May 24, 2011

Empire Avenue State of Mind…



Ok, so thanks to @SkylarSmythe on Twitter, I’m now playing some social media game called Empire Avenue where the point seems to be turning yourself into a tradable commodity for others to purchase and sell.


I’m actually not sure what to think of this game, but it’s interesting nonetheless. You connect your social media to this game and I suppose carry on using your social media as you normally would, as in Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Like most gamification (Jesse Schell) it has elements of virtual self worth and reward, as well as simulated losses.




Gives new meaning to selling your soul…



One of the prerequisites of adding your blog to the game, however, is that you need at least five players to verify (endorse) your blog so that they will be sure it is written by a real person and not just some spam-bot haven or whatever. Seem reasonable… but then there is the secondary prerequisite in that when you request your blog to be upgraded to blog status and not just an RSS feed, they require that you put some funky verification code at the beginning of your current or next post in order that they can determine you actually own the blog you are trying to pimp on the game.


As a matter of course, this is that blog entry.


It seems like a very interesting game, however I’m still uncertain the point of it overall. What really got me thinking was the luxury items available to spend your earned game credits on; things like hang gliders and yachts. Of course they don’t come cheaply, because that wouldn’t be luxury – but the last housing option in the game struck me as absurd:


A Castle.


Ok, I can see how a castle would be the ultimate luxury item to attain, but it’s essentially a 64x64 cartoon picture of a castle like it’s a badge. Still not a problem until you realize that Empire Avenue has the audacity to charge 100 *real* dollars for it. Not in-game currency, no… one-hundred real, log into your Paypal account to authorize the absurdity of the transaction you are about to make and press the pay button to be greeted by the sound of laughter and toilets flushing your dignity and common sense away, dollars.




I’d buy that for a dollar… or one hundred.



And yet, there must be quite a lot of people stupid enough to pay $100.00 USD for a 64x64 image with a castle on it to display proudly on their game page. P.T. Barnum was right, there really is a sucker born every minute. If I wanted a castle, I’d log into the XTopia Minecraft server and build myself one in 3D, for free.


If you’re into this sort of intellectual game, then I highly recommend it (and also purchasing stock in A3D). However, unless you’re really pants-on-head stupid, I wouldn’t suggest buying a castle.


  1. Yep. Buying the items is a bit stupid but like Farmville and other such games there are always people who want to elevate themselves quickly.

    I've met a couple business contacts through it oddly enough, for contract writing and I enjoy trading and competing with friends.

    Now all you need is a castle to beat my stock prices...


  2. Buying the castle gives you 25,000 eaves per week FOREVER, even if you don't connect to the game.

    After 7 weeks, it pays for yourself and you'll never have to buy eaves for the rest of your life.

    It may stupid for casual players but it's amazing for those whom love the game a play everyday.

    It's not different to buy a item on Diablo III to get better in the game if you love to play it!

  3. @Marcio Disney

    You do realize there is a huge difference between "want" and "need", right? You need food, but you want imaginary money that can only buy you imaginary stocks, but costs real money to buy imaginary castles.

    To each their own, boss. Let me know when that imaginary castle earns you enough to replace the $100 hole in your wallet.