« New Author: Betsy Book | Main | Meanwhile, Microsoft and McQuaid Announce Vanguard »

Mar 17, 2004

Comments

1.

"Q: Is the game source code available for purchase for EARTH AND BEYOND?
A: Electronic Arts does not have any plans to sell the source code for EARTH AND BEYOND."

Why the heck not?

2.

"Q: Are you going to fix bugs?
A: We will address technical bugs that affect the operation of the game. We will not fix any bugs pertaining to content."

I was reading the wonderful FAQ too.
So the game will 'operate' but the content may be broke, er, how is that operating exactly?

3.

They make it abundantly clear that the game will be running until September, but how is it a game if they're not going to be adding content for the next 6 months?

This makes not sense to me. Why not kill it now and save money on the server costs? Everyone is going to leave way before September anyway. With no future for the game, actions have no meaning and the (already stale) content will have no appeal.

Bad decisions on top of bad decisions, IMHO.

4.

They prolly can't kill it now. On the tso box it says you get 90 days notice in case of termination. There is presumably something like that for EB.

An check THIS out. Some guy just bid $3K for an EB avatar on eBay. OUCH OUCH OUCH!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3085189233&category=41012

5.

Edward Castronova>Electronic Arts does not have any plans to sell the source code for EARTH AND BEYOND.

Q: "Are you going to give it away then?"

Richard

6.

That's probably how long they have to wait until eveyones subscriptions run out... they certainly don't want to be refunding anyone any money. ONe would at least hope they'd do some kind of "End of the Galaxy" event or something but from this it doesn't seem they will.

Good thing my subscription is monthly.

But why shut it down? They have plenty of subscribers and it's actually a pretty decent game and would be even better if they added more to it...

I guess this is another example of why people stopped trying to figure out EA's decision making process a long long time ago.

PL>"An check THIS out. Some guy just bid $3K for an EB avatar on eBay. OUCH OUCH OUCH!"

another sign that the game wasn't actually hurting for players...

7.

You know, if enough players have big bucks tied up in avatars and property in the game, maybe this is the sort of case where the users could sue to keep the game running -- or perhaps to force EA to allow release of the source code.

8.

Edward Castronova wrote, "Why the heck not?"

I thought you were an economist? ;P

As far as I know, E&B is a stable online multiplayer RPG codebase. This is still a rare thing in the realm of graphical MMORPGs. I believe the economic term for this is "a competitive advantage". In order to realize a profit on the sale of the source code, they have to earn more money on the sale than value they lose from that competitive advantage.

Really, who's going to buy the source? Players? I doubt you'd have enough of them willing to pay a significant amount of money for it. License it to competitors as middleware? This means they have to enter the (IMNSHO) already overcrowded virtual world middleware market and provide proven tools to their competitors. As a programmer, I can tell you how much work usually goes into making a piece of code that was intended for internal use into something that you'd be willing to license. Support can be a hassle if the code isn't cleaned up.

In the end, the best use of the source code is to use as a base for their own future games. Maintain the competitive advantage, recycle the investment put into the engine, and create future games which they hope to derive large profits from.

Doesn't seem that cryptic.

9.

While the decision probably have a solid business case, it just appears to be another corporate asset destined to rot in limbo until some creatives decide to revive the asset and create more brand value.

Perhaps in a year or two, E&B will rise from the ashes.

There are precedents, no?

Frank

10.

"I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew it all, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it? Well, it's always the same. I always tell them-- "

"Oh, shut up!"

:)

11.

Brian> "In the end, the best use of the source code is to use as a base for their own future games."

That was the conclusion I eventually came to. I logged into E&B last night to witness the player reaction. Predictably it ranged from "don't really care" to "totally devestated".

Those leaning towards the devestated end of the spectrum are trying to start up a petition to send to EA and TechTV (I recommended G4 and Gamespy as well as they are actually game oriented but was ignored) to get them to keep the game up. While I don't share their dellusion that EA will really care without them coming up with around 50k signatures (which they can't) I think it will make for interesting press.

