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Thread: Gamer buys virtual Island for real $

  1. #91
    Kidicious
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    Originally posted by Azazel
    Kidicious: market economies are naturally in an advantage in this game, since these games are about adventure, personal freedom
    I don't know about that, but people who play these games want to win or lose. No one cares about second place, and they certainly don't care about doing well just to do well. The point it to do better than the other players. But what I was talking about was a simulation that wasn't really a game, but an experiment in economics.
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    Originally posted by Kidicious


    I don't know about that, but people who play these games want to win or lose. No one cares about second place, and they certainly don't care about doing well just to do well. The point it to do better than the other players. But what I was talking about was a simulation that wasn't really a game, but an experiment in economics.
    That's what I was talking about: this is no experiment. For that kind of experiment, you'll need volounteers, that would be sent to a distant island, or planet or something.

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    Sava
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    what a dipshit!!!!
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  4. #94
    Harry Tuttle
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    Hmmmm, I wonder how the whole making money thing works... Do you have to be online to make money? Does being online cost you money. Does your character have to eat?

    And what exactly is stopping a group of people from banding together to rape and pillage? Or for that matter, building syndicates?

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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Kidicious
    Notice that the libertarian economists have not created one of these virtual economies to compare communism to free market capitalism. They must be still trying to find a way to make it work for the free market.
    Uh, all of these virtual economies are libertarian - hell, they're anarchist, there's no "law" in the games besides no bug exploits (enforced by the people who run the game) and whatever in-game organizations establish themselves.

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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Harry Tuttle
    Hmmmm, I wonder how the whole making money thing works... Do you have to be online to make money? Does being online cost you money. Does your character have to eat?

    And what exactly is stopping a group of people from banding together to rape and pillage? Or for that matter, building syndicates?
    Nothing at all. That's why it's INCREDIBLY high-risk.

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    Kuciwalker
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    I can just see it if these ever DO involve significant amounts of money, though... see corporations invest in these games, wage virtual war over millions of dollars...

  8. #98
    Harry Tuttle
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    Hahahahaha. I like this guys take on it:

    http://brian.carnell.com/archives/ye...09/000022.html

    Is Project Entropia a Scam?

    By Brian Carnell

    Friday, September 8, 2000

    Project Entropia is billed as an on-line persistent 3D game, but this excerpt from a recent press release really makes me skeptical:


    MindArk said the second universe, Project Entropia, will be governed by an extensive set of rules familiar to on-line gamers and role game players which will govern actions and possibilities. The economy system of Project Entropia is unique and subject to patent application. The cash to be handled in Project Entropia is real and convertible to any major currency of the real world. As MindArk has solved the issue of handling money in the virtual world and to transfer money from the virtual to the real world, they are able to offer access to the new universe at no cost.

    I am not saying it is a scam, but the above paragraph makes no sense. If they are really going online with a system that makes it trivial to transfer money from the virtual world to the real world, and they are going to launch worldwide as they have been promising, then they are going to get shut down almost immediately by laws designed to prevent money laundering.

    Plus, leaving aside the money laundering issue for a second, even using computers to handle the detailed work, there are still real costs associated with processing and keeping track of monetary transfers, especially when you start getting into fluctuating currencies. How this adds up to making the service free makes no sense.

    On the other hand, if they have really found a way to make it impossible for governments to enforce laws against money laundering, more power to them -- just tell me where to sign up. Somehow, though, I would bet they are either vastly overselling the capabilities of the system or the amount of money that can be transferred in and out of the virtual world is very limited or it is a scam of some sort.

    Until they prove their system is superior, E-Bay and other online auction facilities are still the only way to go for all your money laundering needs (disclaimer: I do not make enough money to bother laundering it, but the Internet already makes money laundering far easier than it ever has been).

    Taking its moniker seriously, I suspect the energy behind Project Entropia will quickly degrade and the ability of the game or virtual world to accomplish meaningful work will quickly disappear.

