What if video game money was real money? Munny, zenny, coins, gil, credits, bottlecaps, septims, rupees, and gold. Many of these strange-sounding-items should hit a familiar tune in the average gamers’ memory banks. Each is a different form of currency, money, cash, and moolah and each is representative of the economic structure of particular video game titles. I can’t count the number of games that I’ve accrued in my video game history, or the number of achievements received for my fiscal accomplishments, but I do know one thing, I would be filthy rich if video game money was real money.
The race to riches in the gaming world is a much more exuberant process than that of reality. Looting treasure replaces tiring job searches; the interview process is substituted by the selling of wares and collectibles, and the pinnacle of wealth is achieved on the foundation of fun, a bit of determination, and a larger portion of fun. Can you imagine cashing a check that reflects the entirety of your gaming history; the culmination of fighting your way through hordes of bandits in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, or the summation of collected loot in Diablo 3? The world would be introduced to a new set of billionaires, the rich who game, nouveau riche in its purist form.
Let me pose a question, what would you do if you could somehow turn those blissful hours on the couch, the computer, or gripping the handheld of your choice into an amassed sum of capital? The definition of “gamer” would change in the face of monetization. We would no longer be perceived as lazy, jobless, teens that have nothing better to do with our lives (a stereotype is undoubtedly false). Maybe our status would be upgraded to the level of self-employed entrepreneurs, or hard-working entertainment experts?
Some might say that gamers would not be worthy of such wealth, that playing video games could never be considered work. While I do agree that gaming doesn’t rank near the top of society’s vital professions, it certainly has been a work (fun work) in progress for me. I’ve been playing video games since I was old enough to grip a controller, I’ve dedicated countless hours of my free time, spare minutes for a cause. Though my reasons were not as grand as searching for a cure of cancer or as honorable as solving world hunger, it has been a cause of my own, a journey rife with hard work, immense devotion, and unwavering enthusiasm. Wouldn’t it be great if witnessing Kratos’ hunt for revenge, if guiding Link through temple upon temple, and if aiding Mario as he traverses the Mushroom Kingdom paid off with more than just enjoyment?
If such a fanciful world existed, would you quit your job and become a full-time gamer? Which game do you think would produce the most real-world money?
Editor’s Note: This article is for the purposes of entertainment and is in no way insinuating that gamers should be paid more than doctors or that we are more important than scientists. That would be stupid. This post reflects a day of boredom and pondering at work so please don’t take me too seriously! But you must admit, wouldn’t it be cool if you could turn all that gaming money from past generation consoles and present, into real, hard cash?