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The Almighty Buck Games

P2P Virtual Currency Exchange Launches 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the buy-your-money dept.
miller60 writes "In the wake of eBay's decision to halt auctions of virtual property, new companies are entering the market to fill the void, including one allowing gamers to trade game currency directly with one another rather than buying from IGE or other exchanges. The company, Sparter, says this eBay-like "peer-to-peer" approach will result in lower prices as sellers compete. It incorporates a reputation system and escrow for gold delivery. Sparter received venture funding from Bessemer Capital, signaling that VCs still see opportunity in the virtual economy, even if eBay doesn't."
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P2P Virtual Currency Exchange Launches

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  • playerauctions.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @11:40PM (#18019968) Journal
    Playerauctions.com was born when ebay started banning people for selling stuff, and now it should be even stronger. Nuff said.
    • Playerauctions.com was born ... and now it should be even stronger.
      For some reason I read that as PlayErections.com.

      I almost jokingly a href'd that, but y'all probably would have actually clicked it.. sickos.
      • by Otto (17870)
        Clicked it? Hell, I did a whois on it.

        Surprisingly, it's not registered. Of course, somebody will go and register it now. There's probably a law stating that any domain name posted jokingly which is unregistered becomes registered within a day. And it's probably at anydomainnamepostedjokinglywhichisunregisteredbeco mesregisteredwithinaday.com too. ;)
        • by Korin43 (881732)
          Unfortunately, your proposed domain name is too large for Godaddy to register :'(
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by jenxdigital (1056298)
            There are at least 30 dirty jokes in that one sentence. And I don't think I've posted often enough to get away with any of them.
  • woohoo (Score:3, Funny)

    by Romwell (873455) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @11:42PM (#18019992)
    Common sense vs. stupid laws - 1:0
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh no, stupid laws haven't lost by a long shot. From what I've seen about tax law, the next step is to tax all item drops. When there is a functional selling space to trade items, then you can figure out a real-world fair market price for any random item in game. If the items can have an actual fair market value pinned to them, then the IRS has all the more power to tax them. They may go for taxing the items not when they are sold for real $, but when they are first "earned" in game. Above that, since the g
    • by MWoody (222806)
      Wait, what laws? Is Ebay considered an extension of the government now?
      • by Romwell (873455)
        Well, does ebay does it out of principle or maybe because they're afraid to get into legal trouble ? (Anyway, I feel sleepy, so I may not make sense)
  • by GundamFan (848341) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @11:46PM (#18020008)
    Isn't the point of any game to advance by playing it?

    We all clamor that games aren't fun anymore and yet we don't even want to try to play anymore.

    When you feel you have to cheat (and buying money is cheating) to play competitively, where is the fun?
    • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @11:51PM (#18020030) Homepage Journal

      Isn't the point of any game to advance by playing it?
      In theory, yes. In practice, a lot of games are poorly tuned for casual players, who want to see the high-level content without having to take a pay cut to grind hours a day.

      When you feel you have to cheat (and buying money is cheating)
      Is buying yen with USD cheating? If not, then why is buying gil with USD cheating?
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        Because gil has no intrinsic value outside of a private environment, also that environment establishes many legitimate ways to earn gil and most of all it is against the rules of the game to buy currency outside of the game.

        Yeah... and buying things that don't exist from over seas is super great for the economy by the way.
        • by KingKiki217 (979050) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @01:00AM (#18020410)
          Just to play the devil's advocate: What intrinsic value does money have except that of the paper it's printed on? Money represents skill-time in the real world, just like it does in an online game.
          • by Otto (17870)
            Money has an intrinsic value in the real world. Namely, that other people will give you goods and services in exchange for it.

            To a certain degree, game-money has the same value as real money, except that usually there is not a fixed amount of game money. Therefore game money is, essentially, inflationary, except that prices are generally fixed and so price inflation cannot actually occur.

            See, in the real world, money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. But in the game world, realistically, goo
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Money has an intrinsic value in the real world. Namely, that other people will give you goods and services in exchange for it.
              That's self contradictory. Intrinsic value has nothing to do with the value as a medium of exchange. A sandwich has intrinsic value, as it is directly useful in filling a need. Money doesn't since it's only use is as a means of obtaining the sandwich.
            • by grimwell (141031) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @06:55AM (#18021910)

              Money has an intrinsic value in the real world. Namely, that other people will give you goods and services in exchange for it.


