Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chinese gold farmers, why not?

Thought I'd post about this before heading off to another long day. Joystiq links to a documentary in the works about Chinese gold farmers in games. Go ahead and watch it, I'll be here when you get back.


This is definitely a hot topic, look at all the comments they've got.

It does warrant our attention though. This is a serious issue for our industry. Not only because of all the typical reasons that everyone talks about, unbalancing games or exploitation by/of the Chinese. To me, this is indicative of the globalization of the game industry and the need for us to be aware that everything we do has global influences and implications.

I honestly think it's a good thing. For instance, look at how we're bringing Korean games to the US market. These games are fun and ultimately, players reap the benefits by an increase in market offerings and ultimately an increase in the market. US games can and already have, found significant audiences abroad. Am I moronic to envision a world of gamers coexisting through some of the best content from the best creative minds alive? It could happen.

Lastly, I know a lot of these Chinese gold farmers are hated because of what they do. However, I think it's indicative of something more to come. If anything, it shows that games and game environments are open to the same market forces as in real life. People go where they can make money and then usually stay and end up making it a better place. So is it too far fetched to think that these are just front-runners to the game utopia I was just talking about? Remember, online games are different than say, exporting movies. We're inviting people in to share an experience with us. Maybe right now it's used to make money off us, but maybe in the long long term, it's a global village.

Just a morning thought.

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