A gamer disclosed on Reddit how he uses the Real Money Auction House for fun and profit.
The Diablo III auction house has become a source of controversy for some gamers who don't want the real world infecting their escapist entertainment. But for others who treat buying low and selling high as just another game, Diablo III has become a source of a real income. One such gamer - going by the name WishboneTheDog on Reddit - said he's made more than $10,000 US dollars trading on the auction house, offered a few shots of his PayPal account as proof, and was nice enough to hold a brief AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) to discuss how he's done it.
"One of my favorite parts of gaming has been the economics of the item markets since I started trading in Neopets ten years ago," said WishboneTheDog. "It is what first got me interested in economics, and I am now studying business at a good university."
Wishbone earned every penny the hard way, through playing the game and searching the auction house manually for deals. "I have never botted, scammed, used any of the number of exploits, or cheated in any way whatsoever," he said. "Before this game, I never made any money off of what I did because it was against the rules. Investing and trading in the item markets is part of how I have my fun, it wouldn't make sense for me to cheat."
He even intends to pay taxes on his income. "I plan on reporting this and paying the tax on it, partly because of my relationship with taxes so far in my life," wrote Wishbone. "I disagree with a lot of tax policy, but I'll fight the policy when I have a voice that people will listen to, not by trying to avoid taxes. I'm thankful I have been as successful as I have been. It feels right to pay taxes on this, especially because it is a significant amount."
Wishbone also explains rather succinctly how Diablo III gold isn't that much different than real currency. "People think that paying 'real money' in a videogame is a huge leap from paying in gold or from grinding for an item. What people don't realize is that currencies are only a numerical representation of value," he said. "As soon as there is a collective demand for goods, both virtual and 'real,' value is created. Humans developed currencies to represent this value in a tangible way, and to make the exchange of these goods more liquid.
"[Diablo III] gold is like a foreign currency. It represents value, but only within the specific game world," he said.
Whether or not you pay real money for items in Diablo III's auction house, it's nice to hear someone discuss the economics with honesty and the desire to educate. If you're interested, head over to Wishbone's AMAA to learn more. But be warned, he doesn't give away any trading tricks. That's how he keeps his $10,000 business booming.