1v1 EVE COMIC #61

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My fundamental problem with the recent iScorp issue, and one of the major reasons I struggled with it popping up like it did, goes back deeper than the issue itself. And I say this despite the fact that 3rd party "gambling" has contributed to various events that I have run in New Eden over the years. But I strongly believe that gambling is horribly wrong for Eve and that it should never have been allowed to flourish in the first place.

Much like paying for game time with real world money, gambling introduces a fundamental flaw into the virtual economic system which bonkers the in-game origination of value. A controlled, centralized system of economics is suddenly inundated with the out-of-control introduction of money from unknown sources. As in the real-world proliferation of the casino based tax mentality we've seen here in the United States, the initial reasons and benefits are used to sell thru the idea to the community. The reality of the situation is much more complex.

And while everyone rails against certain parties being the recipients of a few special ships, everyone is deflected from the true underlying horror that such institutions represent. And the long-term harm they are doing to the game we love. We are being distracted.

I have no access to data, but the numbers that I've seen bantered about by my fellow bloggers and on the forums are concerning. The vast accumulation of wealth by those responsible for these applications in simply mind-bottling*. And the long-term implications from an economic standpoint are increasingly serious. As more and more wealth is deposited in less and less hands. Does this sound at all familiar to anyone?

It should. And it should worry you.

Power is being sucked away from the individual players hands and slowly removed from the collected players hands as well. True economic weight is slowly being siphoned from in-game Alliance/Corporation control and into the hands of essentially un-regulated bankers.

And so, it is difficult to generate anger over a few ships when the fabric of New Eden, the future of the game itself, is being sold off under our feet.

Fair warning.


*This is a Will Ferrel line from the movie "Blades of Glory"

6 comments:

  1. I'm not sure the analogy holds up. If whoever runs SomerBLINK tried to screw over the economy in game. It is both within CCP's Power and Interest to just reset the game or undo the transactions. Which can't happen in the real world. As long as they aren't themselves involved in RMT I think it is just a smart person being creative in a system that allows it.

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    1. So a few people holding trillions in ISK doesn't bother you? Potentially multiple trillions. That is an awful lot of power, even if it isnt used to screw over anything.

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    2. If the number's I'm seeing thrown around on various blogs are even close to acurate. In this particular case no it doesn't bother me. They are running a service. Both in game and out. In which the owner could easily be making his living by creating content in game (advertising his service) and I don't see him doing anything to jepordize that.

      If this was in the real world I would be a lot more concerned. But the probably multiple trillions are just pixels that this person doesn't even own.

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    3. People holding ISK don't bother me. ISK does not map into in-game power in any substantial way. Here's the difference: in real life, money buys power. In EVE, it doesn't. As Kethry points out, this is because in EVE there is a meta-meta-game (CCP), whereas there is not in IRL.

      In real life, everyone needs money and it is not earned trivially. In EVE, you don't need any money at all to just live. You get endless rookie ships and pods. And you don't need more than a small amount of ISK to have fun. Further, EVE has a meta-meta-game money (IRL money), and people can "earn" all they need simply by PLEXing. People that don't want to spend real-life money can earn what they want in-game without any serious difficulty; compare the difficulty of earning a decent income IRL.

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  2. Whether it's concerning or not depends on how much isk there is in the game. What can a few people do with a few trillion isk each when so many alliances have in the aggregate so much more? And realistically a handful of players can only do so much no matter how much isk they have. Splash around a few hundred billion that won't make a ripple in the economy, get bored, say you won EvE and quit, or start RMTing the isk and get banned. In some ways concentrating it in a few players may even be an isk sink.

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  3. My only issue is that Somer is primary a gambling site. I acknowledge Somer spents lots of isk on the community but this is tainted as gambling profits. (Same way that I am opposed to the government in the Netherlands being the only party that is legally allowed to run casino's. That means my government is actively promoting gambling. Don't ask me how this is different from the national lottery regarding gambling.)

    Totally offtopic and the reason for posting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X4E4ktrMIw
    Just reminded me of Stay Frosty and Eve at 0:54 second quote: "it's like punching the sun in the face"

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