Many have argued that the virtual world has displaced the real world for some people. Online credits are a great example of this. Used often in gaming, online credits have become a way to use real money online, which often does not translate into the real world. With the growth of online credits, this could make the virtual economy more real to some than the real economy.
Online credits began as an innocent gaming device. For those of us who grew up in the 1990s, we remember strategy video games were credits bought interactive gear, more powers, and the like. These were not online credits, for no one played with other games aside those in the living room. In fact, before the xBox release in 2001, gaming consoles did not get Internet at all.
That changed once gaming consoles started talking to each other. Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or MMORGs, meant millions had a part to play. Anarchy Online, one of the largest games, had Anarchy online credits that powered a virtual economy. Today, the game, along with other games, have become an online society, even having its own power structures.
Online credits have now migrated to social media. Facebook credits are an in site credit system for both gaming and non gaming apps, whether to purchase the apps themselves or make purchases within the apps. One U.S. dollar equals ten online credits. These credits have powered an ecosystem where Facebook is at the center, and developers cater to its needs. Similar systems exist on other social media websites.
Today, with a globalized world and an economy in turmoil, many commentators have suggested an international currency to replace or supplant the U.S. dollar. Online credits could be an option. Large tech companies and merchants may develop online credits that convert from one currency to their own, and can purchase products anywhere on the globe. This may make the virtual economy more important than the real one, but it could also fuse the two. One can only wait and see what the future has in store for online credits.