[MUD-Dev] Dgn: Currency free game [was: Blog about GDC implies changes to MMORPG population]

Pandora pubsynx7hye at pacbell.net
Thu Jun 9 21:11:12 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

cruise wrote:

> A sudden thought hit me just after I'd read this: Have any games
> tried not having a built-in currency?

>  ie. The game starts with /only/ a barter system, but there is a
>  crafting system that would allow creation of jewellry and such.

> How long would it take players to agree common equivalences, and
> have characters working as dedicated minters producing "coinage"?

Money has one more quality to it beyond just representing value.
It's backed by authority.  So I agree that you'd have a great system
if you only did barter, but most of the world governments would
disagree and say that only under their authority should value be
exchanged.  If you have money (ie. authority) then it's really hard
to rip someone off.  A stable dollar is a strong authority, and you
can't change its worth without being put in your place.  If you
don't have money, then it's harder to decide the value of something,
and easier to get ripped off either out of ignorance or
exploitation.... but you don't have to deal with ultimate
authorities, so it's got some good points too.

Why not just make a "perfect" authority?  Have your program not try
to sneak funds into its' personal affairs, and don't program it to
artificially inflate the value of money, then let that value drop
out after it has cashed in.  In other words, just make it so the
more people give of something to the NPC bankers, the less money
they get in return for the same quantity.  And the more money they
give to the bankers, the more stuff they can get in exchange.  Use
exponential decays.  Simple equation, once you remove the
possibility of corrupt bankers.  (stockbrokers, executives,
stockholders, investors, governors...)
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