The Value of In-Game Items
- Highlights links between in-game processes of monetization, value and gambling sites.
- Focuses on how players use the steam community market and trade, sell, and wager items (skins) through the market and third-party sites.
- Uses ethnographic and interview methods to uncover how players use these items, and importantly, how online items are valued either socially or economically by players in the context of a market that allows for trading, selling, and wagering in-game items.
- Early research points to items possessing high social value for players, but that social value is a currency that players are comfortable wagering items for in addition to or as a supplement to cash.
- Numerous third-party sites linked to the steam API allow players to use items acquired in-game to wager for more items or to cash out the value of those items into cash.
- Reveals how in-game mechanics of randomness and item acquisition can be used by players to gamble for monetary or social payout.
- Monetary value is not the only value that players place on their in-game items. Social value is crucial to consider as a form of currency online when thinking about how players use, trade, and wager their in-game items.
Keywords: Games, Valve, Value, Skins Wagering, Online Communities, Online Markets