              Money in a virtual world works the same. Or to look at it from a different angle... what if the good&services you are interested in purchasing are only available in a virtual world?

              Exchanging US Dollars for WoW gold is similar to exchanging US Dollars for Euros. The difference is government backing of the currency.

              except that usually there is not a fixed amount of game money.


              Vs the real world, which has a fixed money [wikipedia.org] supply [typepad.com]?

              See, in the real world, money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. But in the game world, realistically, goods (items) are the same as money.


              People still barter in the real world. Easy examples would include collectibles like comic books&baseball cards. Or how about trading in your old car when buying a new one?

              Virtual currency is a curious thing when it can be exchanged for government backed currency.

              • The difference is that it's a game, and it's supposed to be relatively fair and meritocratic. The world is not a game, not a fantasy, and only the most minimal attempts are made to ensure its fairness.
        • by mikael (484)
          Yeah... and buying things that don't exist from over seas is super great for the economy by the way.

          It's amazing how people will use their credit cards accounts to buy downloadable videos

          Exchanging one set of data bits for another...

        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          I think the last bit is the important part, you're playing a game where a rule is "don't use your real money to influence the game". If you played Settlers of Catan with friends and your negotiation involved e.g. "I give you a dollar for that wool" you'd find yourself thrown out quickly.
      • by mattydont (849321)

        Isn't the point of any game to advance by playing it?

        In theory, yes. In practice, a lot of games are poorly tuned for casual players, who want to see the high-level content without having to take a pay cut to grind hours a day.

        When you feel you have to cheat (and buying money is cheating)

        Is buying yen with USD cheating? If not, then why is buying gil with USD cheating?

        To start with if exchanging/"buying" yen with usd was cheating that would mean that your comparing real life to a game, gil does not exist in the real world as a real world currency, so in truth what you have just compared is apples to oranges. But yes buying gold/gil/whatever for a game is cheating, as it serves no purpose other then to be use solely in that game and that even though you on some sites can sell gold to the major gold selling sites, it would be worth less to sell it back to them, so in a s

      • The point, as you say, isn't to create a perfectly fair game. It's to create a world in which some people can be better than others, and where being better also gets you desirable things, like the envy of fellow players.

        Whether they're better by means of time invested, or dollars spent, it really makes no difference.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Is buying yen with USD cheating? If not, then why is buying gil with USD cheating?

        Generally, it's because a game has rules, and breaking the rules is considered cheating.

        But, of course, the question becomes whether or not buying gold should be against the rules. If your game is so unfun that people are willing to buy their way into the end - maybe the problem is with the game, and not with people.

        In the case of FFXI (since you said gil...) the reason its swarmed with gold sellers is because the game is desi
        • The problem is essentially that they have conflicting goals.

          They have to strike a balance between currency and the number of people playing. If the has got too much money, then it's too easy to get the currency and everybody can buy their way to power. If it has too little money, then it's too hard to gain power (requires excessive grinding). Either way is no fun.

          To a certain extent, having a real market demand for item pricing would be helpful. Instead of having shops with infinite numbers of items, and ha
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Frumply (999178)
          FFXI is actually VERY non-item reliant from an equipment POV, in the leveling phase anyway. The level system of the player works so that an extra status boost from a 'rare' item adds little to nothing of value. That's not to say that powerful gears don't exist, but the vast majority of those are raid drops that bind on pickup, and they don't come into play until you approach level75, FFXI's level cap. Hell, for most players the level 50~60 'artifact' armor will last them for the rest of the game. If any
      • by svunt (916464)
        Not cheating? Try whipping out your wallet and buying some $500 Monopoly bills off your cousin to pay your rent - and see whether uncle Frank thinks it's a foreign currency trade, or an asshole cheating.
        • by multisync (218450)
          How about offering your cousiin your desert for help paying the rent? Is that cheating?
          • by svunt (916464)

