World of Warshopping

World of Warshopping

Bummed about the economy? World of Warcraft is the prescription you've been looking for.

Permalink

The best way we gamers can fix the economy is by buying virtual goods. There's no production cost per unit and so it's basically putting money into the economy. It's the online version of a government stimulus package, we give them cash, and they give us nothing. Now i'm going into Second Life and stimulating the economy!

thenumberthirteen:
The best way we gamers can fix the economy is by buying virtual goods. There's no production cost per unit and so it's basically putting money into the economy. It's the online version of a government stimulus package, we give them cash, and they give us nothing. Now i'm going into Second Life and stimulating the economy!

is that sarcasm or are you being honest?
however it's a good article.

This was an interesting article and an even more interesting way to look at WoW, i might gives this a try some time, it might ease my thirst of buying expensive things.

I actually grew up window shopping in real life, and only buying something I wanted once a month or so at a yard sale for dirt cheap. But the window shopping made it that much more enjoyable. I don't slake my thirst for shopping, I let it build until I finally do buy something, then I enjoy it 'til there's nothing left to enjoy. Hell I started working when I was 9 or 10 as a stockboy for my grandmother's store just so I could get money to not spend. I would never be able to do this though, the whole idea of buying something intangible just doesn't sit well with me. I need to be able to hold things in my hands and know that my money has turned into something else.

While I understand the logic behind the article, I don't believe your proposed "solution" is right. It basically sounds like "we Americans consume too much, now that we don't have much money to spend, let's switch to spending virtual money on virtual things we don't need in order to weather the crisis, then we can go back to spending real money on real things we don't need."

The financial crisis itself is a direct result of over-consumption. We'd be better off learning to live without that instead of just saying "that's the way I am" and keeping at it. As for World of Warcraft - suggesting it as a possible "solution" to this problem is like trying to cure alcoholics by giving them heroin. In the end, you'll get alcoholic drug addicts. Similarly, the WoW obsession soon starts to beg for more spending than the monthly fee - new hardware to handle the increasing system requirements, new peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.) to "enhance the game experience", and so on. Hell, even Blizzard themselves ask for extra money for stuff like customizing your character on demand.

ravensshade:

thenumberthirteen:
The best way we gamers can fix the economy is by buying virtual goods. There's no production cost per unit and so it's basically putting money into the economy. It's the online version of a government stimulus package, we give them cash, and they give us nothing. Now i'm going into Second Life and stimulating the economy!

is that sarcasm or are you being honest?
however it's a good article.

To be honest I hope I was being sarcastic, but come to think of it I'm probbably right.

Fake it till ya make it man.

Escapism at its finest.

Just remember, the servers go down when society crumbles :P

I hope sarcasm. Meanwhile after the servers crash, at least I will have a house, weapons to defend it, and D&D to pass the time.

:)

Falien:
Similarly, the WoW obsession soon starts to beg for more spending than the monthly fee - new hardware to handle the increasing system requirements, new peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.) to "enhance the game experience", and so on. Hell, even Blizzard themselves ask for extra money for stuff like customizing your character on demand.

I would disagree with this. I use an old 2003 from-the-factory Dell computer, and all I've had to do was throw in an extra GB of RAM to be free of lag during PvP. WoW's specs are low; that's why its so popular. You could probably play it on a computer constructed of chickenwire and a hamster.

As for the peripherals, I don't know anybody who's stupid enough to waste money on Blizzard's custom keyboards and mice. A standard gaming mouse gets you much farther, and most people realize that. The only WoW merchandise I see anyone buying are the clothing pieces and trading cards.

Good article, I see where your coming from because I recently started WoW, and all I see is level 80s with epic mounts everywhere I go. Normally, I would be discouraged, but now it will make me progress faster.

This is one of the reasons I loved playing.
Although, it wasn't always the practical gear for me, sometimes it was just rare/old and useless trinkets, pets or items.

When Wrath of the Lich King is less than a month away and you're still living the dream in Molten Core for level 60 epix, getting smashed with your guild at Darkbrew tavern, (an bar inside an instance) or farming costume mats to buy an orb that turns you into a Blackwing whelp, thats when you know you've reached Nirvana.

Flying-Emu:

Falien:
Similarly, the WoW obsession soon starts to beg for more spending than the monthly fee - new hardware to handle the increasing system requirements, new peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse etc.) to "enhance the game experience", and so on. Hell, even Blizzard themselves ask for extra money for stuff like customizing your character on demand.

I would disagree with this. I use an old 2003 from-the-factory Dell computer, and all I've had to do was throw in an extra GB of RAM to be free of lag during PvP. WoW's specs are low; that's why its so popular. You could probably play it on a computer constructed of chickenwire and a hamster.

As for the peripherals, I don't know anybody who's stupid enough to waste money on Blizzard's custom keyboards and mice. A standard gaming mouse gets you much farther, and most people realize that. The only WoW merchandise I see anyone buying are the clothing pieces and trading cards.

Although Blizzard themselves changed the minimum system requirements with the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I agree that the requirements are low - my own PC, which ran WoW fine for my taste, is based on a Shuttle barebones system circa 2002 or so, and I don't even have a gaming mouse (I use a simple 2-button-plus-wheel one). Such systems are fine for enjoying the game casually, but this game tends to get people addicted, in varying degrees. From my own experience in-game, almost everyone I met had at some point or other spent money on a WoW-related upgrade for their machine. You bought some more memory (I did the same), some people bought better GPUs and the like, but I know of people who have bought entire new systems for the sole purpose of running WoW "more smoothly", and that's just moderately addicted players.

Step into the "fanboy" realm and you get "hidden" extra spending like special editions of the game and expansion packs (which cost twice the normal price, at least over here in backwater Europe), tickets to events, comics, books, trading-card games, trading-card-game expansion packs, figures, shirts... these all exist, which means that a significant number of players buy them. Add to that the paid "special" services Blizzard offers, like Paid Character Transfers, Paid Name Change etc. and you get some nice extra revenue.

If you take addiction to the max (eg. PvP and Arena junkies, "professional" raiders and the like), on top of the above you get people buying special WoW-branded backlit keyboards (so they can play in the dark) with built-in displays of game stats (to save you a mouse click or two), special mice with tens of buttons (so they can perform impossibly complex maneuvers at the touch of one button, that's why you needed to save a click before), bigger monitors, better GPUs (to accommodate the bigger monitors), faster processors (so as not to "bottleneck" the better GPUs), etc etc.

Now I know I'm talking about extreme cases here, but in a game whose player base exceeds 11 million, that means an alarmingly large amount of people, which equals an alarmingly large amount of spending.

That's my opinion, anyway.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here