If you play video games, more than likely you’ve been prompted to buy something completely virtual with real money. Whether it’s a special weapon, or gold, or even a hat (I’m looking at you Team Fortress 2), video games are, now more than ever, prompting users to spend money for virtual items, and they’re turning quite a profit.
“Really?” You ask, sitting in your overly plush leather chair, drinking your 5 dollar coffee drink. “People spend money like that?” Yes, they do. A lot of people think it’s dumb, that it’s just throwing away money, but that’s just one perspective. You could say the same thing about expensive coffee drinks or seating that’s way more comfortable than it needs to be.
“But Matt!” you scream, throwing your drink against the wall in frustration. “It’s not the same!” Oh, but it is. Once again, it all boils down to perspective. Sure, a gamer may not be able to sit in the expensive chair or drink the expensive coffee, but his play gets just that much more fun with the addition of a hat for his (or her) character, or enough gold to finally buy that mount they always wanted. It’s paying for an enhanced version of the game. Who are we to say that is a dumb purchase? It’s not that much different than buying expansion packs. That isn’t looked down on, so why should this?
A friend of mine just bought an 80 dollar jacket from a popular store nearby. I was with her as we then drove to her home, and watched her put it into her closet amongst seven other coats, some with tags still on. I didn’t stop her from making this purchase, and why should I? It’s not my money, and she is now happier than she was before the addition of this new coat to her wardrobe.
“But it’s about principle!” you say, waving your arms about frantically. It’s true it’s hard to get over the fact that someone is paying for things that don’t really exist, but honestly it’s not our decision to make. Personal happiness is the key here, and it is not our job to dictate what someone should spend their money on, happiness inducing or not.
So go ahead, buy that stack of hats that’s actually one hat, buy that key that unlocks one of those weird crates you found, and buy that flying skeletal horse that you had your eye on. Let those who never spent money frivolously cast the first stone! It won’t be me, that’s for sure.