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The Almighty Buck

Legitimizing Real Money Trading In Games 158

MMOGamer interviewed Andy Schneider, co-founder of Live Gamer, a company working with several major game publishers (including Acclaim, Funcom, and SOE) to legitimize the real money trading (RMT) industry in online games. Schneider expects this method of customer service to grow much more popular in the West over the next few years, especially after the success it's had in Asia. "It started in the very earliest MMOs, if not back in the MUD days in a very grassroots sort of way, but then obviously got into a more opportunistic and nefarious industry. When I talk about legitimate RMT, it's about a publisher supporting the notion that people want to buy and sell virtual items for real money, and they have decided to proactively support that notion and give their player-base a way to do that. ... It takes the manual process out of the equation that most players are engaged in with the black market, and reduces the fraud considerably, which is good for players. ... The reason there are gold farmers out there, the reason why there is nearly a two billion dollar secondary market for virtual items, is because of consumer demand."

The State of Sci-Fi MMOs 194

Massively is running a story that looks into the status of the sci-fi MMO genre, and why such games have had a tendency to struggle over the years. Quoting: "Fantasy alone carries with it assumptions based in our own history, a romanticized version of the middle ages where knights were good guys and smart people with beards could cast spells. Preconceived notions in sci-fi are far less cast in our collective memory. While stories that predict the future are surely as ancient as the myths describing the past, sci-fi itself didn't really ingrain itself into our culture until the 1800s, with H.G. Wells' stories and other writers at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. ... Compounding the lack of specificity in setting is the tendency of sci-fi games to overwhelm players with skills and rule sets they initially don't understand and eventually don't need."

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas