"You don't wrap these presents in a box. You can't wear them, play with them or show them off, at least not in the real world. Even so, virtual gifts -- computer-generated items given and displayed online -- are quickly becoming must-haves. And increasingly, people are willing to pay cold, hard, real-life cash to purchase them for friends, family and co-workers."
The ruthless commercialization of what's supposed to be a religious holiday continues. The same force that puts holly and mistletoe in the aisles earlier every year - now November 1 - pushes pointless gift exchange into virtuality. Of course it does. That's the way of economic development. That's why we don't have to protect the strip mall from the trees, but we do have to protect the trees from the strip mall. We have to protect humans from immiserating themselves; this machine does not stop by itself. It certainly does not stop at the virtual membrane - unless we help.