Gaming internet cafes litter every block of Seoul and gamers litter the populace. Kids, teens, grannies – each could handily beat me at any of the following: Tetris, WOW, Pong, and maybe even Epyx’s amazing shooter, Electrocop, though that one isn’t really multiplayer. Well, now the gaming nation has one more reason to keep its thumbs in good shape: the Korean Supreme Court has ruled that online items gotted from online gaming can legally be bartered for cold hard cash.
Right, its been done before, but now that it’s legal, gaming companies, players, and even the law have to put their heads together. It’s good that players can unload their level 56 claymation dolls, but what if that item is stolen? What if it is lost while the player is waylaid? What if the world glitches and thousands of such items are suddenly destroyed? Since items in the offline world can collect real-world cash, players have more at stake. Server companies have more at stake. Software companies have more at stake.
Actually, this bit of news may change gaming, forever – that is if it catches on around the world. Currently limited to South Korea, the ruling is merely another ‘damn thats sweet’ bit of news. But if allowed to spread, ostensibly, second-life scenarios may carry as much weight as their first-life counterparts. ImagineDoctorow-esque sweatshops of game-playing labourers to create and sell wanted items, online millionaires reaping green rewards here on earth; this news is BIG.
What does this mean for iDevice gaming? Nothing yet of course, but MMO games will soon see debut on the platform thanks to developments by companies such as Com2uS (a S. Korean gaming mogul).
Prediction: the next gold rush for iDevice development? In-game crafting, shopping; the creation of virtual companies which will rule, much like their first-world models, the freakin’ bloody internet! Of course, this information comes at a crucial time: when sour economies are turning to alternative methods to generate income for the rising poor.