Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Virtual Insanity?


Good Morning everyone, I trust all is well in cyberspace. Today I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you about one of they latest crazes going on in the digital world: real estate in MMORPG’s. Now for those of you who don’t know (or can’t work it out for yourself), Wikipedia defines a MMORPG as:


A massively (or massive) multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG is a multiplayer computer role-playing game that enables thousands of players to play in an evolving virtual world at the same time over the Internet. MMORPGs are a specific type of massively multiplayer online game (MMOG).

For more info from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mmorpg

Well OK, I hear you say "a virtual universe where everyone plays online together, that was always going to happen" well yes, that’s something even the humble DWB had foreseen. However, something that I did not expect was that these games would have spurred on a real world economy, and a strong one at that. Recently you may have heard about some dude paying £13,000 for an island in one of these games which seemed a bit mad, this was my first inclination that there was money to be made in these games.

A few months later I saw a feature on the channel 5’s ‘the gadget show’ that pointed out that people are now making money out of playing these games. For example, there is an online star wars game:


It takes X amount of game play to reach Jedi status.


Many people do not have the time/ambition to put X amount of hours in, but want to play as a Jedi.


People who do have time to put X amount of hours in, can reach Jedi status and sell their profile on eBay.


Mr Too Busy to play (and all his peers, bid on said Jedi account) until.


Mr professional gamer gets paid $300-500 for his time and of course, character.


Now those of you who don’t believe me and are thinking "Oh man, that DWB is full of shit, you cant make money playing games at home" well check it out for yourselves: just visit eBay and search for star wars galaxies jedi.


Now the latest development in this virtual economy is that someone has bought a space station in the Entropia game for £56,200 ($100,000 US). The space station was described as a "monumental project" in the "treacherous, but mineral rich" Paradise V Asteroid Belt. The good news is, its new owner wants to turn it into a night club and has apparently been in talks with some of the worlds top DJ’s. This could very well be the beginning of real world entertainment companies grabbing a slice of virtual world profits.
You can find out more about this at:


http://www.project-entropia.com/Index.ajp


or read the original article from the BBC at:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4385048.stm


It may surprise you that the DWB has been to a night club or two with super star DJ’s (namely Swansea’s Escape super-club), and it leaves me wondering one thing.


Hypothetically speaking, this is a virtual club in a virtual word, which people spend real money. Some clever programmer could invent some virtual disco drug that makes your character gurn like a chocolate Easter bunny in the microwave. What would the government’s of the world's stance be on people making vast quantities of money out of safe drugs that do not even technically exist?


Food for thought dear readers, but until next time…


Look after yourselves



DWB

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