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    Everyday Objects as Currency

    Concept »

    While most game currencies resemble real-life currencies or fantasy equivalents, some games re-frame entirely mundane objects as vital economic components.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Everyday Objects as Currency last edited by franzlska on 08/22/22 07:15PM View full history


    Traditional currency tends to be either paper or coin, with technologically advanced societies translating these into a digital form and fantasy societies sometimes adding raw ores or gems. However, in worlds sufficiently different from ours, especially those which have endured a societal collapse or never had a strictly human society to begin with, these currencies begin to seem out of place.

    Instead, these worlds' currencies will often revolve around objects that seem mundane to the viewer, but which bear special properties that make them useful in other settings. Most of these non-standard currencies are inherently valuable to daily survival, inherently difficult to replicate in the current world, or even both at once, making them especially useful as a cornerstone of economy.


    • One of the most famous examples, the Fallout series uses bottle caps. In-universe this precedent was set by water traders on the west coast, due to most of the technology for creating bottle caps being destroyed in the years after the bombs fell.
    • Bullets and bullet casings are a common example, most famously from the Metro series as well as Enter the Gungeon.
    • The Kingdom of Loathing series is built on a meat-based economy, although currency meat can't be eaten on its own, and exists in most living things in the world.

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