Meet the Team Question for The Escapist Issue 75

Each week we ask a question of our staff and featured writers to learn a little bit about them and gain some insight into where they are coming from.

This week’s question is:
What was your highest-ever net worth in an online game?

Allen Varney, “Boutique MMOGs”

Can’t recall the dollar value, but a few years ago I designed an online game (never published, alas) about lobbying (buying) U.S. Congressional legislators to get bills passed or killed. To get anywhere in the game you needed four Senators and five Representatives. According to Open Secrets, the average going rate for a legislator in the 2006 election was $3.1 million for a Senator, $655K for a Representative. So that would mean, after correcting for inflation, a winning position in my lobbying game was worth about $15.7 million.

Gearoid Reidy, “The Little Red Yen”

-10,000 man hours, thanks to Halo 2

Shannon Drake, “The Industrialization of Play”

During my EVE scamming days, I swashbuckled about 500 million ISK from miners, botters and morons.

JR Sutich, Contributing Editor

In game: EVE Online. I had almost 2 billion ISK once. Lost three battleships in a week. Now sitting at around 1 billion.

Out of game: Ultima Online. If I had sold all of my gold and items before I quit, I could have easily cleared close to $20,000. But I sold the account to a friend for $750.

Russ Pitts, Associate Editor

I don’t play online games with actual economies. I can’t even balance my own checkbook. But I did do that hack for Sim City where you make a horribly-zoned city, then leave it on overnight. I think I got my balance up to around $14 million that way.

Joe Blancato, “Club Xanadu,” Associate Editor

If I remember correctly, I sold an EQ character for about $400, and then the gear for another $300 or so. Then there was the Shadowbane money-laundering scheme that netted me about a grand, but that came in a bit slower.

Jon Hayter, Producer

Ulima Online, I was worth about 1 million after my first three or four months in game. (This is back when 1 mill was worth something.) I never really got much above that in liquid assets over the next four years, but had a lot of stuff and an “L-Shaped” house. After I quit for a couple years, I went back, and most of the stuff I had banked had gone up in value exponentially (original bless deeds anyone?). After a couple weeks of liquidating, my bank was full of checks that were worth a million gold each – then I got bored and quit again.

Julianne Greer, Executive Editor

Well, I’ve got about 74 gold on my WoW Troll priest right now. That’s probably the high point.

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