Sunday, February 06, 2005

Capitalist Overlords of the New Age

Get this. There are virtual reality games being played over the Internet. There are thousands of people worldwide who go to these virtual worlds and play games and, how to say it, live their lives in these places (MMORPGs is the technical term). They accumulate points for various activities. The points can be traded and sold. The points are so valuable to other players that they are now being sold out here in the real world on Ebay. Recently a "virtual island" owned by one of these players in one of these virtual worlds sold for $30,000. That's US cash, on the barrelhead, 600 US Grants.

This has attracted attention. Commercial attention. So now companies have sprung up to exploit this new opportunity. They hire underpaid employees in third-world sweatshops to play the games, win the prizes, and then the prizes are sold back on Ebay in the real world. Ka-ching! Dickens must be rolling in his grave.


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