Anyone who has spent time getting sucked in "World of Warcraft," or any other of these types of games, knows just how addicting these games can be. Yet another example of how people can get carried away has shown up, this time in China where a man paid an excessive amount for a piece of virtual hardware.
The 16K Virtual Sword
The upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), "Age of Wulin," held an auction for in-game items before its Spring 2012 release. As this Slash Gear article points out, there were quite a few small items auctioned off, and even a few sheaths that went for a couple of thousand dollars, but the biggest item was an in-game sword that one man purchased for $16,000 USD.
The man who purchased the sword got a plaque for his trouble, and of course, he will be able to use the sword once the game goes live in a few months. The virtual sword is unique, so no one else will be able to sport such a powerful weapon. There are no reports on whether or not the sword will give him an in-game advantage, although after 16 large one would certainly hope so.
Cash and MMORPGS
According to this Time article, a study released this year pins the value of online virtual economies at around $3 billion, with one in four players spending $369 each year. With stats like this, the news of someone spending $16,000 on a virtual sword shouldn't be so surprising, but somehow this still comes as a bit of a shock, perhaps because the game hasn't even come out yet. Imagine spending enough money for a mid-sized car for in-game items in All Points Bulletin, a much-hyped MMORPG that lasted just a few months.
Hopefully, "Age of Wulin," which will be released in the US a little bit after it is released in China, turns out to be a fun, long-lasting game. If not, this may be one of the silliest ways to flush $16K down the toilet.