Unsurprisingly last week's post about gachas taking over much of the Second Life economy generated a lot of comments, both here and on Facebook. (And "taking over" is not an exaggeration, see above -- in the SL Marketplace online, over half a million items are tagged with "gacha".) For some readers, they've soured their engagement with the overall virtual economy:
A world gone gacha is a nightmare. Gacha actually ruined SL shopping for me. I miss buying what I want, the color and style that I want, right away, without having to think about missing out on anything because everything was always in stock whenever I wanted it. I didn't have to trade with others for anything. It was less complicated. I used to shop every day while exploring the grid. Now I might shop twice a year. Gachas, exclusive body mesh, limited clothing and accessories for exclusive body meshes, are three changes that have ruined shopping fun for me. The flip side is that I have managed to save a lot of money as a result. -- Dusky
One reported complaint is price inflation:
Back when gachas were new in SL they cost me between 1 and 30 Lindens per go, with mostly similar items in varying colors and styles. Alas, over the years, they've rocketed to now often stupid prices (recently saw some over 150 lindens a go) and the widespread use of split up outfits and furniture really puts me off. I know some people can afford to throw cash at a machine to get the full set, but a lot of people can't, especially with the seeming average new norm of 75 lindens a go. I tends to hit up the market place for things I really want from events now, but even then I feel bad leeching off people who can afford to play and it's not really fun. -- QD
Patchouli Woollahra makes a very interesting point: The prevalence of gachas in Second Life more or less makes the never-ending question "Is Second Life a game?" moot:
The fact that SL has gone a bit gacha-goo-goo ironically places it closer to being a game. Many games with some aspect of online function now have such gachas in one form or another. There is something to be said for a firmly fixed product at a firmly fixed price, but the frisson of excitement from pushing one's luck with a run at a gacha one wants is about as good as it gets for younger people and folks who live in states barred from the gaming sims of SL.
In fact, maybe a more interesting question than "Is Second Life a game?" nowadays is, "Do gachas in Second Life constitute gambling?" Just don't answer too loudly, because Attorney General Sessions may be listening.