Cory Doctorow’s Observations on Real Money Generation in Games

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

In his column at The Guardian today, blogger, novelist and technology activist Cory Doctorow claims that the ability of a player to make money from the time they invest in an MMO has become not only a key marketing point for the developers of such games, but an important part of the realisation of a virtual world. In his own words:

Many games are structured to reward time spent playing with virtual gold stars that act as decoration and play aid, and confer virtual bragging rights. So it’s a sign of a game’s success when one player values a virtual item so much that she’s willing to pay another player for the object, even though it is nothing more than a record in a database.

It is especially interesting to observe this issue from Doctorow’s perspective. For him, the issue forms part of a broader context of the struggle between the existing legal framework of the West and the increasingly convoluted copyright infringements which have become a daily occurrence on the web.