Selling power is a much quieter controversy than it used to be. I've been in gaming long enough to remember when selling anything
desirable at all was taboo. At the same time, it's always been OK to sell some things like subscriptions or special boxed editions, proving that MMO gamers and others are brilliant at segmenting their rage. If it's a cool, special box with a neat virtual item inside, it somehow does not fall under the same umbrella as selling powerful, useful items in game. I think it does. But geeks in general are good at justifying poor behavior if they get what they want; just ask the hackers and file-swappers.
Still, it doesn't matter how we feel about selling power because the industry is already moving in the direction of selling power, lots
of power. EA
recently announced that every title it produces from now on will feature microtransactions
. While that doesn't guarantee the sale of powerful items, I can promise that it will include some. This train ain't stopping. Sure, the console community seems a bit late to the party when it comes to the power-selling controversy, but that's likely because of MMOs' always-on multiplayer mode.