            How about offering your cousiin your desert for help paying the rent? Is that cheating?
            Yes, it is. Gaming is an attempt to compete in a closed system with conditions which apply to everyone, and are explicitly stated. Bringing food offers into Monopoly, which has no food, is cheating.
            • by pslam (97660)
              Unfortunately the people who buy virtual gold have either all had self-labotomies or nailed their moral compasses to a wall somewhere. This concept is beyond them, and it's extremely frustrating coming up with what would be crystal clear analogies to normal people. They simple do not understand how using factors outside of the game rules/world for your own advancement is cheating.
            • Gaming is an attempt to compete in a closed system
              How closed is it? See Metagaming [wikipedia.org]. Examples include card games such as Magic, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!: there is a thriving items-for-real-money market in any such game. All the Monopoly example tells you is that the exchange rate between Monopoly money and American money isn't dollar-for-dollar.
              • by svunt (916464)
                Ummm...I don't think I was arguing about metagaming, I said gaming. You could also point to the wiki article about bricklaying to make your point.
                • Ummm...I don't think I was arguing about metagaming, I said gaming.
                  I was disagreeing with your "closed system" assertion. All attempts to become a closed system run the risk of being vulnerable to metagaming. In fact, any activity can be subject to its own meta-activity.
                  • by svunt (916464)
                    So what you're adding to the debate with "anything can become meta-anything" is .... nothing at all.
                    • So what you're adding to the debate with "anything can become meta-anything" is .... nothing at all.

                      What I'm adding is that in practice, persistent gaming is not as much a closed system as you make it out to be. In practice, people play not only the game but also the metagame that goes with it. If the developers of a large-scale game use only legal action to ban some activity, yet the players disagree with the ban, then circumventing measures that support the ban becomes part of the game that people actually play.

                    • by svunt (916464)
                      ok, so your response to 'yes it's cheating' is 'cheating is part of the game'. You're not actually arguing against my point, really. Yes, it's cheating, or you can call it metagaming. This has its problems, though...according to the wiki article you linked, metagaming includes watching a player play before you sit down at the table, giving you a tatical advantage. So I find the term unconstructive, as you've just taken something that's clearly cheating and redefined it in into the moral grey area of metag
                    • by tepples (727027)

                      The definition of cheating varies from person to person. If the movie studios had their way, selling a used DVD might be considered cheating. The problem with MMOGs with endemic gold farming is that the structure of the game encourages what the admins call cheating.

              • by KDR_11k (778916)
                Just because it's not written down doesn't mean it's not a social rule. Bribing someone with real money to give you an advantage in a game will make the other players angry. In MMOGs making people angry gets you banned.
            • by multisync (218450)
              You're right.

              I should have probably bribed the Uncle, too.
        • This problem can be solved by offering cash to Uncle Frank as well.
      • "In practice, a lot of games are poorly tuned for casual players, who want to see the high-level content without having to take a pay cut to grind hours a day."

        Or, apparently, without having to see the lower-level content.
        • by tepples (727027)

          In practice, a lot of games are poorly tuned for casual players, who want to see the high-level content without having to take a pay cut to grind hours a day.
          Or, apparently, without having to see the lower-level content.
          Except the game designers seem to want the players to repeat lower-level content hundreds of times before the later content is unlocked. What is the gaming equivalent of a DVD player's fast-forward button?
          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            Don't play MMORPGs if you don't like repetition. There's literally thousands of other games coming out every year. Is it so hard to look for a game where you don't have to repeat the same content over and over again instead of playing a repetitive game with others and pissing those others off by behaving in an unacceptable way?
            • by tepples (727027)

              Is it so hard to look for a game where you don't have to repeat the same content over and over again instead of playing a repetitive game with others and pissing those others off by behaving in an unacceptable way?
              Yes. Which MMOGs don't involve unnecessary repetition? Or why is unnecessary repetition inherent in MMOGs?
              • by KDR_11k (778916)
                Which MMOGs don't involve unnecessary repetition?

                Second Life?

                Or why is unnecessary repetition inherent in MMOGs?

                Because making a game you play for months without involving repetition is way too expensive?
      • by pslam (97660)
        In theory, yes. In practice, a lot of games are poorly tuned for casual players, who want to see the high-level content without having to take a pay cut to grind hours a day.

        Is buying yen with USD cheating? If not, then why is buying gil with USD cheating?

        Ah, the typical extremely poor logical argument of the virtual industry user. No, they are NOT the same thing at all and you cannot draw those analogies.

        MMORPGs are *based* around a big grind, and if you don't like it you shouldn't be playing the ga

      • Is buying yen with USD cheating? If not, then why is buying gil with USD cheating?

        Buying yen isn't illegal, the Chinese government is well aware that their money is sold in such ways, and supports such transactions.
        Buying gil however, is cheating, the game developers are aware of it, denounce it, and take disciplinary action against such accounts proven to be selling gil.

