The Gaming Black Market


It’s pretty ridiculous how much society has evolved around Internet and gaming sites. Sites like World of Warcraft, Maplestory, and Gaia Online have become the top hobbies of Internet enthusiasts, bored teenagers, and stay-at-home adults. Harmless enjoyment is one thing, but some people have gotten so addicted they play for hours and hours. Some even resort to “illegally” exchanging virtual items for real cash.


Now, I’ve heard of bottle cap collectors who pay hundreds for a rare, one-of-a-kind, extinct bottle cap. Everyone has a quirky hobby they’re zealous about. ($300 for a Harry Potter set, anyone?) But when it comes to virtual pixels…I’ll admit, I’m at a loss here.

There was a site I used to play: Neopets. People were buying up to 10 million NeoPoints offline for up to $40.00 via PayPal. Not to mention the other virtual items they were buying: “highly sought after Neopets” and “rare Neopets items” (all of these computer pixels, by the way).

In a way, it does stimulate the economy. All that cash flowing across the Internet is real, right? If someone wants to decorate their MapleStory character with fancy items exchanged clandestinely with cash, to each his own. You probably have this amazing account on your virtual game site with 30 upgrades, 50 million points, and 900 whatchamacallits–great for you, if that’s your hobby. Just remember, 99.7% of the world population doesn’t really care.

(And yeah, you could be dedicating that time to something more resourceful, in my honest opinion.)





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