EverQuest 2 Platinum, Items & Accounts Store, Open 24/7
Looking to buy EQ2 Plat, Items or Accounts? IGE strives to offer the fastest and most reliable service on the web for all your gaming needs. Feel free to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, live chat and email.
With so many exciting, MMORPG's coming out every year, the temptation to explore these virtual worlds can feel irresistible. However, one major thought holds gamers back: leaving behind everything you earned in your old game is not only a heartbreaker, but a colossal waste of all the time and effort you put in that game!
IGE now offers you the opportunity to move painlessly from game to game along with your hard earned virtual legacy. Trade us your old virtual currency in the games you don't play anymore, and we'll give you some in the ones you play!
IGE's Virtual Exchange services are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with permanent live help chat. We focus on providing top quality service with reliable and speedy results. IGE's professional manner and smooth service is the result of years of experience as the pioneers of virtual currency transactions.
Donate your currency to charity!
Who would have thought you could help a charity by playing an online game?
Whether you are a hardcore player, a casual gamer, or just fed up with your online game, you can now help people in the need by donating your virtual wealth!
In partnership with Mercy Corps, IGE is now authorized to donate real money for humanitarian causes, in exchange for whatever virtual money you are willing to part with. On top of the going rate between your game currency and US dollars, IGE is donating an extra 10% to Mercy Corps.
How about playing a day for someone else?
Biting the Hand
Biting the Hand is a bi-weekly column that seeks to improve the industry by spreading information and pointing out boneheadedness in a humorous and sometimes vitriolic manner. The column has been penned since 1997 by online pioneer Jessica Mulligan, who began her career in 1986 designing online games for GEnie and has since been involved with over fifty online games, including over a dozen massively-multiplayer games.
Buying virtual goods on the internet is one thing; killing for it is quite another.
Last week in China, Qui Chengwei, 41, was given a suspended death sentence for fatally stabbing someone in an altercation that was over a piece of property that didn't even exist.
Aleks Krotoski reports
Thursday June 16, 2005 | The Guardian | UK
Qui, who was tried in Shanghai, and his victim, Zhu Caoyuan, were players in the Chinese game Legend of Mir II - one of the world's 1,600 active massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). They played with millions of paying subscribers in a virtual space set in a 24-hour real-time fantasy.
Like traditional console-based computer games, these feature goals to be achieved, bad guys to thwart and rewards to be reaped - but, unlike titles for the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube, every on-screen character is played by a person logged in via the internet. In these virtual worlds, players team up to take on challenges, working off each others' strengths to solve the in-game conundrums.
Qui and a friend had jointly won a valuable Dragon Sabre by battling through a tough quest. The pair lent it to Zhu who, instead of returning it, sold it via an online auction, kept the money (about £480) and ran. Chinese police don't recognise virtual property as real goods, so the question of theft was a moot point. The result was that Qui resorted to a brutal real-life crime.
That someone would pay £480 for something that doesn't exist in "meat space" is of increasing interest to economists, legal scholars, social scientists and philosophers. That someone would value it enough to kill another person interests just about everyone.
Until earlier this year, virtual trading was a curiosity. The buying and selling of magical weaponry, non-existent currency and imaginary castle between players of online games was a strange quirk of the system. But money talks, and the fact that players of these games were spending their hard-earned real cash on synthetic stuff in a digital environment - things they could not touch, taste or smell - soon got the attention of business minds.
The market exploded, as did stories of people who had cashed in on the phenomenon. A Jedi character from the game Star Wars Galaxies sold for $2,000 (£1,106) on the auction site eBay. One journalist earned more in one year of virtual trading than an American secondary school teacher would make.
Black Snow Interactive, a "sweatshop" that employed low-paid Mexican labour to develop highly skilled characters for sale, was shut down by the creators of the game Anarchy Online. In-game "mafias" controlled sections of The Sims Online.
It all had a circus sideshow freakish quality, but it was still believable. Pouring real money into intangible products didn't have the same jaw-dropping effect it may have had before the dotcom bubble.
Since 2001, Dr Edward Castronova has been following the progress of virtual market trade and oversees the subject's leading forum, the weblog Terra Nova. "I expect this activity will show strong growth over the next 30 to 50 years, as new generations grow up with video games as a normal part of life," he says.
Some believe that government, policy and law workers will begin to use these worlds as training grounds for real-world decisions, and such discussions are already part of the New York Law School's annual State of Play conferences. Castronova estimates that the overall market in MMOG goods within the game worlds is worth an annual $2bn. This, according to his research, is "comparable to economic activity in many small regions, provinces, and even a few countries". Outside the game, with real dollars traded for virtual things, Castronova predicts that the market occupies between $100m and $1bn in trade. That is comparable to the market for tennis shoes.
