Let’s talk about money! Pretend money in video games, that is. I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately since realizing that I use money as a top marker of accomplishment in MMORPGs: I find I measure my personal success in a game based more on how much money I can make rather than using whatever arbitrary measurement the developers code in. It’s all pretty weird because I don’t really focus on making all the monies in real life (if I did, you would not be reading these words from me, as I would not be working as a games journalist).
But I’ve sort of figured out that I like being “rich” in MMOs because my goal in MMOs is the freedom to do whatever I want, and generally, the best way to do that is to have huge of Scrooge-McDuck-style piles of gold to spend as I please. So having a big pile of money in SWG Legends, for example, means I can buy cosmetics, resources, houses, and so on, not to lord them over other people or to show off when bank-sitting but rather to change my playstyle on a whim. In another game with less playstyle flexibility, I might stockpile cash for the freedom to deck out an alt, but it’s still the same concept.
Do you try to become “rich” in MMORPGs? Do you do it on purpose, or does it just happen? And what’s your core motivation?