        Its pretty simple to see that buying money is cheating, anyone who thinks otherwise, is just too cowardly to accept the truth.

        I know of plenty of online friends who purchased online money in the MMORPG i play, at l

        • Buying yen isn't illegal, the Chinese government is well aware that their money is sold in such ways

          Yen != yuan, but for a long time, Japan practiced isolation [wikipedia.org].

          Buying gil however, is cheating, the game developers are aware of it, denounce it, and take disciplinary action against such accounts proven to be selling gil.

          Why does the action so reactive (discipline), not proactive (in-game measures to make money farming less profitable)?

          Its pretty simple to see that buying money is cheating, anyone who thinks otherwise, is just too cowardly to accept the truth.

          You haven't shown any evidence that the action taken in MMOGs is more justified than action taken on soil in this reality.

    • Because humans are, by nature, a lazy species. Why spend all that time grinding to get gold, when you can just buy it? (Personally, I don't think that way, but I can understand why some do).
    • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Thursday February 15, 2007 @12:06AM (#18020104) Homepage Journal
      The game has two distinct parts. The unfun part, which is artificially long to keep the people with lots of free time occupied long enough to pay another $15 next month, and the fun part. Paying to get to the fun part is only cheating if it gives you some sort of advantage in the context of the competition, which it doesnt. The only way buying gold could be cheating is if you consider the competitive parts of the game to be a measure of how much time people have invested in the game. If you want to know how good someone is at the fun part of the game, how they got there doesn't matter.

      No, you can NOT make the steroids analogy, because steroids give advantages that you cant get through normal exercise, and the context of physical competitions makes the exercise PART of the competition.
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        So you've bought gold then?

        Thank you for making my point though, you clearly don't want to play a game if you believe that it has unfun parts. buy the way the "fun part" that amounts to hours and hours of repetition of raid content (as opposed to repetition of grind content) and often to short or lopsided PvP is not nearly as fun as the newbie with a disposable income would like to believe. Games should be about the journey more than the destination (I admit that this is often not the case and it's a shame)
        • by Sparr0 (451780)
          For the record, I sold gold. And Everquest plat. Made a lot of people happier, and me quite a bit wealthier.

          Some people actually enjoy WoW raiding, or PVP. Most people do not enjoy grinding. The intersection is where gold buyers come from, or even account buyers.

          As to the sudoku... It's cheating if you tell your friends that you have finished a sudoku. It's not cheating if you tell your friends that you have a finished sudoku.

          A sort of 'litmus test' I like to use for game cheating... If training your
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)
          You keep telling yourself that.

          Never "cheated" in my life- 7 years in EQ on one character in a major raiding guild (GM's say probably the oldest in the game).

          I think the games are absolutely rigged to favor people with unlimited play hours. In the old days- I went 2 years without even seeing a lot of mobs since they spawned and were killed between 1pm and 3pm. I "cheated" by spending the money to go to a game convention and bend the designers ears about that and suggest a random spawn interval. When they
          • by ady1 (873490)
            Games are never designed to be fair. They are designed to be fun.

            Still I can agree with you partially. I myself sometimes cheat when the things start to get repetitive (to get to the fun part) however I seldom cheat to beat the tough boss/portion (even humans enemies with unfair advantage can be fun to beat).
            • They are designed some for fun- some to maintain a revenue stream. A fun game where you finish content too quickly won't hold your attention. Designing quality content takes a lot of man hours. Most the NPC's don't even have "eliza" level intelligence and the plots would be rejected on the benny hill show.

              Mmogs are basically repeat an action a lot to get a rare item or to level up so you can qualify to solve a complicated puzzle with 40 other people. They used to be called MMorgs but roleplaying is almo
        • I play WoW since the Beta. I play 4 characters depending of witch of my brothers is online. I just got my main character to lvl 60 mid January this year (druid specialized in healing). I love the role-play part, helping other to finish quests, wandering to see interesting places... . But grinding is not my 'fun' part, first because I dislike grinding and second it is nearly impossible with my healer (A single mob of the same level as me kick out my ass). I got my mount at lvl 48 and not 40 because I haven't
      • Or rather, if you don't have time to play a particular game in order to reach a certain level then play an other game that does fit your schedule.
        Nobody is forcing you to play that game.
    • I imagine that it isn't about the game itself for at least a good portion of the buyers. Don't underestimate the importance that status has on the way people act. Is it really any different than the more extreme grinders? Are they really playing for fun, or are they playing to have the best/newest stuff in game? In the end, does it make a difference whether people do it by grinding or by buying gold? Either way, they are working to try and gain more in game prestige.
    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @12:18AM (#18020174)
      Well, if you have 3 hours a week to play but you make $300 an hour, it only makes sense to pay $600 for a character suitable for the "cool" parts of the game.

