Monday, 23 May 2011

A modest proposal

In that broken game known as "real life" it is possible for low-skill players to obtain the same items as high-skill ones simply by grinding. For example, someone who flips burgers for ten thousand hours can save up for the same fancy car as a top engineer. Surely this can't be right! As many MMO players will tell you, it's  it's skill that should be rewarded, not grind.

To fix this, I propose the introduction of three classes of currency to be used to reward different tasks, just as we have green, blue and purple items in WOW.

  • Turnips should be awarded for unskilled manual labour. They could be used to to purchase basics, such as bus tickets, pornography, burgers and gin.
  • Spanners should be awarded for skilled manual work. They could be used to purchase comfort items, such as basic cars, Royal Wedding Souvenirs and package holidays.
  • Crowns should be awarded for skilled intellectual work. They could be used to purchase luxury items, such as iphones,  books, computers, epic mounts for posing around town on Ferraris, private education for your children (heirloom schooling), armani suits, servants, seats in parliament, etc.

That way only the most skilled should have access to the most epic items in life and others are inspired to try harder by their example. Don't listen to their whining about plumbers and care workers being just as important as bankers. That's just socialist nonsense which encourages morons and slackers.


  1. Ok, so I'm going to assume that you aren't *really* advocating social stratification IRL based on social stratification in a virtual game... Because that would go beyond Sven's mischief and into something that had me worried.

    If we then put that aside and get to the point that I assume that you are actually making, it becomes a bit harder. There isn't inherently anything 'wrong' with everyone ('leet' or 'n00b') being able to access the same level of reward in a virtual world. Other than it just feels a bit... wrong. Yeah, coherent comments are ftw, huh?

    However, there is a sense of entitlement that comes with the 'epix for all' mentality that I think makes some people feel uncomfortable about admitting to. So I'll take the beating from ya: I don't think (as I've said before) that you *should* be able to access the same level of rewards (epics) for lols. And as I've also said before, this isn't based on anything other than a vague puritan moral code (work ethic?) which says something akin to 'those that try hardest should be rewarded and those (choose to) who slack shouldn't be'. I think this is a separate view from the 'I wanna flex my epeen' view though. If you will permit the distinction, it's about having commitment, perseverance, tolerance and various other 'positive' traits, as opposed to just zerging with strength in numbers.

    Plus I *really* hate turnips...

  2. You are, of course, right to think that I'm not advocating this IRL. I was trying to highlight how absurd this whole stratification is.

    A long time ago, some clever people (Wikipedia says it was the Mesopotamians, and who am I to argue? Or should that be whom?) invented this thing called money. It allowed people to trade a large amount of low-skill effort for smaller amounts of high-skill effort and it pretty much made the world we live in today.

    In general, I think money is a pretty smart idea, and i really don't see what's gained by having loads of different kinds of it.

  3. Mhm.

    In Reality is Broken (which co-incidentally, I'm reading) the author discusses 'why' we put effort into achievements in virtual worlds. Her view is that it's precisely the voluntary effort that we put into overcoming virtual obstacles that makes games so satisfying. Therefore, if you remove the 'effort' you devalue the reward. Again this ISN'T about something as simple as epeening. It's about something more complex in one's psyche. And I would suggest, therefore, that's it's a little more complex than this 'money' that you speak of :)

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