Wired: Sony Get
Real On Virtual Goods

Excellent. As far as I am aware,
this will be the first legal transfer of MMORPG characters and objects
in a game other than Second
(which had this from the beginning, and explictly works with
outside markets like Gaming
Open Market
on fraud detection, etc.). So good deal. It’s a
captive auction site for Sony, of course…it’ll be interesting to see
if Sony abuses its market control power (bans certain auctions,
etc.). Plus, in true gaming MMORPGs (unlike Second Life, which has no
“leveling”, or backstory), there will be a subset of players who
dislike the legal sale of high-level characters, items, etc. But, to
Sony…it’s all about the money. *grin*

And please note…I’m not saying that liking money is bad. But for
a LONG time, the mainstream game developers (like Sony) have opposed
these sorts of auctions. Their stated reasons have often been along
the lines of “it affects the gameplay, and we’re committed to great
gameplay for our users”. To a certain extent, I think this has been
disingenuous; I think they’ve just been trying to figure out how they
can lock all other options out, and make the money themselves. Which
again…isn’t all bad; but I think they HAVE been dishonest about
their motives. And that IS bad. Unsurprising, though!

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