      Likewise, if camping the sword of uberness would take 59 hours or you can buy it for $177 dollars (1/2 hour of your time), the decision is easy.

      Why spend 200 hours of your life killing rats and weak monsters (oh the incredible fun) when you can just start at 20th level for 100 bucks?

      If those 200 hours were entertaining- maybe. But typically they are insanely mindless grinding with no fun factor at all.

      In fact, most folks power level in some fashion once they get one character up to a decent level even tho it reduces the "fun".
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        I'm sorry I nether make $300 an hour or have 40+ hours to play games in a week but I would like to play a game where everyone is subject to the same rules (no buying gold for one) I don't care if you like the easy road, if all you want is a message that says "you win" I'd be happy to email you one and save you a ton of time.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)
          Subject to the same rules.

          LOL

          The designer's personally observe the uber guilds and give them tips on encounters for cripe's sake.

          We are all subject to so many different rules that your use of the term is completely meaningless.

          Saying a person can't use money is completely arbitrary on your part unless you also include multi-boxing, macro programs, data-stream programs, being supported by the state or parents so you can play unlimited hours, and being on the east coast (so you get all the best camps first).

          F
        • by WNight (23683)
          If all you want is an email saying that lazy people aren't being allowed to have any fun, I'll provide one.

          If I played WoW, I wouldn't be competing with you. I might choose to buy a fancy character, or grind my own, but either way it not like I'll be taking a prize from you, just playing the same game. I can see that if there was a prize, you'd want someone who didn't play not to win it, for playing. That would be annoying.

          I dislike MMOs (the MM part) so this isn't likely to happen, especially with all the
          • by GundamFan (848341)
            You know what... I don't care if you cheat or not.

            Cheating to get "ahead" in a game (multiplayer that is, I could give a crap what you do by yourself) is foolish and wasteful in my opinion. Everyone I have ever met that bought in game items quit soon after because they grew tired of the game quickly after they had all the stuff they wanted. In my experience all cheating does is cheapen whatever you are trying to do and discourage those who try to play the game legitimately, so while it may not effect me di
            • by WNight (23683)
              But "cheating" is only distracting because people view the levels they've climbed as a price, not a reward, and are jealous of those who don't have to pay the price. That should tell you something about the game. Certainly, if you're trying to stretch a game out to 100 hours, it makes sense to take it slowly. But the point is that most games aren't that good. WoW might hold my attention for a while, but not if I had to play yet another fantasy RPG killing endless identical creatures just to be allowed to se
      • by pslam (97660)
        Likewise, if camping the sword of uberness would take 59 hours or you can buy it for $177 dollars (1/2 hour of your time), the decision is easy.

        No, you camp the sword of uberness. Buying it with dollars is cheating.

        Why spend 200 hours of your life killing rats and weak monsters (oh the incredible fun) when you can just start at 20th level for 100 bucks?

        Because it's cheating, and because I'm fed up of seeing high level players who haven't got a clue how to play the game because they basically skipped t

      • If those "3 hours" are put aside as leisure time, guess what, you weren't going to work anyway! Why should your
        hourly wage come into the equation?

            And what with this "I make $X/hr, therefore I am too important to spend Xhr on something like levelling up meme"?

            Do you make $X/hr when you are asleep? In the shower? Driving?

            You should look up what "billable hours" mean.
    • Also there is this.

      Unemployed guy- or chinese guy who can live on 60 cents an hour can afford to play 16 hours a day so they "win" hands down every time.

      But... you can step into a winning position for 700 bucks and join a guild doing high end content.

      If you don't, you will never make it on top of a real job and family.
    • Who cares? Its easy dough for me. :)
    • Between game guides that come out either the day of, or shortly after, game releases, websites dedicated to game cheats, accessories like Game Shark (and the like)....there is so much opportunity to NOT actually play the game, it almost seems like more people play the game just to win, rather than to, oh, I don't know, play the game. I'm not saying that everyone should sit all day and just play video games, because, between "bedsores", muscle atrophy, and abnormal social skills, it's yet another thing kids
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        Finally someone who sees what I am talking about.

