by Mike Shea on 6 May 2005
Ever since Sony Online announced Station Exchange, a service that would facilitate the out-of-game sale of in-game resources such as characters, equipment, and in-game money, the Massive Online Game community has been all a-flutter.
I wrote a Mobhunter article on the topic called "SOE to broker the selling of Items, Money, and Characters in EQ2" and was even quoted in Wired about it. My friend Gemdiver just wrote an article on this topic called "You May Say That You're a Dreamer" over on Caster's Realm.
After the initial shock wore off, my friend, previous writer for Mobhunter, and now Community Relations manager for Everquest 2 announced that they would not implement Station Exchange on existing servers. Only new servers would allow this exchange.
I thought about what life must be like on these servers and I keep coming back to a story written by Cory Doctorow called "Anda's Game", a take off of Ender's Game involving a young girl who gets caught into the sweat-shop world of farming in-game resources for out-of-game money.
I decided to make a full copy of Anda's Game here, to preserve it through redundancy. The story may not be the 2001 of near-future fiction, but it may be the Animal Farm of Massive Online Gaming. So this Friday afternoon, when the boss ducks out to coach his little-league team, give it a read.