Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

I think the biggest change in relation to how we see and treat money is its increased transferable-ness and accessability by younger people. With money coming into the hands of younger and younger people, our economy as a wh*** has become more vunerable because the younger spenders are those spenders that spend it on 'wants' - rather on 'needs'.

Increased mobile phone use is generally not for need. It seems nowadays it is nothing out of the ordinary to carry a phone of $200 or more around in ones bag. It is the phones that will ultimately help decide the future of our economy. Mobile phones are easily accessable and always at out side.

We are carrying more money around in the form of our mobiles than we would like to think. Phone shops are popping up, it would seem, everywhere. The other day I was sitting at the bus stop when an 8 year old pulled out a phone and started having an in-depth conversation about how fast they could text.

It is these young phone posessers that are the most vunerable, because, unlike pocket-money they might get every now and then, phones are a source of cash that can be transfered into the virtual world. 'Acclaim' has a number of games available, some of which are focused on young children. In addition to this, they offer the game currency option. I know from my experience when I was younger that it is all too tempting to just pull out a phone and get the code which unlocks your online fame and wealth.

Many social networking sites and online games now offer game-currency. How to get this game currency?

- Credit card

- Phone

- Completing offers/surveys which ultimately ask for your mobile number.

With the virtual world becoming more and more accessable in various forms, it is all to easy for one nowadays to mistake its importance and become consumed by it. The virtual world could be the death or the salvation of our economy. It all depends how we choose to approach it. After a certain point in virtual games (in particular level-based ones), the game progress slows down; almost asking you to remake your account/character, along with all the money you have spent thus far on it. When you do you become unsatisfied with the new character's appearance or performance and are sucked once again into the never ending cycle of game money. Especially if you are a youth/young child.

Adults tend to lean more towards using credit cards for game cash. However, they actually earn their money and therefore are catious of over-spending. Children and young-adults on the other hand are more likely to place less worth upon their money as, well, it isn't their money. This is where the trouble begins: what happens when a large amount of people spend money that isn't theirs? What long and short term effects will follow?

I still don't know the answer to that question.


Views: 38

Comment by Nick Heyming on April 1, 2010 at 3:35am
Interesting perspective. I worry about the youth sometimes, but for every way they're being taken advantage of, they're developing new resistances to information abuse...
Comment by Thomas Carlisle on April 6, 2010 at 4:36am
In a way this is an issue, but its it not as dire as you think. I bring your attention to FarmVille, the most popular social game available on Facebook. FarmVille itself is mostly rather innocent. Its Zynga, the company that owns it that creates the problem. They promote adds that are scams because they pay them more per add click, and the scams are indeed targeted at children because they had ready access to cell phones. Facebook allowed this to happen because Zynga was bringing in so much money for them through the adds. (These scams usually take the form of the surveys that ask for your phone number, that you mentioned.)

Now, however, they have been caught. The adds are going away, and FarmVille is cleaner. (As per the last time I looked into the story, back in Feb). Even if this wasn't the case, the scams would have gone away eventually anyways. Scams are usually very short lived, and even if they persist they eventually fade away as more legit companies are able to offer better rates, pushing the scams farther away. (When their profit margins begin to narrow, rather than compete the scammers just go looking for easier marks.)

For a more detailed look into this specific story go here.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on April 6, 2010 at 4:44am
I think virtual currencies MUST acknowledge the environmental and social impact. Something like this http://beta.interaction.rca.ac.uk/fom/index.php?/project/andrew-bro... for every virtual product. More about this on my post about Money and how the symbolic exchange forgets about the environment, people and reality http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/learn5-money-and-how-the
Comment by John D. Boyden on May 11, 2010 at 6:16pm
Don't know Amber? Take a look at Greece in the news. Then replicate it across the world :)
+1 KS! Good article!


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