Game time tokens are translating two-class society into the game realm

The game time token (as used with the name PLEX in EVE Online, and the idea having been announced for World of Warcraft) is another feature with metagaming aspects. Another thing that translates the dominant business mentality into the game. People with good income can buy wealthy-status ingame and with it fund the continued play of those who are ‘poor’ in RL but got lots of time, and they’re working for ingame currency and then burning it up just to be able to continue playing, which of course pleases the business, but puts the non-wealthy player in a dependency relation not unlike wage slavery. After all, they’re spending a considerable amount of time with just making sure they can continue playing. And this more direct tie-in with real money value will likely also rot people’s motivations even more, like guild leveling did by creating guild ad spamming. It creates a survivalist and greedy atmosphere.
It is a two-class society in the making. The rich are benefitting off the poor.
After EVE Online with its players spending much time ship-spinning in the hangar, doing their regular business transactions, World of Warcraft now has something quite similar with garrisons. And after EVE Online’s PLEX, World of Warcraft will adopt yet another feature from them. World of Warcraft is getting increasingly inspired by the one MMO that is more rotten than itself. Which was to be expected when you understand the whole problem complex. For Blizzard there is only one direction. Business pressures dictate them onto a course that has passed the point of no return long ago, and they willingly subjected themselves to those masters.


    1. Occasionally I still read the WoW forums, especially lately since WoD, and while I sometimes wish I could still post there, there are plenty of other people speaking for me. It restores my faith in humanity when I see people mention how the game lost its spirit.
      Blizzard’s only long-term course of action at this point will be what they have always done: Let the disgruntled players leave; There’s always new supply growing up; people who haven’t experienced better times and thus are more willing to swallow this appaling state of game design.
      Well, luckily there’s inspiration: The indie sector is giving people the sweet taste of passion-ruled game design. This is something that business just cannot emulate, because it is its antithesis, so Blizzard and others might be the ones ‘dying off’ eventually. People are getting so tired of asking for change and not getting it that they will realize it’s a lost cause and that one should build better alternatives instead of trying to revive a corpse.


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