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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: May 8th 2009 8:38AM Crsh said

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I look at MMOs as a very cheap form of entertainment; let's say all pay-for-play all hover around a $15/month subscription, I am not buying other games during that time, I see fewer movies in the theater (or buy them on DVD), etc. It's pretty hard to beat.

Otherwise, I probably end up spending less time with friends and family, I excercise less, I don't do anything that contributes to my education (sorry guys, if you think you learn anything else than rough social/leadership skills through MMOs, you're fooling yourselves).

On the other hand, if you want to put an actual value on that time, I don't think taking your current hourly job rate and using that to yield a monetary value actually applies (it's not a job, you decide how much time you spend playing per day/week/month), but it certainly makes an interesting anecdote.

Posted: May 8th 2009 10:01AM Ripper McGee said

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I think putting an hourly rate to it applies, but only when the gameplay is excessive/obsessive and, even then, only as an example. 4,579 hours is greater than 2 full years of full-time employment (2,080 hours/each or 2,000 if you take two weeks off). So, if those hours were accumulated in just a year then "WoW" (pun intended), that's excessive! Imagine how much money you could make, because it's unlikely one could hold a full-time job or school career successfully and still play that many hours. That number of hours is pretty excessive even in two years time if you have a full-time job, a family, a house to take care of, etc..., because it's basically the equivalent of spending time at two full- time jobs.

Keep in mind, too, that gaming is truly "work" to many players. I'm not talking gold farmers, reviewers, or industry folk, either, but those who spend hours camping, planning raids, doing corpse runs (EQ - heh), dealing with guild politics, etc... So, those players are putting in a ton of effort in order to try to have fun, often not successfully. The way I see it, if I'm going to work, I want to be paid for it.

~Ripper
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Posted: May 8th 2009 11:07AM Crsh said

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I understand the principle, but one playing over 2000 hours in 2 years actually does not produce anything, so I find it a little hard to apply any kind of rate to it.

It is time, and we all know time is money; but time is money when put in a processing/outputting context, which playing a MMO is not.

"I successfully lead many raids and defeated all the bosses" does not equal "I wrote a thesis" or "I made 300 lunches at the local grade school today" unless playing games is effectively your job.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 9:13AM Aganazer said

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I would gladly pay $50/mo for the right game as long as there was a lot of game run events and custom content. I've always wanted to see a game where the GM's spent the majority of their time stirring up events throughout the world on a 24/7 basis.

Posted: May 8th 2009 9:17AM CalebG said

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I believe my life as of now is balanced in terms of what I believe are the 3 major aspects in my life.

Advancement/Work
Much like leveling up in an RPG, I do have aspirations and dreams, and I do strive to get there. One could argue that if I put more time here, I might have been there now (Technically speaking, I am already), but like Tobold pointed out, there is only so much one can do.

Social
Being human, I do need a certain level of non-work related interaction with other people. That being said, this gets a smaller portion of my time. I wouldn't look at it as how much interaction do I get in a day though, as that does happen anyways, over Instant Messaging, or calls/SMS for example. Instead, it would be a weekly basis, for example, going out on a Friday night with the significant other.

Entertainment
The ying of the yang which work creates, entertainment is another huge part of my life. It is closely related to social in some degrees, for example, going out to party on a Friday night with friends or aforementioned significant other. Other then that, gaming would probably be one of my few entertainment outlets other then the odd movie here and there and partying of course.

All in all though, I do find my time very precious. And priorities are always in place. I will, for example, never choose playing a game when I could possibly be working.

Given the amount of time spent on gaming though, as compared to what I had when I was younger (virtually 24 hours of free time), it creates an interesting side effect were I would actually try to 'optimize' my game time. Yes, I do rationalize why it's better to play in an online persistent and constantly updated game (I.E. MMOs) over an offline one and I do look for the most optimal routes and means to get to where I want to be (of course, at the highest level and geared up).

And now, excuse me ladies and gents, it's party time. ;)

Posted: May 8th 2009 9:29AM (Unverified) said

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I don't want to equate a monetary value with my leisure LOTRO time. Leisure time is defined as an activity one engages in for it's own sake and not for extrinsic rewards. It's an active time that engages a person with something you enjoy and that might even inspire you. I'm not going to tarnish that by attaching some type of number to it that demonstrates I'm losing money.

Posted: May 8th 2009 2:28PM (Unverified) said

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Monetizing time is a pretty dubious way of looking at MMO hours. When I worked at a pizza place, my time was worth $6.50/hr. When I play a bass gig, my time can be worth $50/hr. Like MeowCat, I don't start a meter when I'm playing a game to see how much money I "lost" from not being employed during that time.

I think a much more troubling observation would be in the Subscription model vs. Micro-payments model for MMOs. Some people do not like a subscription. You pay $15 a month, so you can break that down to, roughly, 50cents a day, or about 2cents an hour. Every day/hour you are not playing, you are giving them money for "nothing." In a micro-payment model, if you aren't in the game playing, you aren't spending money.

However, as this post by Tobold shows, micro-payments add up. You may not even feel like you are spending a lot of money because the game is "free." You might only be making small impulse buys. If you look at the monetary break down of his posts, with a WoW subscription, he is paying between $155 - $180 for a year of full access to the game. In Free Realms, he is planning on spending $100 in one week on micro-payments. This might simply be front-loading the cost. After he's made those purchases, he will not have to repeat them, but....my guess is that FR will have plenty of new content streaming in for people to spend money on.

MMOs are a big revenue source for companies, so there is a very real danger of exploitation out there. Everyone should be aware of that.

Posted: May 8th 2009 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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MMO's are imho very inexpensive entertainment - $15 a month? That's a DvD or a movie out (solo). Definitely not in the realm of a meal out or going 'somewhere'! As for the time sink of playing, it's my relaxation and fun versus watching TV or following a sporting teams weekly progress.

I doubt anyone ever asked how much time have you spent (and money) following the 49ers or Dodgers or ?

As for the micro-transactions someone compared the ala carte way versus the included meal of an MMO monthly fee. I feel its more like dim sum - all those small plates = huge bill!

I beta'd Free Realms and did go get the .99 card at Target along with a $10 card. Unless that game really hooks me, which it hasn't yet I can't see spending $100 on it. Who knows though. I'd rather pay $15 all included - I cancelled EQ2 after the recent mico-transaction they added. I'm sorry we buy that game, pay monthly (or it was yearly in my case) and now that - bad form Sony!



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