12.

A further note that came from the conversation with players last night:

Many of the more upset wanted to believe in the petition because they felt closing the game was "wasting the time and effort they put into the game."

A comparison was made by one of those less upset that wouldn't that be the same as asking for a petition to move characters from, say, FFX to FFXI beacuse they'd put time and effort into their FFX characters?

It's an interesting point... why is the time spent leveling your character in an MMORPG considered "time and effort" while time spent doing the same thing in a single player RPG not?

Is this a design flaw of the MMORPG model?

13.

"Predictably it ranged from "don't really care" to "totally devestated."

Meanwhile, on the message boards the reactions were either, "Thank you dev team for the good times, you'll be missed" to "F* EA, I will never buy another EA game"

14.

"It's an interesting point... why is the time spent leveling your character in an MMORPG considered "time and effort" while time spent doing the same thing in a single player RPG not?"

I believe sense of accomplishment and completion has a lot to do here.
The single-player RPGs giving oodles of it at their conclusion, and the MMOs holding it back, like the carrot that drives the donkey - poor donkeys, they'll never reach the carrot. And that may be a flaw in the model. ...

The EnB team (actually, EA) needs to 'bring closure' by having the game's best event ever, the gallaxy-collapsing event, where every player must participate - perhaps in a mad struggle against all odds. Perhaps they end out winning. Or lose the battle... The final result recorded for all to see. Who won, who lost. Who was who. But definitely *END* ... End the game before you end the service. Quote me on that one:

"You need to end the game before you end the service." -DS.

They need to close the chapter with a high note, or people won't ever come back. Just like outsourcers give you above-contracted service at the begginning and at the end of a contract, and stick to contracted SLAs in between. They do that to project a great first impression and to end on a high note.
What EA management has demonstrated (twice now) is that they neither have a clue how to run a service that keeps customers coming back when they leave, nor did they look to see how services are done out in the Real World outside of games. Didn't they realize they have a brand name to protect and that their brand "EA games" is their service. People won't come back to EnB, because its closed, but you want them to come back for another game! Duh! Perhaps a case of kow-it-all-itis. Gotta say... Its not just EA; I'm sure SOE and just about everybody else would do exactly the same thing if put on the same spot.

15.

Hmmmm....release EB as open source.

I played the game for a few months. It had lots of potential, but I kept saying to myself, "They need to take this concept and combine it with Freelancer." I guess my biggest gripe was that while you could customize your ship, you really couldn't get different ships and customize those.

Open Source EB + Freelancer = an absolutely kick-ass game...well, I'll keep dreaming...

16.

Someone on my blog pasted this over from the E&B portal (sorry, haven't gone there to check). All I can say about this is wow. just wow.

"Just to let you all know what was going on. EA was contacted Monday afternoon by My former employers lawyers to try and start a arbitration(sorry for spelling) for refunds of all players fees 26 total that my employer owned. They also requested that all fees for galaxy transfer and name change service for all player base be refunded also. For the full player base. With first contact being made ive also asked for a addtion for the arbitrtation for EA to sell its code and intelectual propertys for ea to a company of good standing. We have found out that EA has been offered for the past year a buy out plan but have refused on ground on competion seems ea after ultima has in the works another sci fi based online game. For all partys interested in info for this case please email me at [email protected] if arbitratration fails there will be a class action filed and you will all be invited to join. Though as with all lawyers im sure there will be a fee but im thinking small since there is a high player base unhappy with EA right now. Ill have more info on that at a later time. I am in the process of starting a website devoted to "calling out game and software makers" on false promises. anyone willing to help me with this also email me at said address. IM thinking its time to open the eyes of big companys and let them know that they cant force feed us crap for a fee with false statements of making it better crap. nuff said.
please all put in email subject EA - EB so i know its you guys and not spam


signed
Blinker
Feirson
Pokeybaby
Pokeywarrior
FeirPokey
All diffrent accounts "

17.

