I don’t want to sound like a broken record, and I’d hate for this site to become “Jer’s anti-Facebook page” (though maybe I should start one, like I did for MySpace), but pretty much every ad I see on Facebook lately has a kind of trashy decadence that blows my mind. I don’t know if you guys are seeing the same things as me, but it makes me queasy.
First, this doosy shows up on a Facebook page a few weeks ago, promoting a service selling World of Warcraft gold. Now, I’ve already adressed their use of stupidly sexual images to promote unrelated things, so the fact that they are using photos of actual women (albeit dressed in costumes that are based on the video game WoW) is tacky and lame but not surprising. What’s surprising is that they would promote the gold selling service at all. Gold farming and selling (Wikipedia link) is a process where cheap foreign labor (Chinese ‘sweatshop’-style) is paid to play the boring but ‘treasure’ yielding parts of games like WoW, then that treasure is bought for real money by rich players who want to experience success in the game without devoting a lot of time to it. It is cheating in every sense of the word, both for the player and for the farmer, who are both breaking the terms of service of the game itself and the social contract functioning within the game world. It spoils the fun for everyone who doesn’t want to pay for their in-game success and has a very real impact on the economy in the game world, making all items more expensive (there is a very important action system that is gamed by the gold buyers and sellers) and making it harder and harder for legitimate players to be successful without devoting all of their time to competing with the cheaters (I have friends who quit other similar games because the gold buying/selling market had destroyed all of the fun).
For Facebook to promote this service is like them promoting pirated software sold out of Russia or knockoff Louis Vitton purses, it is an illegal service that functions through loopholes in international law and spoils the whole idea of the involved product (purses, software or in-game gold). I may not play WoW anymore, but that shit still makes me mad. (For what it’s worth, I’m not against knockoffs of stupid, overpriced merchandise like Louis Vitton bags specifically because it devalues the originals, which is the only sane direction for their value to go)
Sorry for the lengthy discussion of WoW economics, for those of you less nerdily inclined, this one should hit home about what kind of site we’re all hanging out at. Not just stupid and tacky, but I think actually disgusting, we’re presented with someone’s bust and asked to consider “a wide range of cosmetic procedures”. Thanks, 416 SURGERY, I’ll be the person I really want to be any day now thanks to your botox and silicone.