8th January, 2012
Here is some interesting social complexity around gaming: Korea thinks Diablo 3 might have gambling.This is a welcome change from the "games are violent" rhetoric, and must be particularly concerning for Blizzard with their massive competitive fanbase in South Korea. It intersects nicely with the business/economics side of games, as the publisher obviously wants a global release and the same version of the game to be released, but you just can't get past regulations. I guess we've waited long enough for this game, a few more weeks or months won't break us.
The key sticking point appears to be the auction house: the Board in Korea seem to think that the potential for bidding makes it a bit too much like gambling. I must say it makes me a little edgy: the ability to buy virtual items with real money seems a bit strange, but I guess in a world with millions of Zynga microtransactions per second I should just get over it. I think that perhaps it just blurs the line between our own selves and our digital selves a little more, which hey, is not the end of the world. Now I'm going back to my real life of killing dragons and avoiding arrows to the knee.