"My former employers lawyers to try and start a arbitration(sorry for spelling) for refunds of all players fees 26 total that my employer owned."

His former employer's *company* owns 26 accounts? That seems odd.

At any rate, there's not much of a case here that I can see except for a refund of of the remainder of their current subscription. So if they had a 6 month subscription and they canceled now then they can try for a refund for the remaining period. They do not have any claim to a refund of previous subscriptions paid. EA provided an etnertainment service, said accounts made use of that service. End of story. The galaxy transfer service probably falls along the same lines. You agree to pay a fee for a service, that service is performed. I'm betting there's even a clause somewhere that you agree to that states subscriptions canceled early don't get a refund.

If for some strange reason they do succed it would be devestating to any industry that provided a subscription based service...

"I don't like the company buying you so I want a full refund for my 6 years of cable service..."

18.

Why not give away the source or sell it? Why would EA want E&B to compete with its other games?

Why shut it down? My guess it's a simple opportunity loss in the eyes of EA. The resources being used on E&B can be shifted into more profitable properties. Big publishers are not going to be interested in MMOs that have a small subscriber base. That's just tying up resources for very little profit.

19.

Next I think they should sue Apple for not making the Apple II anymore. I, like a lot of other people, had a lot of games for the Apple II that aren't playable anymore. Apple should sell the intellectual property and chip fabs so that they can make new Apple II computers.

All the hours I spent playing Montezuma's Revenge won't be lost then!

Then we can go sue Pepsico for not making Pepsi Blue anymore. Damn them, I really enjoyed that soda! I'm sure the forumula will come cheap.

(For the sarcasm challenge: These people should move on. I started creating my own games instead of clinging to the Apple II, and I can enjoy other sodas instead of Pepsi Blue, even though all my friends drank it too. There's lots of virtual worlds out there that are deserving of their money, some of which are even within the same game genre (outer space)! Others which have been proven not to die easily. ;)

My thoughts,

20.

"All the hours I spent playing Montezuma's Revenge won't be lost then!"

Emulte it with http://www.mess.org/

:-)

21.

Brian, your latest remarks suggest a failure to see the difference between a MMORPG and a piece of hardware or an offline game. The point is that there is a kind of qualitative difference between these platforms and simple commercial products. To whit: they are communities with robust collaborative relationships and economies, and people can have a lot of resources (thousands of dollars) invested in objects within these platforms. So it's not like losing Pepsi Blue in any way that is imaginable to me (i.e. there are not 10s of thousands of little people, of which I am one, that swim about in pepsi blue and generate millions of dollars of wealth, some of which is mine and which is suspended somewhere in the world stock of pepsi blue -- and this is granting the further condition that people don't drink Pepsi Blue but only pay pepsico to maintain a supply of it that they can swim in, work in, and store wealth in.)

22.

It is a mistake to make an emotional investment in any person, place or organization that has their own agenda. When you sign up for a game service, you know perfectly well that it is being run for money, and that if it loses money it will close.

But some people invest a piece of their soul into these characters. Don't DO that. If you have no control, and if your game company/employer/government/whatever has a strong motivation to cover their own butt, it just ain't sensible to make an emotional investment. Find a free game, or join some group where they can't kick you out.

Making an emotional investment in any commercially derived relationship is foolish at best, and for some people suicidal. Not good. Money and caring don't mix.

23.

B Smith
> It is a mistake to make an emotional investment in any person, place or organization that has their own agenda…
>Don't DO that. If you have no control, and if your game company/employer/government/whatever has a strong motivation to cover their own butt, it just ain't sensible to make an emotional investment.

So investing emotion in being a citizen of a pretty much any nation state would be a bad idea then. My government certainly has its own agenda; it does things like go to war against the wishes of the majority of the population, locks people up with out trial etc. My degree of control seems nil as the opposition party would do exactly the same.

