[Mud-Dev] Broken currencies

Matt Mihaly the_logos at www.achaea.com
Wed Apr 4 05:30:10 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Jim S wrote:

> which the currency enters the game should resolve a lot of this.
> One thing does bother me with this whole economic theory, or perhaps
> it's just something which is currently missing from the debate.  In
> every real world economy that I've been a part of the poor stay poor
> and the rich get richer.  I think in a lot of ways this carries over
> to the virtual worlds of MUDs and MMOGs.  A person just starting out
> stays relatively poor and at that point currency does generally mean
> something.  I know from my experiences as a player that when I was
> just starting out I'd generally scrimp and save every last copper
> piece.  As a player advances in the game and becomes 'higher level'
> currency becomes more abundant.

Erm, so what you're saying is that the poor actually get richer and
new poor are created. It's not the same thing at all as "the poor get
poorer and the rich get richer" as in the real world this refers to
the ability of money to make money.

> The ratio of low level players to high level players is pretty high,
> just as the ratio of poor and middle class to rich people is in the
> real world.  In a MMOG the vast majority of currency in the game is
> generally hoarded by those of high level.  If you consider those
> players to be the rich folks in the world it's no wonder they don't
> value a 'dollar'.  Most well-to-do folks would think nothing of
> spending $30,000 for a car or a few hundred thousand for a house.
> Also a large portion of a well-off person's value is generally held
> not in liquid assets, but in properties such as land, houses, cars,
> and tradeable stocks.  Hmmm, looks to me as though the rich people
> in our world trade property (stocks, bonds, futures, and commodities
> such as gold and silver) in much the same way that high level
> players on MMOGs trade rare and no-drop items, except that in the
> real world the commodities are not being traded because they are
> 'needed' but with the hope the they will make the trader more rich.

Stocks, bonds, futures, and other financial instruments are eminently
tradeable for currency, and that's just about the only thing they are
ever traded for. There aren't many things that people in the physical
world barter with. It's simply easier to do it with currency. And
unlike in most MUDs, currency in the real world (in any scale at
least) doesn't carry a significant transportation cost, as it's just
numbers on computer systems. One wonders what we're gaining by
insisting on physical representations of 'gold pieces.'


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