Inside the bubble


I’m fascinated by the gacha boom. Stores beyond The Arcade are setting up gachas of their own to capitalize on the “fun.” People are hooked, and creators have the opportunity to make money from those whose addictions just can’t be transferred from marquee letters to ironing boards. Ordinary citizens are profiting from the feeding frenzy. One avatar was heard to boast that she made 3,000L selling her doubles. I have been visiting the various “trading posts” every day, where it’s clear there is no rationale behind most of the pricing. One rare item was marked for 3,995L yesterday; now it’s set at 1,995L. A W costs less than an M. But if you turn the W upside down, it could be an M.  I saw a scarf set at 250L at one trading post and 25L at another. I bought the cheap one, thinking I’d sell it at a profit. And then I slapped myself until I came to my senses. The Arcade group is officially pissed off that people are selling at a profit. But when one “loses” thousands of Ls playing the gacha game, selling extras to break even or make a few bucks is a way of winning the game. Speculation is contagious. What stops me from trying to profit is my firm belief that I do not need another form of time-wasting. This blog is enough.

The “market” seems to have agreed that the Fawn, Panda and Raisin hamsters, while not technically rare, are especially desirable. But the market has not decided on a reasonable price. In the past few days, I’ve seen Raisin priced at 550L and 200L. Meanwhile, Whortleberry and Popsicle seem to go in and out of fashion several times a day. One could be standing staring at ten Whortleberry marked down to 50L while someone on Plurk asks 300L for hers. Marxists suggest that the tendency to sympathize with unwanted commodities is one of the worst consequences of capitalism, because it prevents us empathizing with the people who labored for exploitative wages to produce the useless, over-priced objects. But the Marxists weren’t figuring on the hamsters. (You can quote me on that.) I can’t help feeling sad for the ones that have been marked down below vendor price. I bought my Lemon Fairy hammie because he was one of a dozen, and I knew no one would want his flavour if it appeared too common. One seller has an elaborate system of prices ranging from 35L to 200L. This is crafty. It gives the impression that some insider knowledge has enabled her to determine prices accurately. More importantly, it discourages people from buying the lesser hammies. The consumer wants a hammie that still “retains its original value” or has already “appreciated.” Like I said, this is all fascinating, but it’s a bubble. Put a cute face on it, it’s still gonna burst.

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