In a few years I can see that it would emotionally easier for me to move country than move VW. Moreover I feel that I have more control over the VWs I hang out in than the countries that I do.

Maybe its bad to invest emotions in any of these and what one should really care about are just those social relations we have with the people we know.

24.

Peter,

A mud is a community but then, so is a local's bar. When the bar closes down for whatever reason, is it reasonable for the former patrons to demand that the property, setup, and employees (all of which are key elements in the 'scene' of that bar) be sold to another bar, who must run the same bar as before rather than changing it into, say, a bar for transexual Hindu bikers, because their community is being destroyed?

I'd say no, and I see the important part of the situation as fundamentally identical. In both cases, patrons have invested a great deal of time forming relationships that are predicated around the locale (virtual or real) and which don't translate nearly as well without that locale. It's not a complete break, of course, but outside the locale the failure rate for those relationships is going to be much higher than normal.

In both cases, patrons have also invested a great deal of money (though far more in the case of a bar most likely). It's true that in the case of the bar patron, he's getting a physical consumable product (I'm not sure that's important, but let's say it is.) but the huge premium that a bar charges over the cost of drinking at home is for the atmosphere and in the case of a local bar, for the community. Furthere, there's even an achievement aspect to a local bar, in that participating a lot for a long period of time generally raises your status in the bar.

I mean look, I make my living off ensuring that some people value our communities enough that they'll spend thousands of dollars on the services we provide. But at the same time, I'm not going to tell you that I think the patrons own the world. They sign up for a specific service, and we can cut that service off from them at any time, for any reason provided it's not a reason that falls into the protected categories of race, religion, etc. Just like a bar.

Obviously, I hope it's a very very long time before we have to shut down any of our worlds but let's face it: They're all going to be shut down sometime. For some graphical muds, it might be next year. I think text muds have a much longer lifespan due to the fact that the display tech is more or less stable but it's not conceivable that they won't be shut down SOMETIME. Maybe that's 50 years from now. Hell, maybe it's 200 years from now. But it's going to happen. Does it really seem reasonable to insist that users have a right to a service that a company provides, in perpetuity?

--matt

25.

Ren,

>So investing emotion in being a citizen of a >pretty much any nation state would be a bad >idea then. My government certainly has its own >agenda; it does things like go to war against >the wishes of the majority of the population, >locks people up with out trial etc.

I could not agree more. Patriotism is jingoism.

>My degree of control seems nil as the >opposition party would do exactly the same.

Right on once again. Voting is a honey trap. Opt out. Nearly half a billion dollars will be spent buying the White House this year.

--matt, whose vote will cost you $3000.

26.

So, is this how the corporate state system starts. That I have more trust in brands than governments, that purchasing choices is the closest thing to democracy that I’ll ever see?

27.

I think that's probably accurate. Brands are insidious as well, of course, as anyone who has ever had to sit through a 'lifestyle' commercial will attest, but they are passive. At least purveyors of overpriced sugar-water like Pepsi aren't going to come to my door and beat me or kidnap me if I don't buy their products.

What do you expect though? Government is based on the unilateral exercise of force. That's not really a recipe for Good Times and Fun For Minorities (of any type). Tow the line, salute the flag, and support the troops or you're the bad guy. Granted, some countries are a lot better about tolerating this than others (and the U.S. is one of the better ones overall, though hardly the best). But as me ole pappy used to say, "The best shit in the world still stinks."

--matt
"And thus they ate horseflesh as if it were venison, and reckoned it most savory, for hunger served in place of seasoning."

28.

So are we now arguing that companies are really opening up virtual living spaces and, by doing so, taking on more responsibilities than they realize?

Sort of the mental equivelant of renting a house? What rights do home renters have if the owners decide to sell the land or just simply stop renting it?

29.

Renters rights vary from place to place. In some places squatters rights are respected.

I don't have informed views about the case of rental properties, but I do think that when we talk about a virtual community that serves as a platform for tens of thousands of participants working, creating wealth, exchanging ideas, and forming important social relations, then analogies to Pepsi Cola and the Corner Bar are so far off the mark it isn't funny.