  9. #99
    Harry Tuttle
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  10. #100
    Kidicious
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    Originally posted by Azazel


    That's what I was talking about: this is no experiment. For that kind of experiment, you'll need volounteers, that would be sent to a distant island, or planet or something.
    That's what's good about the virtual environment. You don't have to send people to an isolated island or anything.
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    Kidicious
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    Originally posted by Harry Tuttle
    Another neat article: http://www.waterthread.org/news/102400929976312.html
    Interesting. Reading that article it seems like nothing like this could become big without lots of govt regulation.
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  12. #102
    Harry Tuttle
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    Originally posted by Kidicious


    Interesting. Reading that article it seems like nothing like this could become big without lots of govt regulation.
    Well, for the informed investor, who wants to guard against risk, then yes, there would have to be an oversight board to make sure the game is not fixed in favor of the developers.

    In truth, I think the only way to make any real money in the game is to become a middle man manufactuer, ie. - sell pre-made items to the players. By doing so your material costs will not be entirely based on whatever random number the game engine chooses. Unlike with mining, which it seems is hit or miss at best, you are guranteed to have a market for your raw materials allowing you to use the free market theory to barter for the lower cost. At the other end, you can charge whatever you wish, or the equilibrium price if you want to play the price/demand game.

    So really, the only real way to make money, is to use the same philosophy that the developers use - sell something that you can control (at least partially).

    As for your leeway in expression when making end products that area looks to be limited.

  13. #103
    General Ludd
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    Originally posted by Harry Tuttle

    And what exactly is stopping a group of people from banding together to rape and pillage? Or for that matter, building syndicates?
    Probably the game mechanics.


    There's no PvP in Entropia so far as I know, although I could be wrong.


    As for how easy it is to make money.... well, I'm told it's hard as hell. (otherwise, how could it still be running?) I'm fairly certain that you don't have to pay to play, and I've never heard of any sort of in-game maintnance like needing to buy food, ect... outside of needing to make "investments" in certain equipment that is neccisary to be able to do anything worthwhile.

    I think that the only people who would play this game with the intention of making a profit on it are prepared to play it for mind-numbingly long periods and do very repetitive farming, like their counter-parts who sell things on eBay from other games do.
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  14. #104
    Kidicious
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    Sounds like a good strategy HT, but maybe everyone will try to be a middle manufacturer and the miners will make all the profit.
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    One strategy to get yourself started is to get a bunch of noobs and form a line. One person drags a monster into the line, and it gets stuck because the AI is dumb. Then you can sweat the monster without getting hit Other players buy sweat, so you can at least get started without having to put any money into the game.

    I find this game oddly compelling, I dont know why. Some guy gave me an axe, and the most loot I got so far off of one monster was worth about 10 real pence. Im interested to see at least how balanced the game is
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    If you are going to sell something in the virtual world how does it specifically work?

    I understand you can give virtual items to a character...that's easy enough, but when is the payment tendered and confirmed? Sounds like you could totally doubl-cross a potential seller by promising to pay, but never paying. Of course, I doubt there's a legal recourse, unless there was a written contract, which I doubt is done in these situations.
    Haven't been here for ages....

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    Snotty
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    Its got a built in trade system for instant simultanious transfer. You right click the other prson and choose trade, this opens the trade window. If you trade outside of this system you take a chance. Im not sure about paying other players with your ingame credit card (which you can top up with real cash on the website). Some of the monsters drop coins, so my character has about 0.30 USD in his pocket, as well as other random junk I could sell.

    I got that money because I had a weapon to kill things (the weapon degrades so you have to pay to repair it), but the sweating technique is free and yields low money. I suppose if you kept sweating for hours and hours you might be able to get the game develepor to pay you some real money (- the $10 withdrawl fee)
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  18. #108
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    Originally posted by Kuciwalker
    Uh, all of these virtual economies are libertarian - hell, they're anarchist, there's no "law" in the games besides no bug exploits (enforced by the people who run the game) and whatever in-game organizations establish themselves.
    Not quite. There are still the "Laws of Economics" (not to be confused with real laws, like laws of physics). For example, typically in the current real world economy most money in industrialized countries is credit money, with a relatively small amount printed.

    In a (MMO)RPG money typically enters the system from slain monsters, rewards for quests and selling stuff to vendors, the NPC's are apparentely empowered to "print" any amount of cash in order to pay players for trash or rewards (as I have never seen a NPC run out of money to pay for goods or services). Money also leaves the system via buying things from vendors, item repairs, etc, apparentely vendors destroy any money they recieve, as they don't appear to use it. A game world economy is one in which money is constantly "printed" and "burnt" by NPC's.

