April 1st, 2004


Orkut goes walla walla bing bang!

I was checking out my Orkut today, and noticed that there was a text field called "desires" in my user profile, which listed the following:
"stop my omphaloskepses, oo ee oo aa aa ting tang walla walla bing bang, date Orkut"

I don't remember whether I filled out such an entry or not, but if I did, it seems pretty likely I didn't fill it out like that.

Hoping for April Fools, as it would be a bit early for Orkut to be hacked...

MMORPGs as real economies.

I just came up with a interesting idea for modifying the business model of MMORPGs... make the games as inexpensive to play/buy as possible, but make the buying and selling of in-game items as likely as possible. This will greatly encourage people to trade between each other for items, goods, etc.

And here is where the money comes in... admit to the fact that auctioning items for real money will happen anyway, and design around that fact, integrating auctioning features into the software and taking cash commissions on the sales of characters, houses, and items. Make it so that secure trades and bartering can only happen in town at x location -- every other exchange is at your own risk for unidentified goods.

Facilitate a complex economy where players are essentially passing money back and forth between each other, kind of like a game of poker, but with no gambling involved. Some people would even be able to make serious money by playing the game.

Of course, one could argue that if you spend real money for a dragon-slaying longsword and magical fire-resistant armor, and then you use a random number generator to determine whether you kill a dragon and can sell its treasure for real money, you *ARE* gambling.

Either way, it could be just as addictive...