A person (and a corportation) can own lots of things that they can't destroy at will. If I own a healthy pet I can't destroy it for no reason. If my house is on the historical register I can't destroy it for no reason. If I own a Picasso it is at least morally wrong for me to destroy it. Ownership does not necessarily confer the moral right to destroy. Sometimes ownership carries with it the responsibility to show proper stewardship for the thing owned.

A better way to think about ownership of virtual communities is that one has stewardship over them. If one is unwilling or unable to properly care for the community then stewardship should be passed on to someone who is so capable. (Possibly the users themselves.)

30.

Peter says: "A better way to think about ownership of virtual communities is that one has stewardship over them. If one is unwilling or unable to properly care for the community then stewardship should be passed on to someone who is so capable. (Possibly the users themselves.)"

Please, defend that statement, Peter. What transforms a personally/corporate-created object into a commons? When does personal property belong to the so-called virtual squatters? Which ones does it belong to?

I don't think we should confuse society trying to deal with it's poor and downtroden population with the population of users on an MMORG, who have plenty money and time/industry to burn.

The whole 'creating wealth' argument is still up for debate, BTW. :-)

Randy

31.

Yeah, I have to say, I see no fundamental difference between a mud community and the local bar community, except that the local bar community is probably tighter as a whole due to its smaller size. I'm unsure where renter's rights come into this, incidentally. I don't really see the relevance, since a mud customer is not renting anything.

When the users are able to go back in time and take the financial risk of a project upon themselves, then I'll concede ownership to them. Until then, they're customers who should be kept happy, but that's where it ends. I'm reasonably confident the courts will see it the same way.

--matt

32.

Randy asks: "What transforms a personally/corporate-created object into a commons? When does personal property belong to the so-called virtual squatters? Which ones does it belong to?"

There is no easy answer or set of answers to this question, but clearly there are conditions in which personally/corporate-created object becomes part of the commons. Unilever builds the first glass box building -- designed specifically to be temporary. But low and behold, when they want to tear it down they are blocked because of it's architectural significance. A corporation may build a mall, or a company town, but discover they can't run it like their lunch room and courts have held in cases that free speech and other priviledges should hold. I can imagine cases where a corporation builds a playground, later wants to destroy it, but discovers that it can't because it has become to important to the community.

Again, I can't tell you when this happens, or why it happens, or predict when courts will agree that it *has* happened, but I can say that any argument that relies on the premise that "they own it so they can do what they want with it" is seriously flawed argument -- both legally and ethically.

33.

If someone wants a sense of community connection, try a church. Provided that you don't pick a cult that the government is after, you probably will never be shut down.

Also, the analogy between governemnt and MMOG's is stretching things past the snapping point. To mention only a few:

1) Membership in an MMOG community is voluntary. A free association made by choice. Membership in a nationstate or other unit of society is almost always hereditary.

2)For people with normal family connections, real world friends, and reasonable stable emotional balance, loss of a MMOG is survivable. But loss of a nation-state frequently leads to death, torture, rape, enslavement, etc. "Ethnic Cleansing" anyone?

3) No one is stopping any disgruntled customer from making their own game. If it means that much to them, they should either put up or shut up. The tools are out there, free for the using.

------

It ain't real folks. It is not a virtual world. It is a game of "lets pretend" played by adults and children both. Pretty and sometimes enjoyable, but no more real than stories told around a campfire. And less relevant to survival. If your nation-state falls, you are going to be worried about food, clothing shelter, escape, medical supplies, finding your lost children, and praying for the captured womenfolk. You can walk away from a game. And if you find yourself forming an emotional attachment, you certainly should.

Perfectly reasonable to raise a stink if you think you have been scammed or ripped off. But if your feelings have merely been hurt because your favorite toy has been snatched away, get over it.

34.

Regardless of the current public view on virtual communities, there may be a day when virtual communities are held sacred and laws are passed to protect them.

