There’s been some buzz around Phillip Torrone’s Make: blog entry (Link) pointing out that virtual worlds and MMORPG’s should be developing their own credit cards and reward systems. I’m not sure why there’s any buzz, to be honest. While it’s a nice idea, anyone involved in virtual worlds should be at the point where anything crossing over from the real world shouldn’t be a surprise.
Besides, Second Life, which he uses as an example, already depends on users to have a credit card; you need one to sign up – even for the free service (it prevents people from signing up numerous accounts, among other things). And as noted earlier (reLink), the trade in virtual goods is sufficient to have Sony considering giving up their subscription models and replacing that (substantial) revenue with fees from player-to-player transactions. Let me quote the important part of SOE Smedley’s comment:
Smedley said Thursday that Station Exchange is paying off. â€œItâ€™s a real business,â€ he said. â€œIt has a very meaningful revenue stream, and itâ€™s growing.â€
This all does have me wondering though: at what point will people finally grok that immaterial boundaries have simply fallen, and the material boundaries are crumbling fast? Where are we on the technology adoption curve?