    Note the complete lack of loans, debt and interest in MMORPG's (and this is NOT a trivial difference). Any loans (hypothetically) arranged by players are not the same as bank loans, in that the players actually have to have hard cash to loan, in contrast to banks and credit card companies who create the money for loans through a process of smoke and mirrors.

    The real world economy can crash because it's a house of cards built on debt (ie with a bank run or panic...), a game world economy can't exactly crash, even if the in-game cash becomes next to worthless - even then, it'll only be worthless if the game sets artifical barriers to the amount you can carry around, if you need a 10 billion game dollars to buy a great item, and can only hold a billion, then the cash market has failed (Diablo 2...). But if players can carry a zillion, then theres no real problem (other than the fact that 8 digits could be knocked off the end). Even better if everything remains readable... (typically like in World of Warcraft, having 1 gold = 100 silver = 10,000 copper, in principle blizzard could then add 1 mithril = 100 gold or something...).

    Avoiding inflation in the real world typically involves voodoo economic theories and doesn't work. Avoiding inflation in MMORPGS typically involves making enough "money sinks" - paying vendors for items and services, typically this also fails to avoid inflation, but inflation in well designed game economies may also only occur to a certain level, say when a lot of maxed level players have been flooding the market for a sustained period - at that point things may stabalize. This will not happen in the real world economy.

    Linking a game world economy and real world economy is sure to be interesting - in particular having a fixed exchange rate is sure to cause some headaches, making it work relies on the game developers skills at running a planned economy. This would be far, far easier in the virtual world than real world because the interface between players and economy is well defined and every action a player makes can be logged. There is also the fact that things like banks and mega rich capitalists are well entrenched in the real world, while making changes to a game world is much easier (and involves much less violence).

    One of the largest challenges in balancing a game economy is that higher level players can typically make money much faster than lower levels, often hundreds of times faster. The amount of cash a player can generate depends mostly on the amount of time they have been playing
    earning potentional ~ level ~ time played.

    Because all players use real world time to make in game money, and can also use the same real world time to make real world money (but now not proportional to the time invested in-game), you are sure to have problems arise when real world money and game world money can be exchanged at a fixed rate. In a typical MMORPG only the very highest level players can make real money selling in-game money/content at a rate comparable to working in the real world. All that is really required to remedy this is to vastly reduce the earning power ratio of high levels to low levels, the trick is to do this while still keeping the game appealing to those who invest a lot of time in it

    There may be a point to this post. A game world is not the same as a* real world, making a game with a "communist economy" isn't nessecarly going to teach us anything about how to implement such a system in the real world. And if the game accurately reflected the real world it would be as boring as the real world, and thus the players would have to be payed to play it, making it a funded experiment rather than a game...

    Too long... I know.
    * Why not use "the real world"? Mainly because the real world changes over time... and things work differently depending where exactly you look, like islamic banking is different because usury is banned...

  19. #109
    Kuciwalker
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    In a (MMO)RPG money typically enters the system from slain monsters, rewards for quests and selling stuff to vendors, the NPC's are apparentely empowered to "print" any amount of cash in order to pay players for trash or rewards (as I have never seen a NPC run out of money to pay for goods or services). Money also leaves the system via buying things from vendors, item repairs, etc, apparentely vendors destroy any money they recieve, as they don't appear to use it. A game world economy is one in which money is constantly "printed" and "burnt" by NPC's.


    From what I understand, that doesn't occur in Project Entropia. It's actually a negative-sum game - the only money in the system is the money put in minus the money taken out, minus the handling fee for withdrawing money.

    This way, the company can never lose money from the game.

  20. #110
    Snotty
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    Theres a 3.5% charge on any money you put into the game as well.

    The zero-sum thing could well work. The only free money in the game is from sweat, and only other players will give you any money for it. Every time you kill a monster, it costs you straight away as you pay for the ammo, or pay later when you have to repair your weapon. I make just enough to keep my axe repaired, although I would have to sell the craftable resources I got.

    I dont ever see myself getting them to send me any money, but the game is good for a laugh. Ive been in some really bizarre scenes when we have surrounded sweating an animal, all dancing the sweat graphics with cool trippy music ( bit like ufo aftermath )
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