These figures present questions about the nature of value, ownership and property, forcing a pop-reassessment of the assumptions of Western capitalist, political and economic structures. Ren Reynolds, resident philosopher at Terra Nova, suggests that virtual property alarms most people "because they have rather cosy ideas about what property is. These ideas tend to be reinforced when property has physicality. For example, I can say this is my brick because I can touch it and take it from you and run away. A lot of these virtual property discussions challenge these notions."
Yet virtual property has existed for centuries. Copyright and its modern spin-off, intellectual property, are examples of constructions of ownership of non-physical entities understood and accepted by the general public. "People do embrace virtual property," Reynolds says, suggesting that the contexts in which things develop are responsible for their value.
"The pound coin doesn't mean anything except what you think it means. Your money is just a bunch of ones and zeroes in a database in a bank. It actually has no value. It's the same with EverQuest money; it's a bunch of ones and zeroes in a database. Intangible goods are not actually new; it's just these specific types of virtual goods that people don't embrace."
The stakes in virtual property have been steadily increasing since 1999. Last December, the price hit record heights when David Storey, known as Deathifier in the game Project Entropia, paid $26,500 for a piece of digital land.
He received the title to "Treasure Island", while the seller, MindArk, laughed his way to the bank. Storey considers his purchase an investment: "The Island has two forms of income: one is estate sales, which is where the big money is in terms of one-off income. I have 20 out of 60 that I intend to sell. When you look at the price for each estate ($450 to $550) and multiply it by 60, you can see that it easily meets the initial purchase price of the island. Even if they don't all sell at such a price, taxation will make up the difference, and is also the source of ongoing income beyond the estates."
Storey has received a $9,000 return since December, and both he and his investors are pleased with the progress. He says: "I do believe the purchase has challenged people's perceptions and blurred the border between the real and virtual worlds, and I also believe that this will be reinforced once we have demonstrated that it actually works." (You can read a full transcript of Online's interview with Storey on our Gamesblog).
Reynolds says that the idea of gameplay also challenges wealth: "The Protestant work ethic says work isn't something you're supposed to enjoy. If you look at the gameplay in some of these products, it seems too superficially enjoyable to be work. In fact, 99% of the game is clicking repeatedly in order to advance your character to the next level."
Matt Mihály, chief executive and creative director of Iron Realms Entertainment, believes that offering real-money transactions to participants will open up the genre to a broader audience. "If I have a family and a job, how the heck am I supposed to get anywhere in a game designed to appeal to people with far more free time than me?" he says. "I want to feel a sense of progress, of unlocking new experiences in the game world, and I don't want that pace to be molasses-in-winter slow."
By offering such transactions, Mihály is a minority in an industry that generally outlaws the sale of virtual goods based upon intellectual property clauses in end-user licence agreements. Regardless of legality, the mostly black-market third-party trade in games has made millionaires out of some company owners.
Partially in response to this, Sony Online Entertainment has done a u-turn in its hardline position on virtual trade. The company was adamant about pursuing professional virtual traders, and even made a deal with eBay to prosecute sellers of EverQuest goods. Yet last month, it announced Sony Online Station Exchange, a service that acts as an in-game marketplace for players who wish to trade real money for virtual properties. Gamers benefit from the security of the transactions, a process that in the past was riddled with scams. Sony gains capital through commission and saves man hours usually spent answering complaints about illegal deals gone wrong.
Reynolds argues that this is a step towards normalising the process of virtual trade. "Five years ago, the practice of virtual trade was clearly cheating, but in five years time it won't be. Station Exchange is helping to norm the practice of virtual trade. It is reinforcing to the outside world a practice that goes on anyway."
The public may not embrace the phenomenon, however, particularly if stories such as Qui's continue to emerge. Others maintain that replacing the real world for the virtual may create a population of social isolates. But Reynolds says: "People into social software would say that virtual worlds are socially enabling." Regardless of viewpoint, virtual worlds are encroaching upon the real one.
"It's generational," Reynolds says. "If you look at teenagers, they are entirely comfortable having a name on email, SMS and instant messaging services - all different pseudonyms for different aspects of themselves ... All of the debates about virtual property are about the dividing line between what's me and what isn't me."
With real-world house prices stagnating, property barons might be advised to start looking into online games. Beware, however, of people wielding virtual swords.
