy something that’s valuable to you. Sure, you personally might rather spend a bunch of time to get the gold in-game the normal way, but someone who doesn’t want to spend their time that way and just wants to pay money for their gold can be perfectly rational in doing so.

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alphadog 101 Oct 23, 2008 at 20:39

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081023-dutch-court-imposes-real-world-punishment-for-virtual-theft.html

“Dutch courts had an interesting case to deal with when two youths were sued for stealing in-game items from another youngster, forcing him to give up items in the game Runescape. The youths were sentenced to community service for their crimes.”

Well, the Dutch seem to think virtual stuff has real-world value…

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fireside 141 Oct 23, 2008 at 21:14

Bottom line, it’s not delusional to buy something that’s valuable to you.

So, if I bought an invisible shield that would protect me from rays thrown by the Zarkians who I believe are invading, I wouldn’t be delusional? The fact that I bought it proves that my fantasy has crossed into reality and has become true delusional behavior.

Well, the Dutch seem to think virtual stuff has real-world value…

I feel sorry for the Dutch taxpayers if the courts intervene on something like that. What can I say, government officials can be just as delusional as anyone, only they spent real taxpayer money settling someone cheating in a game. I can see the next trial now, two kids playing marbles.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 23, 2008 at 22:17

@alphadog

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081023-dutch-court-imposes-real-world-punishment-for-virtual-theft.html

“Dutch courts had an interesting case to deal with when two youths were sued for stealing in-game items from another youngster, forcing him to give up items in the game Runescape. The youths were sentenced to community service for their crimes.”

Well, the Dutch seem to think virtual stuff has real-world value…

Yes we already discussed that a few posts before, please read the thread before posting. Thanks for the link though, we only had a Dutch article up until now :)

I feel sorry for the Dutch taxpayers if the courts intervene on something like that. What can I say, government officials can be just as delusional as anyone, only they spent real taxpayer money settling someone cheating in a game. I can see the next trial now, two kids playing marbles.

Read the article! There was no cheating involved. They forced the items off him in the real world using a knife and intimidation. I am actually proud of my country in this respect.

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JarkkoL 102 Oct 23, 2008 at 22:35

If people are willing to pay for something, then by definition that “something” (was it real gold, virtual gold, your dirty underpants or invisible shield against Zarkian rays) has value (:

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vrnunes 102 Oct 23, 2008 at 22:36

” Woman arrested for killing virtual reality husband “

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/10/23/avatar.murder.japan.ap/
Off-topic but correlated, I guess…

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Reedbeta 168 Oct 23, 2008 at 23:50

@fireside

an invisible shield that would protect me from rays thrown by the Zarkians

The shield doesn’t exist. While you may well doubt whether WoW gold is worth having or buying, it certainly does exist. (The fact it’s not a thing you can hold in your hand doesn’t prevent it from existing, obviously…much like the money in your bank account.) Paying money for something you want that exists and is limited in supply is not delusional.

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fireside 141 Oct 24, 2008 at 00:20

The shield doesn’t exist.

The shield exists in a fantasy world just like the gold exists in a fantasy world. It just happens to be a collective fantasy so other people who have crossed over and brought their fantasy into reality are willing to pay for it with real money. The gold doesn’t exist and has no value.

They forced the items off him in the real world using a knife and intimidation.

More evidence of delusional behavior. They brought their fantasy into reality and committed a real crime which deserved punishment.

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Blaxill 101 Oct 24, 2008 at 00:33

@fireside

The shield exists in a fantasy world just like the gold exists in a fantasy world. It just happens to be a collective fantasy so other people who have crossed over and brought their fantasy into reality are willing to pay for it with real money. The gold doesn’t exist and has no value.

Just no.

Firstly if everyone knows about your imaginary shield it becomes a public good (i.e. non-rivaled and non-excludable, meaning everyone can have one for free) and WoW gold is by definition an excludable good. Your imaginary shield is worth nothing because anyone at any time can imagine one for free. WoW gold has a value because it carries an opportunity cost, including but not limited to; time, internet bandwidth, subscription fee, keyboard durability etc…

Whether things are ‘imaginary’ has absolutely nothing to do with its price. If imaginary things carried no value then you wouldn’t be able to sell original ideas (which are not public goods as others haven’t thought of them yet!)

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fireside 141 Oct 24, 2008 at 00:40

If the gold exists then the people are really the elf avatars they are playing. If it were agreed upon by all members that the gold represented real money, like poker, that would be different. Here the agreement is that the gold has no real world value and anyone that gives it real world value is delusional.

