Interesting point @Christoffer - there seems to be a mix of people who will only buy items if it enhances game play, and those who will not buy them if it enhances game play (as this has an unfair advantage). It also seems that there are those who feel that cosmetic items are useless, and those who feel it helps them fit in with other players (or make them stand out). Although the cosmetic value of items can be more directly linked to reasons for purchasing real items, it seems that the reasons for purchasing (or not purchasing) weapons etc are more to do with the virtual world alone.
I see @SerHulse - so if Valve to not appear to be selling progress, who in your opinion would you say is giving Valve all their money? The people who are interested in the cosmetic value of virtual items? Or those wanting to 'catch up' with the older players?
I'm not too familiar with EVE- is it, like most MMOs, a case of time put in= reward? Or by your comment, are you saying that there are a lot of items that you can buy to help you progress?
I understand that real items cannot be exactly compared to TF2 items... However there are people purchasing items in TF2, not just finding them. These are the people I am interested it, and perhaps they are purchasing certain items to help them fit in with the crowd and so that they have the latest items, just like they might purchase the latest iphone to fit in with the crowd and have the latest item (even though it does not directly better their game play, it might give them the appearance of it, by simply looking better than everybody else..)
Yes you're right, it does seem bizarre that people would spend money on fitting in, but it is a fact that people do this in the real world. Would you say that this is not the case in the virtual world, or are you simply saying that you think it is bizarre? In a way you could argue that purchasing video games is a means of fitting in with a crowd...
Thank you for posting the article @mnzy - I have read it, and it's very interesting! I got confused though- does that topic continue onto the next chapter/page?! I think it's important that I understand the financial process behind the games I am using as examples. It also explains why the majority of questionnaires I am getting back say they have never bought any virtual items, yet Valve are making so much profit.. somebody must be buying them!!
Interesting point @Three0neFive - although some people would argue that the trading/finding/purchasing of items is ALL that the game is about.. Perhaps this is where I am getting the discrepancies between people who purchase virtual items in TF2, and those who don't...
Thank you for you time @dudeglove - I realize that they are not the best written questions in the world, but I am only a graphic designer and do not want to go too far out of my depth with the questions! I was just hoping for some basic feedback that would help me with the theories I already have :)
Thank you @Mcfart - don't worry, I understand that just because you don't purchase virtual items, it doesn't mean you're opposed to them.
@WhyBeAre -thank you for your insight, you made a good point! Although I am making comparisons between purchasing real items and virtual items, the main difference is that most video games are a competition, therefore we progress to be BETTER than everybody else. (However there is still some element of TEAM-work in TEAM Fortress.. which explains why we might purchase TF2 items to help them fit in). You could also argue though that life is a game- you might purchase a nice shiney new car so that you are better than the rest of the street and so you can drive faster than those on your street..You're right, it doesn't seem that getting a 'nicer' product in real life would negatively affect anybody else, but it may create jealousy, low self-esteem etc in those who do not have such a nice item, and they are driven to buy a match (pretty much the workings of consumerism/capitalism). I agree though, it doesn't seem right that people should be able to buy an advantage in a competition, and perhaps that's why TF2 is so popular and respected. Out of interest, what WOULD drive you to purchase a virtual item in a video game?
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