[MUD-Dev] Re: Character maintinence - expenditure of resources

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Thu May 7 21:10:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>
Date: Thursday, May 07, 1998 3:52 PM

>On Mon, 4 May 1998 14:41:39 -0700 (PDT)
>Adam Wiggins<adam at angel.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, 4 May 1998, Koster, Raph wrote:
>> Although we've chatted about this before over the years, I'd like to
>> take this moment to start an official Thread(tm).  Generally we talk
>> about what the "best" way to try to keep player resources (for
>> purposes of general discussion, resources == money) in balance.

<SNIP discussion of economies. I have some interesting (at least to me)
implementation of some of these aspects...but wanted look at the LET/Barter
system for a minute>

>In the aid of player currencies (yes, I'm talking all the way down to
>localised player societies within a MUD minting their own script or
>other tokens). I'm a big advocate of LET Systems.
>Money is a great simplifier -- it need not be global (compare the
>company scripts from the latter half of last century as in the song
>with the refrain "Another day older and deeper in debt").  I'd
>strongly suggest also looking at implementing something like a LET
>system for currency:
>  http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/
>  http://www.ic.org/market/money/
>  http://titsoc.soc.titech.ac.jp/titsoc/higuchi-lab/icm/
>  http://espc22.murdoch.edu.au/~armlets/
>Fascinating stuff.
>You might also want to look into the extremely interesting and very
>wide-spread use of "trade dollars" as an alternative currency in
>Australia.  In quite a few industries in Australia more trade is done
>per day in trade-dollars than in Australian currency.  (Sorry, don't
>have time to dig up much of a URL list:
>  http://www.tradebanc.com/
>  http://kite.ois.net.au/~btrcard/main001.htm?
>  http://kite.ois.net.au/~btrcard/bart001.htm
>There is some suspicion that the total volume of transactions in trade
>dollars and similar alternative currencies/barter systems in Australia
>will exceed the total volume of transactions done in the natonal
>currency before the year 2010.  I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Actually, the LET idea has great value if a game world. Economics in game
world are tricky because much of the economic engine is invisible and
mundane, so there is a strong tendency on the part of the designer to cut
corners and simply make goods available. Don't have time to do a full post
on this right know but suffice it to say with out continuous demand for
simple items, (food, drink, shelter, basic weapons and armor) it impossible
to model even a semi-realistic feeling economy.

I wold be interested to see how this works in other countries because my
experience with local barter group was less than stellar. Barter groups
have the same power as the central banks...they can create money from
nothing...the classic notion of "printing money" (of course now we just
create entries in computer ledgers). The danger of inflation in a barter
group is real. Typically the barter company pays for its expenses with
barter dollars. A little of this is actually stimulating, too much and you
diminish the value of everyone's currency. My experience is that service
providers like plumbers and computer programmers find few hard goods (like
pipe and disk drives) because of the relative cost of providing the goods.
A program (if written in time not already commited) costs pennies in out of
pocket expenses. A $300 harddrive might wholesale for $250. What happens is
all the hard good get bought out in the system as service providers
accumulate trade dollars in their slack times.

>Raph:  I'd be extremely interested in any of your wife's takes on this
>area given here background.  My interest in these alternate currency
>areas has been primarily intellectual/libertarian, altho the
>Australian segment of my family ia heavily into Trade Dollars on a
>corporate scale (yes, major businesses in Oz deal in Trade Dollars).
>J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
>(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
>---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
>...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...
>MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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