That day is not today....

Frank

35.

>It ain't real folks. It is not a virtual world. It is a game of "lets pretend" played by adults and children both<

Well this is precisely the point in dispute, so simply repeating it over and over like your mantra really doesn't buy your position much cred. For starters, it is not at all clear what the diffence between a "real" economy and a "virtual" economy is supposed to be, especially given that many MMORPG currencies represent a more secure store of value than some terrestial economies. Moreover, for a lot of people these days --e.g. persons with an EU passport -- it would be much easier to change countries than MMORPGs. Even in my own case it doesn't matter much *where* I live or teach, but if I were banned from Terra Nova that would create serious problems for me. Likewise for money traders or virtual object brokers with lots of time invested in establishing their reputation and customer list in a game, they could easy survive deportation from their terrestial country much more easily than banning from a world where their business associates and friends reside.

36.

Peter says:
'For starters, it is not at all clear what the diffence between a "real" economy and a "virtual" economy is supposed to be, especially given that many MMORPG currencies represent a more secure store of value than some terrestial economies.'

Umm. Wasn't this thread about E&B shutting down and completely _destroying_ the supposed real value of this virtual economy?

When the machines go off, the E&B token (whatever it is called) is worthless. "The worst market crash, ... ever."

Randy

37.

FRF>>"MMORPG currencies represent a more secure store of value than some terrestrial economies."

I don't quite see how that works out. Money in almost every games is earned by killing a monster (if not other ways as well). There are zero caps on the amount of currency available in the environment. Essentially this is the equivalent of using tree leaves as money.

A persons wealth in an MMORPG is limited only by the time and patience they have for going out and essentially picking it up off the ground.

This is why money sinks are necessary in MMORPG's - to bleed off the never ending influx of currency. Without money sinks player wealth quickly grows and your currency becomes valueless. The best example to date is the original Asherons Call. Their base unit of currency (the pyreal I believe it was) dropped off every mob and could be earned from every vendor by selling off dropped items. Vendors would also sell items, but the amount sold far outweighed what anyone would buy. In short order the pyreal became valueless and players actually developed their own economy using a couple much rarer quest items as a new form of currency (motes and shards). Motes and shards where semi-difficult to obtain items that dropped off only a few mobs and could be converted into special weapons and armor thus giving them a rough base value for the players to work from. The rarity of a mote or shard could be compared to the rarity of the item being traded for.

EQ is another good example.. the game actually has 4 levels of currency - copper, silver, gold, and platinum. However none of the other currencies are used in the player economy other than platinum. Why? Because the money flows so freely nothing in the game can be worth less than 1 platinum. Admittedly EQ does have some money sinks (items that can only be obtained from vendors for example) so their economy is still somewhat viable... but the sinks can only limit the influx of money so much and inflation still occurs.

The core problem with MMORPG economies is the way wealth is accumulated. If you want a *stable* MMORGP economy coin should only be earned (from the game mechanics of course - player trade is out of dev control) only by performing tasks and selling loot and base how much you can earn on how many people are trying to do the same task or how much of that sort of loot has been sold recently.

There are of course other factors that play into a viable economy (cost of living, item decay, scarcity of resources, etc) which can also help but the "wealth = (time + patience)" model should be the first examined.

38.

Sourtone,

FYI: You mis-attributed me. I was quoting Peter Ludlow.

Since I've learned never compare a virtual economy (favorably) to a real one, I felt I had to correct this typo. [Attribt-o?]

Randy


39.

Randy DID say: "Umm. Wasn't this thread about E&B shutting down and completely _destroying_ the supposed real value of this virtual economy?"

I don't see the dilemma here. Some MMORPG economies are stable and some are not. Some are more stable than r/l economies (last 2 years EQ vs Argentina). The current behavior of EA threatens the security of EA game economies. We can say, well, then you are a sucker for putting assets in EA games, or we can insist that EA be responsible and stabilize their game economies and preserve the value of the assets in them.