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A virtual space resort being built in the online role-playing game, Project Entropia, has been snapped up for $100,000 (£56,200).
From sweatshops to stateside corporations, some people are profiting off of MMO gold
MMORPG.COM provides a resource for the MMORPG community. Forum posts can be deleted and users may be banned from this site, without prior warning or explanation, at the sole discretion of Cyber Creations Inc.
Terra Nova is a collaborative weblog experiment. It is about an emerging social phenomenon called "virtual worlds" -- computer-generated, persistent, immersive, and representational social platforms. Currently, the most popular virtual worlds are massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs), such as Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies. However, there are many other old and new varieties of virtual worlds.
The Escapist covers gaming and gamer culture with a progressive editorial style, with articles and columns by the top writers in and outside of the industry. A weekly publication, its magazine-style updates offer content for a mature audience of gamers, entertainment enthusiasts, industry insiders, and other "NetSet" readers.
Each issue, The Escapist explores a central theme. Tuesday's main publish addresses head-on the topics relevant to gamers, while the weekend extra, Casual Friday, explores the lighter side of these heavy issues.
Combining print-quality writing and magazine-style aesthetics with the accessibility of the web, The Escapist is available online, via PDF, and through RSS for broad syndication.
Luddite Industries :)
IGE, a diversified service provider and market maker, operates the world’s largest secure network of buying and selling sites for massively multiplayer online game (MMOGs) virtual currency and assets on the Internet. IGE currently offers exchange services for many of the world’s most popular MMOGs, including both direct buying and selling services as well as a trading platform.
Since its founding in 2001 by Brock Pierce and Alan Debonneville—consummate gamers themselves—IGE has been an outspoken pioneer, a market steward, and an industry trailblazer. In meeting the demand of game players to buy, sell and trade in-game items, IGE provides gamers with fast transactions, 24-hour customer service and guaranteed transactional security. IGE is dedicated to improving gamer services and fostering a more enjoyable gaming experience.
Another thrilling dimension
The dawn of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) has marked a decisive revolution in entertainment and socialization opportunities for millions of game players around the globe.
Multiplayer online games such as EverQuest, Final Fantasy XI and Lineage 2 embody the creation of rich virtual worlds, whose inhabitants band together each night to engage in the most immersive form of online entertainment available today.
The popularity and success of MMOGs is largely due to immersive game designs that allow players to create and participate in new virtual realities. Commerce is a natural consequence of these complex, exciting virtual worlds as game players create, trade, buy and sell in-game assets. Gamers have assigned real-word value to virtual currency and other in-game commodities, creating a vibrant secondary market for MMOGs. This secondary market represents one of the most successful forms of emergent behavior ever seen in entertainment.
Gamers see the secondary market as yet another thrilling dimension of the MMOG experience. It not only gives players the advantage of greater flexibility so they can focus on aspects of the game they most enjoy, but it also allows players to get real world value for the effort and time they invest in the games. This remarkable connection between virtual and real world economies is the beginning of the next generation of entertainment that is contextually-based and commerce-driven.
It’s Big Business
Analysts estimate the 2005 marketplace for virtual assets in MMOGs is approaching $900 million. Some experts believe that the market for virtual assets will overcome the primary market—projected to reach $7 billion by 2009—within the next few years.
There is also a growing demand for in-game services that will more tightly integrate the secondary market to the games themselves, giving game players even more game play flexibility and enjoyment. It is the continual infusion of new game play opportunities in the secondary market that intrigues new gamers and enlivens game experts. Indeed, the vanguard of MMOG players can be found in the secondary market—IGE was founded by such individuals who understood that facilitating the trading, buying and selling of virtual assets is a valuable service in itself for the MMOG community.
Stretching the boundaries
Whether it's by bringing players together outside the virtual settings of online games or by facilitating secondary markets within the games, IGE is a market steward and gamer advocate that stretches the boundaries of MMOGs.
IGE offers gamers an always-on, secure network and the choice of an exchange platform site or direct buying and selling sites where they can exchange, buy and sell virtual assets and currency.
Advocacy and stewardship
IGE takes the role of advocate, steward and community member seriously. Building on relationships with publishers and players alike, IGE advocates healthy, secure and responsible secondary market practices. IGE does not farm or use bots or macros of any kind to create or collect virtual assets, and the company leverages its market presence and distribution power to avoid practices that have a negative impact on game play.
IGE maintains administrative offices in Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida. The Company's market making and currency exchange services are operated by Internet Gaming Entertainment, Ltd., the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong. The Company's auction exchange services and content network sites are administered by wholly-owned subsidiaries in the United States.