Saturday, July 04, 2009
Why RMT discussion must fail
$1 is not worth the same thing to every person.
That might seem counterintutitive, but the value of $1 isn't absolute, by itself it is just a worthless piece of green paper. The value of that 1 dollar is determined by what you are going to buy with it. And that is pretty much depending on how many other dollars you have. Common Sense Gamer is furious about a permanent horse in Runes of Magic costing $10. Then he gets even more furious when nobody agrees. But the point is that there is no absolute answer to the question of whether $10 for a virtual horse is too expensive or not.
If you would otherwise use those $10 to buy food for your starving children, of course spending those $10 on a virtual horse instead is downright crazy. But if you have paid all your bills, done all your shopping, put aside enough money for your retirement, and you still have $10 left, whether you spend those on a virtual horse or on a cinema ticket or on a 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel at Starbucks doesn't really matter.
What microtransactions do is put a fixed price on something which is at best a convenience, a luxury. There is no "true" value to anything on offer here, so discussing whether the price is fair or not just doesn't make sense. It is as pointless as discussing the price of a Luis Vutton handbag.