I Should Start Selling Virtual Swampland

The BBC reports

A 22-year-old gamer has spent $26,500 (£13,700) on an island that exists only in a computer role-playing game (RPG). The Australian gamer, known only by his gaming moniker Deathifier, bought the island in an online auction. The land exists within the game Project Entropia, an RPG which allows thousands of players to interact with each other.

Eighty years ago when people sold land in Florida that didn't exist, we put them in jail. Now we give them venture capital. This is progress!

(Kidding aside, it is either lunacy or a graphic demonstration that Dan Hunter is right about the coming value of virtual property.)

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5 Responses to I Should Start Selling Virtual Swampland

  1. Paul Gowder says:

    MY GOD! Ok. Time to jump on the bandwagon…

    Right. I hereby announce the formation of a new game. It is called PaultopiaWorld. The object is to become as much like Paul Gowder as possible. It is run entirely by the players, over their private e-mails — and the first quest is to find out who the other players are and start e-mailing them. Contacting me in any way about the game except to give me money will cause an immediate loss of ten billion PaultopiaPoints.

    PaultopiaPoints are available for completing the secret quests, or you can buy them for $100.00 each. When human civilization collapses, the person with the most PaultopiaPoints will be declared the WINNER!!!!!

    Send money.

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  3. Russ Abbott says:

    Why is it more crazy to buy cyber-property than to buy a coke or a video game? See my further comments at: virtual-property-for-real-money.

  4. Paul Gowder says:

    I guess it’s not INHERENTLY insane, but as a matter of proportion, it certainly is. A coke costs a buck. Not 26 thousand of them.

    Plus you get real property rights in a coke or a video game — how can you get real property rights in a nonexistent plot of virtual land?

    I mean, sure, people waste money all the time — but some wastes of money are so egregious that we consider them irrational. Cocaine comes to mind. Is this more sane than putting the 26 grand up your nose? Dunno….

  5. Paul Gowder says:

    If NOTHING ELSE, even if there is a contractual relationship between the player and the game company such that they can’t be disposessed at the game company’s will, there’s absolutely NOTHING preventing the game from selling these expensive plots of land, raking in gallons of jumbo juice, then ripping the bottom out of the market by installing — costlessly — thousands of more identical plots of “land.”


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