        When I was much younger I did cheat at games, but I learned that is wasn't any fun to just zip through a game... the fun part of a game is overcoming the challenges it presents.

        I don't dare tell other people on the internet how to behave but I do kind of fell sorry for someone who has never had the satisfaction of beating a game without any help or playing through an MMO without using the services of a farmer.
        • Yup. Especially when it comes to RPG's (usually what I play)...it's like the difference between reading an awesome book, and renting the movie. And then taking a test on it. Sure, the movie gives you the gist of it, but you don't experience it the same as you would have if you had immersed yourself completely into the pages. Or, maybe I'm just one of those weird chicks that reads too much and plays too many RPG's. Yeah, probably that one.
    • It's a bit like playing football with 12 men vs 11. Sure it'll help you win, but would you have the same sense of achievement? Ultimately, you're cheating yourself.
    • by Dread_ed (260158)
      You seem to be saying that if you made an online world tourism would be illegal.

      That being said I can see the desire on someone's part to see all the fruits of the developers labors without having to dedicate 48 days of real time to leveling/gaining equipment, etc.
      • by GundamFan (848341)
        No I'm not saying that at all if there was such a game I am sure tourism would be a part of it and allowed by the EULA.

        As it stands most MMOs have a beginning a middle and an end, skipping over the beginning and or middle just cheapens the experience in the long run. As to "seeing all of the fruits of the developers labor" well if your skipping over that same fruit how does that even make sense?

        The pore attitude that comes from power gaming has a very negative effect on an MMO, the one and only reason I hav
        • by Dread_ed (260158)
          I think you and I are alike in our appreciation of MMO's in that I really enjoy the immersion and enjoyment of developing my character, not just power-gaming. I have played EQ I&II, and now play WoW.

          However I don't think that all people will enjoy the same things or even the same things in the same way.

          As for not making sense, I was referring to (without mentioning the context) the fact that most MMO's do not allow players into high end content without many days of playing time, not to mention a having
  • yet... I went browsing today and found that the kingdom of loathing items were still available (even an auction up near $800 for a virtual outfit in the game..)

    http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=b s&sbrftog=1&from=R10&satitle=kingdom+of+loathing [ebay.com]

    guess it's just a matter of time before they find everything out.. too bad ebay execs are a bunch of anal fucks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rm999 (775449)
      "too bad ebay execs are a bunch of anal fucks."

      If I owned stock in ebay, I would sell it. I seriously don't trust them with any sort of common-sense, monetary decisions. Why does every great company start out so cool, and then end up succumbing to business school morons who drive the company into the ground with their lack of intelligence and overconfidence?
  • The company, Sparter, says this eBay-like "peer-to-peer" approach will result in lower prices as sellers compete. It incorporates a reputation system and escrow for gold delivery.

    I'm interested to see how this "reputation system" will work any better than ebay's feedback system, which is easily foiled by scammers boosting each others' ratings, and phishing schemes that poach pre-existing accounts with positive feedback.
  • These have been around for years. Sites like www.OwnYourGame.com [ownyourgame.com] have been selling virtual currency and other items for some time.
  • by Duncan3 (10537) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @12:37AM (#18020276) Homepage
    Game companies are FURIOUS at the farmers, not because they do what they do, but because they can't figure out how to cut them out and just charge for each level or item in the game without losing players. Most companies are probably setting up fake front companies to do it, because there is now far more money in the farming then in hosting the game.

    Any game with the X dollars/month pricing model is guaranteed to be tedious, boring, and unsuitable for anyone with a life or a clue. Heck even idiots should see through it. Which is perfect, since that means it keeps the 1/3 of kids that drop out of high school off the streets! :)

    Welcome to virtual reality, please insert your credit card.

    • Any game with the X dollars/month pricing model is guaranteed to be tedious, boring, and unsuitable for anyone with a life or a clue. Heck even idiots should see through it. Which is perfect, since that means it keeps the 1/3 of kids that drop out of high school off the streets! :)

      Tangential relation to topic absent actual linkage to the article.
      Overbroad statement sure to atract attention from indignant games
      Stupid kids joke
      Generic - traditional companies == bad comment.

