How Massive Online Games will Change the World

by Mike Shea on 16 August 2005

I read two really interesting articles on Massive Online Gaming recently. The first, A World of Warcraft World, talks about ten things we will see in our lifetimes because of Massive Online Gaming. The second article, EQ2: The Dog Days of Duping, shows how in-game glitches can be used to generate tens of thousands of real life dollars. Here are some wonderful quotes:

"I'd go into my apartment, set up 10 candleabras, and tell Mr. Pink over the phone when I was ready for him to buy them. He would buy, then tell me he was done, and I would scoop up the candleabras. You couldn't dupe the same piece of furniture twice unless you zoned out and zoned back in. Then Mr.Pink would run to the wholesaler in his tradeskill instance, and sell all of the candleabras back to him for 2 gold a pop. He would then run back up the broker, type in my name and await my next set of commands. We eventually just modified this to be a simple code"

"Suddenly it started to feel alot like Goodfellas. You know, that scene where they rob the airport, then all the mafia members are told to lay low and not spend any money. The one guy shows up with a fur coat and a cadillac and Deniro goes ape shit crazy. Well, we bought horses. Not just any horses, we bought the most expensive ones available. Not only that, but we bought sweet houses, upgraded our spells, bought the best gear we could equip. We started buying all the collection quest items and just finishing them for fun. We bought all the illusion eyes, all the best furniture, hell, I even bought stuff and then just destroyed it. I had a crazy idea that the more I spread the money around, the less chance I would get banned."

"I checked the prices on PA, they were rediculous. 300 for a platinum. We were pulling platinum out of thin air. We set up some Player auctions and started selling. The first day of sales we made five hundred dollars and I felt that was plenty to cover the emotional damages I might incur if I were to lose my EQ2 character. Little did I know this was pennies compared to what we'd become."

"The auctioning wasn't working out so well either. We got hit by about 5 or 6 scammers who took us for a total of about $5,000 worth of platinum pieces. Of course, it didn't get us too hot and bothered, but just wasn't worth the hassle."

"That's when the money started pouring in. Rediculous money. Money that made me so scared I went and consulted with a lawyer and an accountant. Needless to say, neither of them had a clue as to what the hell we were talking about. Try telling your accountant you're making money by selling pieces of gold in a video game. You'll get a good 20 seconds of them just straring at you and blinking."

"One minor snag. [After the last patch] dogs are "No Destroy," Dogs also can't be sold to the vendor. So...what the hell do you do with your dogs? Well, I decided to get revenge. I went back to all the servers that people had friends listed me and attempted to buy my dogs or blackmail me, and I put the dogs up for sale for 3 gold. 35 at a time, then went afk. Sure enough, the same people who had gotten our dogs before, were buying them as fast as they could. I can only imagine the look on their face as they went and tried to sell the dog to a vendor, realizing they had been tricked into buying my non destroyable evidence. Hell, it's like if O.J. ebayed a bloody knife."

"This is where the story ends. The exact total of what I profited is not important. Just know it's more than some people make in a year...hell..maybe 3 years, and it was enough to take my girlfriend and entire family on a vacation to Paris."

Anyone who doubts the power of a MMOG should consider this article. People fall in love in Everquest. A man murdered another over the theft of a virtual item. The days of Neuromancer and Snow Crash are here.