I’ve been busy playing this online game called EVE Online. It’s basically a massive online space simulation game in which you can do a number of things. You can mine resources, refine them, make items to sell in-game or use yourself, fight NPCs or PCs (that is, computer controlled characters and other real human players), any and all at the same time.
But being the smart guy that I am I like to ask questions and figure things out. For example: what is the best way to make in-game money? The economy is almost exclusively player-driven. When you sell an item, it is because some other player somewhere in the world has put out a buy order. When you purchase an item, it is because someone else has put it on the market. It takes a bit of mathmatics but I figured out that the best way to make the most money was to go out, mine a certain type of ore (called Dense Veldspar, which is entirely common throughout the game’s universe) and sell it.
Then do it again. And again. And again. You might use the money you get to purchase better ships and mining equipment so you can mine larger quantities exponential growth. But in the end it’s just going out, mining asteroids, and selling the results.
The game now seems incredibly boring. I can go out and keep mining sure, but to what end? It’s not like the money I earn in-game can be transferred to the real world. There are other things I can do, like combat, but that appeals less to me than mining and manufacturing. My own sheer brilliance has reduced a complex game to a simple equation: mining = wealth. Wealth that is ultimately worthless.