Posts Tagged ‘the economy’

Will a recession/depression help or hurt MMO games and worlds?

I’ve been wondering what effects the economic shitstorm downturn will have on massively-multiplayer online games and communities.  Will people be more inclined to reduce the amount of money they pay to participate?  Will we see a rise in free-to-play MMOs here in the US?  (Free-to-play is heeeeeuuuuge in Asia, apparently.)

What I don’t foresee happening is people spending more time and money on MMOs due to the economic crisis…not this time, anyway.  I don’t think our society has yet tipped over to a condition where online life is preferable to “real” life.  For one, the graphics just aren’t up to snuff.  🙂

Perhaps 20 to 25 years from now, when we’ve dug ourselves into yet another financial pit and we have realistic holographic projections instead of monitors, some folks will choose to spend the majority of their waking hours in a virtual world where they’re beautiful and wealthy.  Of course, their full-time job will probably be farming Warcraft gold for some megaconglomerate, but it might be preferable to real-world alternatives.

Advertisements

Weapons of Great Depression: We are down, and we’re about to be kicked.

So we’re giving a $700 billion check to somebody to try and get out of this economic crisis.  I don’t know where that money is going, and frankly the complexity of the situation overloads my brain and forces me info my default state, which is apathy.  What I am concerned about is that we (meaning the United States or Western Civilization in general) are down and we’re ripe for a good kicking.

Al Qaeda (which is not so much an organization as a mindset, kind of like “Flintstones Kids” – 10 million strong and growing, by the way) is probably looking at us and going nuts trying to figure out the best ways to take advantage of our misfortune collective stupidity.

I can tell you a couple of targets that are definitely not on the short list of terrorists-in-the-know: the New York Stock Exchange and any public building in Washington, DC.  Whereas back in the day you had the Red Brigade targeting politicians and people in high finance, your modern asymmetrical warfighter understands that the best way to defeat us is to let bankers and our government give us the slow, gentle, yet unlubricated butt-screwing they think we deserve.  All they had to do was set the tone, and our fear was enough to give too much power to idiot politicians and completely lose faith in our system of fake money.

$700 billion is about the size of a decent modern war budget.  So I’m thinking that right now we’re fighting a war on three fronts – Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and now we’re fighting to save companies that specialize in promising to give people money that they don’t have if something bad happens.  Which brings up an interesting point:  Who acts as the insurance companies’ safety net if something bad (as in, “people no longer believe your bullshit.”) happens to them?  Oh, that’s right – the US government – you and me, the American Taxpayer.  So they insure us, and in a Turkish bath-worthy reacharound kinda way, we insure them.  As if we weren’t racking up enough debt, I hear Mr. Ponzi would like royalties for the use of his scheme.

What I’d like to know is what slice of these companies we’re bailing out is foreign-owned, and can we get some of that money back?  Can we invade those countries who don’t put up their shares of the bailout?  Will we need to borrow money from them in order to invade them?