eBay Bans Auctions of Virtual Goods

Daniel Terdiman, CNet News.com, Jan 30, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

eBay makes the right call here. Forget the dire prediction offered by this article, that "eBay may be effectively forcing players who participate in such trades into the hands of giant third-party operations that buy and sell virtual goods." The demand is created by the ease of selling on eBay and the ready market that the online sales site provides. Take that away and you take away a lot of the market as well. And although Second Life customers are not affected by the ban, eBay was probably looking at reports like this: The Liquidity Event (via Mark Oehlert). Basically, Second Life "land will likely become completely devalued and possibly even inaccessible except for further expenditure... because of a choice Linden Lab itself has already made, which is to open-source the server code and create the possibility for people to host their own virtual worlds." How much is virtual land worth if it's no longer scarce? D'Arcy Norman, meanwhile, crosses over to the dark side, offering criticisms of Second Life, echoed by Leigh Blackall. Not feeling so lonely over here any more.
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