We all love rewards cards. Use a reward card to purchase something, get something back, whether it be a percentage cash back, airline miles, etc.
Very soon, credit card companies and game makers will reward their customers who spend money in the real world using private label “rewards” credit cards. They will use gifts of virtual currency such as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft gold and Second Life’s Linden dollars.
This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I’m not one for being preachy when it comes to finances and credit cards, but I find the fact that these credit card companies are not even rewarding anything tangible to be quite revolting.
Playing devil’s advocate for a minute, I can see why these people would be a great target. This would be the perfect card to buy Mountain Dew, Doritos, and takeout so that people would be able to keep gaming. The average age of the online video game player is 26, the perfect age for someone who is just of out college to sit around and do nothing but work and play their games – and to buy expensive stuff with their credit cards.
I’ve read quite a few articles on how in game economies of these affect real life economies. For example, if you search for “World of Warcraft” on ebay, you get a lot of hits from people selling in-game items, a practice that Blizzard is has been trying to stop. Everquest was one of the first games where this was a big problem. There are even sweatshops in that produce in-game items to be sold. Rewards cards are just going to be another tool for these people to use to further their online ambitions.
But seriously, virtual rewards?