      4 points.. not bad.

      -GiH

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pslam (97660)
      Game companies are FURIOUS at the farmers, not because they do what they do, but because they can't figure out how to cut them out and just charge for each level or item in the game without losing players. Most companies are probably setting up fake front companies to do it, because there is now far more money in the farming then in hosting the game.

      I see this horse crap churned out every time there's a discussion about the virtual gold blackmarket. It's not true. It's boring seeing everyone cut and past

  • PlayerAuctions is owned by IGE and it is always broken. They do not want to fix the site it seems. There are tons of other sites out there that allow players to buy and sell, some all trading of in game gold for game cards so you can keep playing (www.MMOExchange.com) while others just track all the prices (www.rpgSE.com) Either way eBay needs to look into changing their policies and paypal needs to help protect their customers from the infinate scammers out there dealing with virtual coin.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rpgSE (1064392)
      PlayerAuctions is owned by IGE and it is always broken. They do not want to fix the site it seems. There are tons of other sites out there that allow players to buy and sell, some all trading of in game gold for game cards so you can keep playing http://www.mmoexchange.com/ [mmoexchange.com] while others just track all the prices http://www.rpgse.com/ [rpgse.com] Either way eBay needs to look into changing their policies and paypal needs to help protect their customers from the infinate scammers out there dealing with virtual coin.
  • ...that outside of the known games (and areas thereof) where it is permitted, it is a violation of the agreements made to use such services? This would be better served as a nice large honeypot that bans sellers and buyers while outing the actual farmers as well. It would be better to let the signals go unsuppressed to quit or not than to facilitate agreement violations.

    If you wanted to sell Lindens, Entropia cash, and Sony Station currency, fine. However, breaking agreements to expand the horizons is not.
    • by GodInHell (258915) *
      Oddly enough.. EULA's don't have the full force of law behind them.. thus little things like compelling compliance to requests for user data are beyond the companies seeking to find the users who are selling/buying gold. Combine this with unanswered questions concerning a user's limited property rights (including the right to sell and trade) and these sites are perfectly legit - actually they will probably prompt some baddly needed test cases.

      The actual effect on game play is little (no) different from get
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      However, breaking agreements to expand the horizons is not.

            So, the owner of a company that provides a place to trade game cash but doesn't play the game him/herself isn't bound by any agreement.
  • Either that or it's only going to apply to games where virtual gold selling is OK, of which there are very few, strangely enough because people got sick of them.

    So this is a company that exists just to let people break the game rules? Ignoring EULAs (which are dubious), this is basically just cheating central for people that don't want to play the game. A central place for all the griefers to ruin the game some more for the rest of us. Sickening.

    Perhaps it's a good thing because the MMORPG companies can

  • When your "assets" can be arbitrarily erased by the company that is holding them, only the truly foolish will see value in making a business out of trading virtual currency.

    Oh, I know -- the standard smartass retort to the above is:

    "But your money in the bank doesn't actually exist either! It's all make-believe!"

    To that, all I have to say is that there are many laws and regulations governing real world currency and stocks. There are checks and balances in place
    • by Shrubber (552857)

      And that, is why virtual currency is bullshit.
      Being bullshit doesn't make it have any less value. Something is worth what people are willing to pay, that is how Capitalism works. It doesn't matter what the item for sale is, or isn't, if it has value to someone it is worth something.
  • For all of you that do buy in game currency, I am able to offer services outside of the MMO market. You can pay me to come beat Candyland, Stratego, Clue, and Monopoly for you. I also offer competitive rates for beating Super Mario Brothers 1-3 for you.
  • I searched through the thread for "tax and taxes" and didn't come across many posts addressing that topic. The following is just conjecture on my part, but I'm willing to bet that eBay stopped the trade in online goods because they don't want to deal with how to tax them. The government wants to track where the money goes, and they want a part of EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION that takes place. First they tax your paycheck. Then the local governments get you for sales tax, and gas tax, and this tax and that t
  • (I will use WoW as my example- but I don't play it, so I apologize if I get terms or numbers wrong).

    I just thought of a great way to solve the problem of gold selling. You have an in-game auction house where you can sell and buy gold for real money, using the credit card you have on the account. Blizzard would probably take a small cut of the money (say 5-10%). However, it would be set up so that the gold you sell will be taken off next month's bill, with the stipulation that you can reduce your bill

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