[MUD-Dev] Reality check ...(long) [was Re: Black Snow Revisited]

Ryan S. Dancey ryand at organizedplay.com
Tue Apr 9 11:45:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock [mailto:caliban at darklock.com]

> I don't think it's at all arguable whether a painter has the right
> to demand that you not display his painting over a toilet.

That's probably true in certain parts of Europe, where the idea of
an Artistic Right is recognized.  In the US, it isn't.  If I owned
the painting in question, nobody can stop me from displaying it
anywhere I wish.

> But I *honestly* do not think anyone is going to encounter this
> sort of thing, because -- bluntly speaking -- there are really not
> all that many people who will buy the items in the FIRST place

EverQuest uses boredom as a resource.  The more bored you're willing
to be, the higher level your PC can become.

I don't have time to be bored.  I want to kill a dragon.  I'm
willing to pay a certain amount of real money for the necessary
character and equipment to spend >one< night with my buddies on line
tracking the beast down and whacking it.  Depending on my income
level, my available resources for this project might be quite
substantial.

That's the economic engine that drives real-world sales of stuff in
EverQuest.  That engine powers a whole real-money economy, even if
most of the people in that economy are not actually engaging in the
direct practice of circumventing the boredom economy.  There are
hundreds of thousands of real-world dollars being exchanged monthly
in the real-world EQ economy.

Personally, I don't think it hurts EQ one bit if a number of people
use it as a one-shot, limited time entertainment activity.  Doing so
has no intrinsic effect on the people who are trying to do the same
thing through persistent effort.  The real problem I see is that EQ
has created, on purpose, an >ethical< issue by declaring, by fiat,
that such activities are "bad for the game".

EQ would, in my opinion, be better off by simply providing a server
where you could just 'rent' a character of whatever level you
wanted, temporarily equip that character with whatever stuff you
wanted, and pay a real-world cost that EQ arbitrarily set for the
combination.  People who wanted to just play the game at a high
level without the requisite boredom could do so, and everyone who
thought they were "cheating" could ignore them because they'd all be
on another server.  By doing so, they'd kill the underground EQ
economy (because once the engine was disabled, the rest of the
system would collapse), and they'd earn themselves a nice revenue
stream at no incremental cost.

Ryan
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