Believe it or not, I maintain an account on Neopets.com. I do alright, and I do my best to help others out. Sometimes I check out
the boards to offer advice, after all, if you add both of my accounts I have ten years of experience, an average of five years experience, and plenty of the local currency to get by. Yesterday, I watched the drama unfold. Another user lamented that he didn’t have the money neccessary to buy something he needed to help his pet.
He complained how he couldn’t find it in its primary shop and that in other users’ shops it was at least 100% more expensive. (Think of the difference between 10 and 1000 – an amount easily earned in a few minutes by playing a handful of games. Instead the user took the time to complain for a few hours and recieved it for free.) Most users tried to explain the theory of economics, specifically supply and demand, but the guy didn’t get it. Another user eventually took his side saying, “I see your point. These people shouldn’t be pricing the item so high. They are rich and they should just give it to us.” In the end, two against two hundred were terrible odds.
My account is only as good as it is because I worked for it. I earned each and every point. I saved each and every point. I’ve heard this quote something to the effect of, “What we pay dearly for, we value more. What we obtain cheaply doesn’t really matter to us.” Sadly, somebody gifted the needed item. Charity is one thing, but I fear it was wasted. What is to stop that user from making the same complaint the next time he suddenly needs an item? Who wins a game by complaining about it’s rules?
Who defeats Monopoly while bemoaning how unfair it is that they don’t have their own hotels? This philosophy of entitlement is the latest result of a lack of certain values. While it translates to being generally annoying in a game, it also speaks nothing but trouble in the real world. Unfortuantely, such an attitude is encouraged and rewarded in some situations. The funny thing is that if you made the argument in a game, it doesn’t make sense.
“You’ve earned what you have, but you’re rich so from now on you’re going to give a portion of what you make to me.” Nobody would say, “You’ve got four hotels on Boardwalk, give me two of them to put on St. James Place.” Yet it seems our new policy is, in effect, “You’re fabulously wealthy, they’re not. Here’s the solution, give them $250,000. Now that’s fair.” The thing about America is that anybody can go from poor to rich or from rich to poor. I sort of what to get it fixed before I’m well off so I don’t have to worry when I’m well off, or before all the rich people get poor, whichever comes first.