Virtual Goods - Why Are They So Popular?

If you actually think about them, virtual goods have absolutely no use in your life. They only exist online and their only real value is in the virtual world. Yet, these goods have become extremely popular and gamers from all over the world spend a lot of money on them.

The entire idea of having an ever growing market that buys and sells online goods can be a little overwhelming. A few years ago, the idea of buying and selling such goods for millions of dollars would have made people laugh, but today it is all real. With the coming up of social networks like Facebook, there has been a marked increase in the amount of virtual merchandize that is being bought and sold online. Whether it is digital gifts to your loved ones, or a new tractor for your virtual farm, virtual merchandize and goods have been creating ripples. Ever wondered why they have become so popular over the last few years?

1. Virtual Goods Create Improved Possibilities

If you have never had a Jacuzzi in your real life, buying one from a shop in Second Life can be quite fulfilling. Virtual merchandise creates so many new possibilities for people with limited means. In the context of a game, the virtual goods you purchase, can improve enhance your abilities in the game, thus propelling you to higher levels of the game and improving the overall game experience. Wish fulfillment is another thing that is associated with virtual goods. These goods let you do things which you couldn't do otherwise in your real life. You could be running a swank oriental restaurant, or working on a high yielding farm, or going on a magical quest on an alien land with warriors and sorcerers by your side. The possibilities are endless.

2. Social Aspects

Online goods are a great way to meet new people and improve your social standing. In games such as Second Life, where the virtual world works almost like the real world, the more virtual goods you have, the higher is your social standing. Virtual goods used contextually during your game can improve your score or tip the game in your favor. You rise up in the leader boards or have improved ratings, therefore improving your social status in the game environment. Most game environments also let you get virtual gifts for your friends, thus elevating the social experience and letting you reach out to more people.

3. Identity Creation

While a lot of the virtual merchandise are related to the gameplay, there are many which are related to the appearance of your character or your avatar. In most online games, your characters are highly customizable. You can purchase online goods mainly in free to play MMORPGs to improve your online character. You can get them new clothes, have a home which is replete with everything that you ever wanted to own, or simply spend money on yourself in a way that defines your inner desires. Virtual goods help you create your online persona and your identity. Wish fulfillment can be factored in here again.

No matter which virtual environment you are in, your virtual goods are a means of self-expression as well as enhancing game experience. As more and more people spend more of their time in the game world, it is almost impossible to overlook the importance that the virtual goods have in the overall gaming experience.

Greg McAndrews writes articles for and helps to promote what MMORPG?, a site dedicated to quick summaries of only the most high quality MMO games available. The summaries are broken down by users' most popular queries such as fantasy games, free to play MMOs, and cartoon based graphics to provide results that get players playing games as quickly as possible.

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