I was talking to a Warcraft guildmate a few days ago about this IGE thing and selling ingame items for real world cold, hard cash. My way of thinking … when I run the numbers, people are making five bucks or so an hour by selling game items and gold.
That’s just not for me. I could do actual work and impress my boss with my dedication and extra production AND make a helluva lot more than 5 an hour. And, there’s that little thing where you could be fucking over e-friends by selling game shit they could use themselves, but that’s Advanced Gaming Ethics 201.
If IGE “consultants” solo all the time, doesn’t seem like they’re screwing anyone other than themselves (5 an hour? *spit*) and a faceless corporation.
So I asked if he had ever ebayed game shit and, to my great surprise, he said he had in EQ, and if he was soloing in Warcraft, he’d do the same again. Now, we had been guildmates in EQ also, but towards the end of the EQ years, when most of us had moved on to other things, he had stayed behind and, as I know now, 2-boxed the hell out of the upper zones and IGE’d the plat. Paid for his new computer with his earnings, as he tells it.
He was quick to explain, however, that he never IGE’d game cash when he was guilded and won’t in WoW, either, because we all know where he lives and wouldn’t hesitate to beat him with a lead pipe if he didn’t cut us in on some of that action.
There was this one guy in my Star Wars Galaxies PvP guild that was IGE’ing (or ebay, I dunno) loads of credits. He was one of the top crafters on the server: managing dozens of mining harvesters, moving hundreds of crafted items through his NPC vendors, the whole operation.
Late in our SWG time, he admitted, openly and with no shame whatsoever, that he was selling most of his credits each week for real cash and doing quite well, thanx muchly.
Imagine a prolonged and awkward silence in TeamSpeak.
Finally, I found my tongue and asked, “umm, what?” He repeated it all, as if we hadn’t heard.
I explained that we had all heard, we were just wondering when our piece of the action would arrive in the mail. After all, we had been harvesting various rare spawns of materials FREE OF CHARGE for months at that point, we deserved a little something, y’know, for the effort.
If this is a game, it’s a game. If it’s a business, it’s customary to pay the employees. This was my thinking.
He backpedaled, and explained that he kept all guild items separate … the way he told it, he almost had a fucking accounting system to keep track of his many business operations. (uh huh) Didn’t matter to me — screw me once, that was your last chance. Yavin Wool of the Gods be damned, he could harvest his own crap to line his pockets.
The guildleader had a talk with him about his IGE gig and they came to an understanding, I believe, on what was allowed and what wasn’t. He did follow the guild to Warcraft but was having one helluva time getting people to do instances with him or pass on equipment to his toon.
Trust is given freely in a guild, like game cash, equipment and assistance. Probably too freely, which is why even one perceived misstep marks the violater as damaged goods.
As I said, do what you want when you solo. If you’re in the guild, I expect a paycheck.