Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

I’m not really a big gamer, at least, not anymore. The console I’ve spent the most time on was the Sega Genesis. Handheld was the Gameboy Color. My family skipped a generation and the next console we bought was the Gamecube. They bought the Wii after I moved out. I wanted and got my DS for the sole purpose of playing Pokemon D/P (almost a year later, it’s still the only game I own). So it’s not very surprising that I’ve never played an MMO (and probably never will until someone else realizes that a Pokemon MMO is a brilliant, brilliant idea). But my brother is a big gamer, and I have plenty of friends that are big gamers, so I’m exposed to a lot of random video game discussions by association, and I’ve come to this.

Why don’t they make gold farming legal?

There is such a huge market out there for it, bridging the gap between lazy people who have too much money and poor people that have too much time. Both sides are just perfect for one another, neither is going to disappear any time soon, and there are apparently more than $500 million in underground transactions every year. Half a billion. That is a ton of untapped, potential revenue.

Yeah, yeah, the most obvious answer is: unfair! People who can’t afford to pay other people to level up for them are going to get demolished by those that do, but honestly, this is already such a big problem anyway that I don’t think it matters much. There will always be hardcore gamers and casual gamers. The former will log 60+ hours a week on WoW while the latter will quit after two months because assholes keep raping them for minimal gold and the lulz. This divide is not going to go away. People are not created equal. Some people have more resources than others, whether it’s time or money. Does it really matter if a person actually accumulates all the power themselves or if they paid someone else to do it? End result is the same. That night elf is going to skewer you and then prance away on its limited edition, flying, rainbow unicorn. Just to rub it in.

Just divy up the newbs and the lv. 70’s like in a real RPG.

Instead of trying to limit gold transactions so people won’t be inclined to make real-life profits, why not facilitate it? And grab a percentage of said profits? Throw up an in-game auction service, charge a small fee, take in a bit of that $500 million. Having a legitimate place to do the trades should also cut down on the number of scammers floating around.

Games like Second Life are, unfortunately, only doing this half-way. You can buy lindens with real money, but you can’t trade back. Of course, their logic is that it keeps the money in the game, thereby benefiting the company, but it isn’t as if linden-for-cash trades aren’t happening anyway. Once again, install a legitimate service. Take out a percentage of transaction if you’re so inclined so the trade-back isn’t 100% — most people use Paypal and that takes a fee anyway. Why not take that fee and make it your own?

Of course, Second Life isn’t exactly an MMORPG, but if its cash-for-in-game-stuff model isn’t considered unfair, why should cash-for-gold be? In a roundabout way, maybe it’ll get more kids out of the house for a job so they can buy more crap in the game. …Maybe.

Mine isn’t really an informed argument, I guess. Like I said, I don’t play MMO’s, but making gold farming legal just makes so much sense to me.

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  1. Alexius on August 24, 2008 10:28 pm

    Yup. I agree completely there, kiri. I’ve always found Gold Farming one of those touchy subjects around some of my “uber lulz gamerz” acquaintances, some of them dead for it, others dead against. I’ve never really had a problem with it, though. My only foray into an MMO was really with World of Warcraft (which I ditched an hour after playing), but from what I’ve seen, I think it’d only add another form of diversity or another facet to the fairly bland gameplay there is there now.

  2. Alexius on August 24, 2008 10:29 pm

    Oh. And three more words: Pokemon MMO LOLS.

  3. Kiriska on August 24, 2008 10:35 pm

    Pfff, a Pokemon MMO would be awesome and you know it!

  4. Alexius on August 24, 2008 10:37 pm

    I know! I honestly don’t understand why it hasn’t been done before as of yet.

  5. Kiriska on August 24, 2008 10:40 pm

    Probably because making up 100 new Pokemon every few years takes less R&D dollars and is sure profit anyway.

  6. Alexius on August 24, 2008 10:42 pm

    XD. True enough, true enough. I’d also add in the fact that Nintendo has some sort of in-bred hatred for online gaming.