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Tycho / on Wed, Apr 20 2005 at 4:30 am

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Aren’t You Just Hi-Goddamn-Larious

This is his fiery response?  Snakes and birds?  Saints preserve us.  This “thing” he sent me couldn’t me more pedestrian if it walked down the street.

While setting my affairs aright for the site shift, I found an old post that would have been a perfect match for the way things used to be handled around here.  Claptrap related to “electronic diversions”  or captive animals won’t have much shelf life when the site becomes Conjugation next week, that erotic ship will have sailed, sensually.  But while I’m essentially cleaning house I may as well get some work out of this refuse.

You probably saw that Sony Online Entertainment has decided act as middle-man for currency and item transfers, on a limited basis at first.  Because I have no faith in my fellow man, even less faith in small groups, and what you might call “anti-faith” or outright distrust in even larger groups of men, I’ve always wondered (in the night) to what extent Sony (or, indeed, the operators of any Massive game where large scale currency transfer has become a corollary industry) actually controls or manages those transactions. 

In Halo 2, every round that gets played outputs reams of unique data - far more information than we typically associate with a match.  Even something like “locations the best sniping occurred from” gets tucked away, and this is for a First Person Shooter with no monthly fee.  I’ve always had a hard time believing that these massive companies were being dogged by shadowy networks of currency traders when those activities occur entirely within their mechanical realm.  This isn’t like some “Hackers” shit.  We’re talking currency being sold in set amounts.  So if they weren’t in on it, I never understood why they didn’t pinch the more elaborate operations.   

It may be that we are moving into an odd place legally.  They bark real loud, and they include language in their EULAs nobody ever read about what you can and can’t do with this stuff, but when the metaphysical rubber hits the road of judicial purview I wonder if there are some things they’d rather not find out.  I have a somewhat large lump in my arm that appears to grow every year, but until I see an evil face straining against the skin I’ve sort of made my peace with it.  I’d rather not involve a medical professional who is just going to take my arm at the elbow “just to be safe.”  They may be in a similar situation. 

At any rate, Sony’s implementation is sort of like an Ebay.  They don’t “mint” new plat in-game, and they don’t create new items - at least, not officially.  They simply act as the agent between interested parties.  Since many players feel as though these services cheapen the game experience for an entire server, I’d imagine that this way of implementing the service is designed to assuage that sentiment. 

Long term, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the policy adopted by their competitors as well - and I think the lure of extra profits by marketing their imaginary currencies will eventually prove too great.  They may teeter when it comes to epic items, but for money I think we’ll see

1.  Resistance
2.  Token Resistance
3.  Feigned Hand-Wringing
4.  Aw, What The Hell

and I don’t actually blame them.  My guess is they’re moving it in-house just because letting Internet vagabonds manage they way they are now is a tech support nightmare.  Also, I’m sure the money doesn’t hurt. 

(CW)TB out.

clawing at the ceiling of his grave

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