- Parent Category: Advanced News Lessons
- Category: Science and Technology
- Written by Chris Cotter
David Storey of Australia purchased a private island for $26,500, a sum which may sound like an absolute steal. However, the island is beyond the reach of any boat or plane because it's virtual. In other words, the place doesn't exist in the real world, but rather in a computer role-playing game called Entropia. The island recently got recognized as the priciest virtual object ever purchased with real money by Guinness World Records.
You now may be thinking less positively of Storey, perhaps even disputing his sanity. However, the twenty-seven year old graduate student currently rakes in more than $100,000 per year from the game, successfully mixing recreation and work. The island is run as a rare game preserve, where hunters are taxed for use of the land. He then exchanges the virtual money, known as Entropian dollars, for cold, hard cash. There are similar businesses elsewhere online, such as an asteroid space resort and a space station. If either of these properties were ever sold, it's estimated each might earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The uninitiated may see the games, prices and even the concepts as a whole as utterly ridiculous. Yet you have to give kudos to the gamers who have been able to establish themselves in an often competitive and cutthroat virtual world. David Storey and others like him don't just get by, living from paycheck to paycheck. If such were the case, the money would suddenly dry up if they quit playing for a vacation or to deal with a personal crisis. Instead, these individuals are making buckets of money, and even the most cynical, sneering individual has to respect that. Gamers like Storey are getting paid to play.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Title: Speculate and/or discuss the contents of today's article from its title: "Getting Paid to Play."
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- David Storey of Australia purchased a private island for $26,500, a sum...
- The island recently got recognized as the priciest virtual object...
- The island is run as a rare game preserve, where...
- Yet you have to give kudos to the gamers who have been able to...
- Instead, these individuals are making buckets of money, and even...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Would you want to get paid for playing a video game? Why/not?
- Would you want to get paid for doing something you really love? Why/not?
- How is buying a virtual object different from buying luxury goods you don't really need?
- Are people like Storey just very lucky, or do they have some special quality?
- If someone you knew wanted to make money online, what sort of advice would you give?
Google Search: Type "online role-playing games" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.