[MUD-Dev] Re: Black Snow Revisited

amanda at alfar.com amanda at alfar.com
Mon Apr 15 01:23:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Jeremy Noetzelman <jjn at kriln.com> writes:

> I don't see why someone else spending money they earned (by
> spending time at a job, presumably) to buy ingame items in any way
> shape or form causes your identical ingame items to lose value.

You misunderstand.  It is not the *items* that lose value--they have
no value to begin with.

In a game that is structured in such a way that certain things
(level, stats, items, whatever) denote in-game accomplishments,
commerce in those rewards devalues the time and experiences that
people spend earning them in-game.  It makes it *less fun* to solve
an in-game puzzle if I can just purchase the "I solved puzzle X"
T-shirt on eBay.

Now, there are certainly other ways to structure a game--the
evidence to hand suggests that a game could be structured to allow
play at any "level" from the start and have some appeal to players.
Want to go do a quest with your friends?  Create a level 35 mumble
foo and play it.  The game company added additional newbie content
that you didn't get a chance to see when you were a newbie?  Create
a level 4 mumble foo and go have fun.  This could work quite well,
and would make "powerlevelling" and "twinking" irrelevant.

However, that's not how current games are structured.

> Perhaps you could explain why you feel this is wrong?  Seems to me
> that this is just a very basic marketplace at work.  You have
> something I want, I have money to compensate you for it, and we
> trade.  How do you define 'earned'?

If I buy a marksmanship medal on eBay, does that make me a marksman?
If I buy a bunch of Monopoly money, can I use it the next time I
play Monopoly?

Amanda Walker
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