Everyone has an interest in doing the latter, since if EA is allowed to be irresponsible, poorly manage and or delete their in-world economies it also damages the credibility of other game economies. In effect, millions of dollars of wealth are being jeapordized by the irresponsible behavior of one corporation.

40.

Sorry about that Randy...

Peter>>"or we can insist that EA be responsible and stabilize their game economies and preserve the value of the assets in them."

Since EA (or any other company) doesn't support or condone the real world sale of virtual assets the true *legal* value of any in-game item is no more or less than it's value in that games currency. If both item and currency cease to exist then the value of both is irrelevant. Not everyone has an interest in trying to preserve the value of what are essentially black market virtual goods... only those who try to profit from the sales.

The value of items in other EA game economies or other MMORPG economies is the same as it will always be - whatever the market will bear. The shutdown won't change that much.

Had EA been in full support of players selling items to each other for real world profit then you would have a point - they set an expectation of value and they would have to be held to it. They, however, considered it as most of the world does... basically monoploy money.

In the end it is just a game.

41.

Moving this to the next thread up as it's more on this topic

42.

Randy:
"Umm. Wasn't this thread about E&B shutting down and completely _destroying_ the supposed real value of this virtual economy?

When the machines go off, the E&B token (whatever it is called) is worthless. "The worst market crash, ... ever.""

Bad, but worse? I don't know.

From: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/federalreserve/annual/1995/history.html

"Between 1861 and 1865 Confederate currency was being issued to millions of Southerners, gambling that a Confederate victory would ensure the currency would be redeemable. In an effort to debase this currency, the North printed counterfeit Confederate money and circulated it in the south. Inflation was soon rampant in both the north and south, but far worse in the Confederacy. As the end of the war neared, Confederate citizens completely lost confidence in their currency and came to rely on barter or black-market greenbacks. In some cases Confederate soldiers were even paid in Northern greenbacks. By the end of the war, Confederate notes were totally worthless."


Especially now that most Real World currencies are not backed up by gold reserves, there is nothing to stop them from being "turned off" by the powers that be. (Even when they were backed by gold reserves, said powers would merely have to declare them no longer redeemable and then proceed as before).

Thus, the fact that the E&B economy can be destroyed at the flip of a switch in no way makes it less real. There is likely only a few computers that have to freak out to wipe out most of my real world savings. (I can only hope they also manage to wipe out my debt while they are at it :>)

- Brask Mumei

43.

If we've learned anything from Professor Castronova or much of the rest of TN for that fact, it's that you can chant "it's not real" all day long and maybe think that solves something. But please don't do this without consider how "real" your paycheck is. It's real because it allows you acquire things like houses and food. Which points to the underlying truth that something has value if someone else wants it.

But does this mean in any way that E&B users can press for retaining their game? I sure hope not as this would be a very bad precident. If a game company is forced to maintain an old world, at a loss, expect to see companies bailing out of the VW sinking ship like so many rats.

Historically real estate has dealt with sudden unexpected loss of value. I'm not sure on the precident of forcing mining operations to continue to prevent ghost towns, but local economics does get tied into the politics of military base closures and many small communities in Yellowstone are weighing in on the proposed ban of snowmobiles.

Anyway, in summary my thoughts are yes, it's real loss, but those are still the risks of doing virtual business.

44.

Perhaps some of us have the perspective that VWs should be public goods that should not be destroyed at the whim of a single participant. In one TN thread, securing public access to broadcasts of Cricket matches in India was discussed. In the other E&B thread, financial cost of E&B closure was discussed perhaps to determine a numeric amount of damage to put on a lawsuit.

Games are more than mere games when social interests are invested some may say. The phrase “no taxes without representation” should be applied as “no VW service without representation.” VW customer bill of rights should be drafted and other measures should be taken to secure the increasing and substantial value of VWs.

Are you a VW advocate or VW revolutionary?

Frank

The comments to this entry are closed.