Everyone is stupid: Virtual goods worth $100 billion by end of decade

Does your economy exhibit any of the following symptoms? Manufacturing base moved off to the developing world? Out of natural resources to exploit? Agribusiness has the food system by the balls? Record-high unemployment, skyrocketing home foreclosures, or shrinking middle class? The prescription: when there’s nothing left to believe in, believe in make-believe.

According to Edge Online, Trip Hawkins (CEO of casual game company Digital Chocolate) projects that the global market for virtual goods will reach $100 billion by the end of the decade. Really, world: you’re going to spend $100 billion on make-believe items for your imaginary farms? I have a suggestion: instead, spend that money at your local farmers market.

Above: Farmers markets sell “real” goods, the kind you can eat

There’s a much longer article to be researched and written on the manipulation of consumer behavior, perceived value and the wisdom of building an intangible economy on an invisible foundation. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for all that this morning, so instead I’ll offer you a personal anecdote.

Above: A real-life yacht, most likely paid for by your frivolous nickel-and-dime spending

One of the richest guys I know (owns 3 mansions and an island in Sweden), once told me: “I didn’t get rich by spending money all the time.” In fact, he had many lean years, but was able to build up fantastic wealth by always living within his means and investing his hard-earned money wisely. So listen up kids: if you want to  be able to afford a house, travel to exotic lands, eat well and live a long, happy life, stop pissing away your money on pointless shiny gizmos and look at the bigger picture. Micropaymentsploitation is a tool invented by The Man to bleed you dry and lock you into a vicious cycle of consumerism and subservience. Just say no!

Above: For Sale

Then again, if your finances are tip-top and you feel strongly that virtual goods add real meaning and significant value to your life, forget everything I just said. I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

April 16, 2010


  • wrapdump - April 18, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    Most of the wealth in the world is entirely virtual and theoretical. It's nothing but numbers in a machine.
  • Cwf2008 - April 17, 2010 4:09 a.m.

    And this is why the economy is in the shitter...people spending stuff on virtual crap rather than real stuff. But seriously $100 BILLION?! Damn! Wtf are people thinking. As for that bridge...i would love it. Imagine the money i could make by putting a toll on it hehehehehe
  • NorthGuard - April 17, 2010 3:51 a.m.

    I find it interesting that many people have a strong bias against virtual item sales while at the same time calling themselves gamers. What do you think you're doing when you buy a game? You're paying to experience a fantasy land for the purpose of entertainment. The same goes for fictional dvds, books, and television. It seems there will always be unimaginative people who would rather mock the intelligence of an emerging market rather than find ways to find ways to supply their demand. If everyone simply used their income on what was strictly necessary this would be a very dull place and perhaps not a place worth living in.
  • Cyberninja - April 16, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    i hate how people would spend money on stuff like that for no reason unless it includes stuff like online companys being sold then its ok i guess
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - April 16, 2010 9:23 p.m.

    If you look at where iTunes has gone from since 2000 to now it is obvious that there will be substantial growth.
  • TriggerHappyMongoose - April 16, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    "According to Edge Online, Trip Hawkins (CEO of casual game company Digital Chocolate) projects that the global market for virtual goods will reach $100 billion by the end of the decade." *facepalm*
  • Ded - April 16, 2010 7:57 p.m.

    Very true, MisterAdequate. recaptcha: for rents.. heh
  • MisterAdequate - April 16, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    Open up your wallet. See that £10/$10? It's imaginary. It's worth what is printed on it solely and completely because we have all agreed to imagine that it is. Value - of anything - is simply a question of personal perception.
  • TizzleSniper - April 16, 2010 7:43 p.m.

    couldn't have said it better myself
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - April 16, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    Wait what, maybe I'm misunderstanding something but the amount of games, music and films sold online is only increasing.

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