It Takes Currency to Make Currency


If you’re a Flash game developer, you are concerned with how you can make a living from your creative and intellectual services. Fortunately there is a payment system so workable, that it may actually work.   Game developers can charge money both for their games, and for things within their games.

Here’s how it works:

1.    Player pays real money to buy fake money within the game.
2.    Player spends fake money on virtual stuff.
3.    Virtual stuff increases the value of the game.

The game developer can technically charge for whatever they like: level packs, hats, extended versions/director’s cuts, etc, etc. The sky’s the limit.

These types of transactions have been very popular in places like Korea for a long time, and it was amusing to see the initial resistance and resentment in North America to the idea. Meanwhile, North American Pioneers of such systems are drowning in money.

The Right [virtual] Stuff:

Now, suppose that Social Media could be modeled after a huge game where people act based on a set of incentives like, say, connecting with friends, accumulating followers for their blog, finding proverbial “gold rings” like employment opportunities, business opportunity, spiritual growth, professional advice, cheap airfare, fun things to do, product reviews, or political activism…just to name a few.

Suppose that in order to get from one level of the game to the next, they need to engage in conversation with another player.  Anyone who has been on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook long enough knows that the “right virtual stuff” is sometimes hard to acquire.  Twitter finally broke the mold with applications that now “sell” followers (I wonder if there were any Flash Developers behind this innovation).

A Mutually Inclusive Game:

Now, suppose the game was mutual such that some players need you a little bit more than you need them and they are willing to invest in your connection.  Similarly, suppose you need some players a little more than they need you and you too are willing to invest for their connection.  Finally, all players know that a mutual link between two appropriate players substantially increases the value of both players relative to the game.

It Takes Currency to Make Currency.

Immediately the engine of entrepreneurialism will ignite as people figure out new ways to play the game.  With a trillion dollar advertising industry, a trillion dollar Professional Placement industry, and a trillion dollar recreation/leisure/entertainment/family industry on the ropes, you can guarantee that innovation will be absolutely intense.  Welcome to the Innovation Economy.

(Editor’s note: This article was inspired by a piece authored by Ryan and can be found here)

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