Bureau de change ici

Suppose your Rodian character in the online game Star Wars Galaxies has banked a small fortune of 10 million credits. But you’re also playing an impoverished pauper of a halfling in Everquest. If only there were a way to distribute Star Wars largesse to the Everquest needy. This is exactly the problem that
IGE’s Virtual Exchange solves. Using the exchange, your halfling is in line for a tidy windfall of 136,000 platinum pieces. I can already picture Sally Struthers pleading with wealthy Wookiees to feed the homeless children in distant Ultima Online. 400 credits a day is all it takes!

It’s a good idea to join these worlds, but it’s not clear how the exchange rate is set (the site’s FAQ is still empty). It sure doesn’t look like an open market sets the rate, which can only mean that there must be a black market somewhere. Can you buy game money on eBay? Yes you can. I just found someone offering 200,000 platinum pieces for 100 honest-to-goodness British pounds. No bids, though. One million Galaxies credits can be had on eBay for around $20. Assuming these prices are reasonable, that suggests an exchange rate of around 49 credits/platinum piece, as opposed to the “official” rate of around 83 credits/plat. Those lousy Everquest border guards are robbing you blind! They’re as bad as the North Koreans!

I’m sure it won’t be long before we have serious money changing hands in a truly open market for fantasy world money. That’s the funny thing about money. If you think it’s real, it’s real.

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