As many, or the majority knows, Venezuela has been hit with a devastating economic crisis. The country has suffered at the hands of dictator Nicolás Maduro. Worldwide there has been a lot of commotion about this with countless reports on social media. Recently, the website Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about how some young adults have been surviving this crisis…
For those that are not familiar with the website, Bloomberg L.P was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan Macmillan, and Charles Zegar. Ten years after this, Bloomberg had made more than 10.000 installments of their service called Bloomberg Professional (The Terminal), providing an innovative service for data and analytics of several markets. In the same decade Bloomberg opened their offices on a worldwide scale and launched Bloomberg News. On a regular basis large media outlets, like the New York Times, publish articles from Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg Businessweek is well-known across the globe for publishing about political issues and news from around the globe. If you’re interested in learning more about them, their site is available in English.
Let’s take a closer look…
According to the news article mentioned, the Venezuelan players are waking up earlier each day, disputing over who can use computers with antique monitors and greasy keyboards. They do this so they can pass hour after hour grinding on video games, to making a living for themselves. If any of them takes too long, others arrive quickly to ask or persist to let them play.
Many of them have degrees. Unfortunately, they are not able to earn the bare minimum needed to put food on the table. In many ways, playing video games has been a much better form of income for them than traditional jobs. But how does this work? The Venezuelan players pass their days playing games like Tibia or RuneScape, farming virtual currency and selling these to other players for real life currency or bitcoins to improve their livelihoods. Obviously, they know this is against the rules of the games. Players that do not benefit from this black market generally frown upon this kind of behavior, complaining that this instigates inflation of the virtual currency in their respective games. Is it ethically right to judge these players from third-world countries for their behavior, though?
“We’ve never made this much before”, says one of the interviewed players, while also confirming that he spends seven days a week at the cybercafé to provide for this wife and child. Most players that farm virtual currencymanage to scrape together a couple of dollars a day but in many aspects are earning much more than salaried workers.
Another interviewee tried to accumulate gold for a couple of months after leaving active military duty, but quit playing for a living when his internet connection destabilized. He says it was menial labor, but it kept food on the table. “Hunt, kill, click, repeat”, he claimed while slaying minotaurs, just for fun. “But if you’d give me a 10-megabyte connection or a job, I’ll stay home with the internet.”
The internet connection speed in Venezuela scores as one of the slowest in the world – The country scored worse than war-torn Syria, in a ranking of 159 countries in 2017. Many players prefer being online at nocturnal hours to avoid the lag. The wife of an interviewee, confesses that the nocturnal gaming of her husband is a nuisance to her. She used to argue with her husband while he told her he would leave her before leaving Tibia. She claims, however, that she cannot argue with how much he is earning
This has not been an issue created recently. In 2007, a thesis was published by Stephan Börzsönyi, also known as Stephan Payer, one of the founders of Tibia. In his thesis, he mentions the economic system inside the game among other things.
In his thesis, chapter 5 reflects how the economy within the game affects the real world. When players buy an item or gold, they are paying for the time another player invested. It is also stated that this type of market exists because where there is demand there will always be supply.
This was written 11 years ago and to this day holds true. According to Stephan, people involved in the market all profit from it, but there is a serious impact on the game and on the players that do not have a part in the trade. The fun in the game is killed and the atmosphere within it ruined. Changing the game to a marketplace and worksite, while doing something that is morally wrong.
But what does Cipsoft think of all this? We approached Cipsoft to see what they thought of the current situation. We received a response in which they deliver their official standing which reads as follows:
“Our standing on the topic is that we are aware of the black market that has developed. We do not approve of this at all, and we also do not profit from it. It is and remains against the Tibia Rules to advertise these kind of real money trades.Our influence on the black market, however, is really limited, since the trades happen completely outside of the game. We do not have any control over this.As for Venezuela, we hope, of course, that the situation will improve again soon!”
A game that was supposed to be a distraction, is turning into something serious. Creating benefits for the existence of dominating guilds and affecting players in many other ways.
Acknowledging the fact that it’s wrong to make a living from illegal activities in a game, while also acknowledging that there are players that do this out of necessity and for their survival, is it right to judge them for their attitudes?
The information contained in this article is not the responsibility of the team of Portal Tibia and Tibia Wiki. Keep in mind that this is information gathered from external sites. We do not support any violations of the rules stated on Tibia.com.