For $20, I can go to the local Walmart, and buy a card to contribute to the economy of any number of different virtualized worlds.
Whether this is Star Trek Online, Worlds Of Warcraft, Second Life, and so much more, I can – directly mind you – transfer my hard(ly) earned dollar to the very real virtual economy of my favorite world – whether that is a game or simply a different place I spend my time and socialize.
Now as the feds and the government turns a blind eye to the basic ‘physics’ which make it clear these ‘virtual worlds’ are indeed alternate realities, you – the citizen of this ‘real world’ suffer from this conversion of income to these virtual worlds.
How is that?
There’s something called the ‘money multiplier’ effect that the US economy is contingent on to continue with it’s self sustainability.
That is – for every dollar you spend. it’s expected that 80% of the value of that dollar will be spent by the person and/or entity that took that dollar from you.
Doing the simple math: If you spend $20, then you are contributing $20 + $16 + $12.8 + $10.24 + $8.192 + $6.5536 + $5.24288 + $4.194304 (and so on) which equates to roughly 5x the value of the initial expenditure is contributing back to this economy.
But with virtual economies, That money multiplier effect goes right out the window, particularly when the company is NOT based in the United States. Not only is there no tax on ‘gift cards’, but there’s also no multiplying effect.
So $20 spent is $20 spent.
The buck stops there.
Not enough of a problem to warrant scrutiny you say?
Let me ask you this: How many economists do you know who are physicists and vice versa? Not many, right?
Cross discipline education is rare, and creates problems in itself Problems, in this case, which can quite literally collapse an entire economy if planned right.
Did I just say planned? Hmmm 😉
Why is this?
Economists have long ‘borrowed’ from the natural world with this concept of the money multiplier effect – or ‘value over time’.
Applied: If you place a hundred dollars in a bank account. a year form now you should have your hundred dollars + interest accrued.
How does this apply to the natural world?
Natural Growth. When a seed is planted in the ground, over time that seed grows roots, then grows up, then branches.
Those branches produce new seeds.
Sometimes those seed ‘change’ to adopt to new surroundings.
Those seeds get redistributed to the surrounding environment.
And life continues it’s relentless cycle.
How does this apply to the virtual worlds?
The ‘real world’ branched.
Money is the seed of energy. Of perpetual motion.
These virtual worlds – seeded with time and energy from our bored population become less virtual.
These virtual worlds – a life and community in and of themselves – cannot be squashed – and turn into ‘alternate realities’, very real destinations we can go and visit and let go of this ‘our normal life’ for some time.
We build tools and technologies to explore them.
To understand them.
Oculus VR and other virtual reality systems – trying to help ‘assist’ those who are not early adopters like I was – and who may not understand these virtual worlds as first explored by people like me.
Which in turn will contribute to our economy.
And life continues it’s cycle.
It’s not our contribution to these economies that harm us.
It’s a lack of comprehension by those who do not understand these worlds and how they cannot be controlled in the same sense of our own – and if we attempt to impose the same societal rules we live by on these worlds, we’ll end up in very real war.
And you thought Terminator and Borg war wasn’t pretty.
It gets so much worse if you push it.
This all is nothing more than an example of life’s infinite and ever branching nature.
Resistance isn’t futile. But it’s ill advised.
Now we absolutely CAN control our world better.
Educate our own civilization and culture about what it is we are actually doing when we interact with these worlds.
Because who knows.
One of us might choose to live and stay in those virtual worlds rather than stay in the reality where they were born.
Someone like me.