Thursday, November 02, 2006

OMGoldFarmers!!!

I posted the previous (Cyber Agricultural Engineers, Oh my!) rather as an off-hand remark. More like an exclamation. Then I began to internalize exactly what 'Gold Farming' represented in my world view. Then the warning klaxon began to sound in earnest.

Perhaps as much as two years ago I slack-jaw marveled at an NPR story about a fellow who had paid ~$12,500 USD for a virtual island in one of the on-line games. The reporter went on to suggest that this enterprising individual would do what any self respecting property developer would do... sub-divide, build, sell and make a fortune. A real fortune, selling digital dreams to other would be digital Barons.

So if this adheres so closely to the brick and mortal model of value enhancement then why am I so excited about it? Real world value is being assigned to virtual world entities. With this assignment we are leaving the reality of our terra firma for the vast uncharted space of our fantasies. The gap between values and Values is widening with no regard to the cost in human terms. Literally, while people on one side of our planet are starving to death, people on the 'other side' of reality are spending real time, real money and real energy achieving status in a pretend world. In the ether of the net.

It will always be easier/cheaper to offer a person the picture of a bowl of rice than it will to offer the bowl of rice. Pictures will not feed the outer person. Pictures will not sustain the inner person.

Neo, take the blue pill.

. . .