Thursday, March 6, 2008

EverQuest is not a game; it is a world with its own economy

People do not play EverQuest they live it. Seeing as you can be whatever they want to be in the game it makes sense that people want to play. It is a great way to escape from the humdrum of everyday life, a bad day at work, or the expectations of your family. You have the control in the game and can be everything you are not in real life. As you are dealing with other people you can form friendships, and other relationships.

At this point there is a barter system economy going on in EverQuest. Dave Becker has written an article “EverQuest”, spins its own economy discussing how big that economy actually is and its impact on the real world. Currently people are selling items within the EverQuest system with actual cash transactions and items being sold on auction sites and other online shops. There has been talk of allowing real pre-existing online specialty stores to create a store in EverQuest were people can purchase items and then have the product in the game and shipped to them in real life. I do know that there are quite a few existing shops such as Medieval Magic, Boots by Bohemond, Drakyl's Chainmail Designs, Thak the Blacksmith & Armourer and Lost Legends Art that would fit right in with out any changes and would love to be able to sell directly on EverQuest. I even know someone who is thinking about creating a persona or avatar to do Tarot Readings on EverQuest. They do it professionally right now, but only reach so many people in there area. EverQuest would be a much larger market for them and they can do the readings right there in the game, no messing around with long distance phone calls or web cams.

This is a serious business opportunity and those with the smarts are going to find away to take advantage of this open marketplace. I am hoping that EverQuest will follow through and allow people to open stores to sell directly on EverQuest, so that they can have some type of control of who is selling what. They could even charge the shopkeepers rent every month. I know that I would go for that; I think it would add to the game. It would be kind of interesting to be able to buy something on a game, and then have the actual item in your home as well. At this point a lot of sales are going on around EverQuest, through deals made on EverQuest and then actual cash payment through online payment systems like Paypal. As much as some people do not like it, EverQuest does have an economy and it is having an impact on the world outside of EverQuest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Earths ecosystem is desperately trying to find a balance.

All the storms and unusual weather patterns seem to indicate that there are some changes going on. Science proves it. We are having changes in the temperature of our Oceans and even in our climate. There have been great changes in the salt content in water and an increase in the quantity of water in our ecosystem. We have created a great imbalance and now the world is trying to fix itself.

Over the years we have impacted the world and its balance. We have increased pollution instead of decreasing it and that impacts the air we breathe and the amount of radiation from the sun that reaches us. Now we are changing the world’s water supply. We have taken water that was frozen for who knows how long and have consumed it. This has changed the quantity of water in our ecosystem. As we increase the water we dilute the salt concentration in our seawater. This is having an impact on fish and other see creatures. It is also changing the temperature of the water and our weather.

In Canada and some parts of the US a lot of salt is used to get rid of ice. It ends up in our fresh water supply as for some reason the water from the drains goes straight to the lakes and streams instead of a water processing plant. It has changed the water, and we are loosing fresh water species of plants, animals and fish at an unheard of rate. As freshwater is one of the most important natural resources destroying it is not a smart move on our part. We have these wonderful beaches but signs all over about how unsafe it is to get into the water, pollution has caused dangerous bacteria to grow in some of the water, and for others the pollution itself is just so high it is not safe.

Years ago someone came up with the weird idea of selling bottled water, who knew how big that business would become. It is a sad day when you have to go to the store to buy clean water, when you live surrounded by fresh water lakes that are no longer safe to drink from. Someone else came up with oxygen bars. A place where people could stop off and get a dose of pure oxygen, like a cup of coffee. They were popular in some of the larger cities with smog problems. People thought the idea was way out there until they tried it. People said even a small dose of clean air made them feel better. I know that they have not taken off like bottled water, but I can see that changing as the air becomes more and more polluted.

What can we expect over the next few years? Who knows! We may end up with even more extreme weather, or hopefully nature will right itself. However as long as we keep changing the balance nature is just going to have to keep trying to right itself. We cannot expect Governments to fix this, they have different agendas no matter what Country they work for. We have to think of what we can do as individuals. Maybe if a lot of us make small changes that might help. Until changes are made or a balance is found we just have to live with the consequences of our Grandparents decisions and ours.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Great picture of how much water and air we actually have

I found this wonderful picture showing how much air and water is on earth. It is a great visual of how little we actually have. This really goes to show that we have to protect our air and water instead of polluting them. We only have so much, and we have done a lot of damage already. It is not like once we start running out of usable air and water we can just run over to the next planet and pick some up. Once it is gone, we have to fix it or die. How much damage can earth sustain before it becomes irreversible? We are already seeing damage in ecosystems; species lost, and are feeling it in the fishing industry. When you make changes in the water quality and the salt content you change what can live in that water. The same goes with air. We have been destroying the world’s air filters when we destroy the rain forest and other plant life. The damage we are doing is no longer something that is going to be seen in a few 100 years. People used to excuse their polluting and uncaring about the damage by saying that it would take 100’s of years before it would have an effect on the planet, and by then we would have found a way to fix it. Well it seems that they were wrong. I don’t have an answer on how to change or fix this, just the observation that we are already seeing changes in our lifetime, what is going to be happening in our children’s lifetime?

Left: All the water in the world (1.4087 billion cubic kilometres of it) including sea water, ice, lakes, rivers, ground water, clouds, etc. Right: All the air in the atmosphere (5140 trillion tonnes of it) gathered into a ball at sea-level density. Shown on the same scale as the Earth. This picture and information about the picture was posted on Dan Phiffer.