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Reedbeta 168 Oct 24, 2008 at 02:44

@fireside

The gold doesn’t exist and has no value.

It does exist. It exists in exactly the same way the money in your bank account exists - as a number stored in a computer someplace. Just because you can’t pick it up doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

It does have value for people who desire it. Just because you don’t personally want any does not mean it’s valueless to everyone.
@fireside

Here the agreement is that the gold has no real world value and anyone that gives it real world value is delusional.

They may be breaking their license agreement with Blizzard, but delusional is the last thing they are. Assigning a price to a commodity that people want is one of the most rational of human activities.

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fireside 141 Oct 24, 2008 at 10:43

Like I say, this is no different than someone buying monopoly money during a monopoly game. The money has value in the game context but no other. The game is a fantasy. If the people attach value to the monopoly money and pay real money for it, they have a problem and should see someone. They’re not doing themselves or the people playing the game any good. Establishing a trade system among neurotics doesn’t legitimize it. It’s called cheating. If you cheat in a game you have a personality problem.

Assigning a price to a commodity that people want is one of the most rational of human activities.

The thing people want is something from a fantasy that they earn in a game context. Assigning a price in the real world to it can’t be called rational. It’s not like paying for a game. This is paying for something in the game, something that you play the game to earn. That’s not rational.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 24, 2008 at 14:50

@fireside

More evidence of delusional behavior. They brought their fantasy into reality and committed a real crime which deserved punishment.

Eh, yeah, but what’s your point? Btw, this was not solely what they were punished for. In fact, they were punished largely for theft. They had taken away something from someone else that was of value (sentimental or economical, that doesn’t matter). If I design a model on the computer, and someone breaks into my house and copies the design while also deleting it from my harddisk, don’t you think that is theft? Even though my design was virtual?

Well, either theft (physically moving my design) or copyright infringement (copying my design) accompanied by vandalism (deleting it from my harddisk) anyway :)

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fireside 141 Oct 24, 2008 at 18:37

Well, either theft (physically moving my design) or copyright infringement (copying my design) accompanied by vandalism (deleting it from my harddisk) anyway

I don’t understand your point either. Copyright infringement is illegal as also vandalism. They are real world crimes. If you were playing a game and committed copyright infringement as part of the role playing experience, there would be no crime, obviously. Otherwise how many games would we be able to play? It would put undo restrictions on a fantasy environment. The law in the game would have to take care of it, or not, depending.

Here’s a quote from an article about that trial:

Eurogamer says this is the first time such a ruling has been made in Holland, and that cases involving virtual items are rare and often not prosecuted. In February, police in the city of Minnesota in the U.S. refused to look into the case of a player who lost all his items and in-game currency after his Final Fantasy XI account was broken into. Despite having a real-world value of about $3800, the police said “game points were ‘devoid of monetary value’,” and thus no actual theft had taken place. There is one potentially mitigating factor in the Dutch case that may have helped the courts reach their decision, however. The virtual theft was preceded by a real-life ass-kicking: The two thieves beat up their victim and threatened him with a knife.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 26, 2008 at 21:48

Yes but what’s your point? Please explain that.

Btw, your original quote was:

I feel sorry for the Dutch taxpayers if the courts intervene on something like that. What can I say, government officials can be just as delusional as anyone, only they spent real taxpayer money settling someone cheating in a game. I can see the next trial now, two kids playing marbles.

Is your point that this should be punsished *because* there was real life intimidation involved, but not otherwise? Also, I don’t see what another case in another country has to do with it.

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fireside 141 Oct 26, 2008 at 22:55

Is your point that this should be punsished *because* there was real life intimidation involved, but not otherwise?

Yes. It’s just a game stat with no value, just as the gold is a game stat with no value. Trading items like this is a mania. Eventually people will realize that they are worthless and no one will pay for them. No offense, but the judgements in other countries are more rational, since there was no theft involved, only computer tampering and threats. If game stats have value then people in the game can be held responsible for what happens. That would be completely and totally ridiculous.

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_oisyn 101 Oct 27, 2008 at 02:01

but the judgements in other countries are more rational

Depends on what you find rational, and I find your definition of rational not very rational. You completely ignore the sentimental value things can have for people. Instead, you solely concentrate on it’s economical value. So in essense, you say that things that are free can’t be stolen, which is totally ridiculous.

If game stats have value then people in the game can be held responsible for what happens.

Not if it’s part of the game.

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fireside 141 Oct 27, 2008 at 15:57

Not if it’s part of the game.

It would, unfortunately. There could be cases for unfair trades or all kinds of things in the game that could be considered illegal if the game stats had value, which is why they don’t.