Project Entropia
November 13, 2005 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Oy veh.
posted by Jon-o at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2005

I was going to say, "I wonder how he explained that one to the wife", but after reading that he's been playing the game for 3 years I have a sneaking suspicion that there might not be a wife.
posted by clevershark at 7:43 AM on November 13, 2005

So, do we have any Project Entropia players here? I'm curious to hear what an insider thinks of this.
posted by taz at 7:47 AM on November 13, 2005

That bgsound link is a very nice touch.
posted by hoskala at 7:47 AM on November 13, 2005

"I come before you, good people tonight, with an idea. Probably the greatest - aah, it's not for you. It's more of a Second Life idea-"

"-No, wait just a minute. We're twice as smart as the people of Second Life! Just tell us your idea and we'll vote for it."

"I've sold monorails to Blaxxun, There and Cybertown, and by gum, it put them on the map! Well, sir - there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car Monorail!"
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:11 AM on November 13, 2005

I really want to make fun of the nerds, but none of my hobbies have paid for themselves and then turned a profit. It was so much easier when they rolled dice and drank 32 ounce cups of Mountain Dew.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:30 AM on November 13, 2005

/me laughs atwith Smart Dalex
/me hits Smart Dalek around the head with a trout
posted by benzo8 at 8:35 AM on November 13, 2005

Reading between the lines: cash-out refi on his home?

"Daddy, why are the men taking our house?"

I've never heard of Project Entropia, but it's apparently making money for someone. Best of luck to the dude.
posted by Eideteker at 8:44 AM on November 13, 2005

Man passes on Miami real estate, buys unreal nightclub.

So does this mark the end of the housing bubble or the start of a virtual bubble?
posted by scheptech at 9:19 AM on November 13, 2005

Not to dump, but this happened a while ago. Mainstream U.S. news is getting really slow on its tech stories. It took about 10 days for them to pick up the XCP controversy.

Kudos for the background sound. A very nice touch. I hope others follow your lead.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:30 AM on November 13, 2005

In the gallery, a bunch of the pictures have people standing around in their underwear doing tai chi!
posted by dobbs at 9:31 AM on November 13, 2005

I hate to break it to you, but that man's island is no more imaginary than music downloaded from iTunes or metafilter for that matter. Last I checked neither of those had a physical representation, yet people still pay money for them.
posted by haqspan at 9:34 AM on November 13, 2005

"What'd I say?"
posted by chrismear at 9:42 AM on November 13, 2005

haqspan, that's complete nonense. Music from iTunes can be given a physical representation if you want it, and it's stored on your computer... you don't need anyone else's servers to run it. It's information, but it's as real as information ever gets... you own it. (particularly if you remove the DRM, as I imagine most folks do.)

Metafilter goes away when the mefi server does, but our $5 just bought us access, a user account... it's not property.

The $100k space station is completely ephemeral. If Project Entropia goes out of business, that guy is screwed. He can't burn it to a CD and enjoy it... it has no reality whatsoever in the real physical world.

I wish him well, and I hope he makes a killing, but I don't think that's something I'd be willing to pay that kind of money for.
posted by Malor at 10:05 AM on November 13, 2005

I'm more impressed than shocked. I mean, clearly this guy did the math, and he's looking to turn a profit. He bought something that generates revenue by providing a service to other people. Is it really that different from Yahoo/Google/MS buying some dotcom property?
posted by mkultra at 10:05 AM on November 13, 2005

Am I the only person who like flying?

NY to London is actually 7 hours. It can be a bit wearing (I always go red-eye on the way east), but it's nicer than Ney York to Toronto because that flight is too short to enjoy the flying sensation.

But even if you don't like flying, you can just tell yourself, at least it's more comfortable than American Geryhound. (Though not more comfortable than Canadian Greyhound, which stops and lets you walk around every few hours).

I was wondering though about economy bunks in planes or buses - would it be possible/economical to make seats that became flat bunks for red-eyes - maybe three tier bunks or something? I just don't sleep well upright - I get neck cramps. I really should buy one of those shaped cushions.
posted by jb at 10:06 AM on November 13, 2005

Oh - dear. Wrong thread - I am very embaressed now.
posted by jb at 10:07 AM on November 13, 2005

Hey I like flying too!
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:21 AM on November 13, 2005

Posting comments to the wrong thread is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:38 AM on November 13, 2005

The mefi analogue is apt. What if Matt was willing to sell mefi to you for $100k? Would you take it off his hands?

Granted, mefi is only dependent on http for its technicals, while this virtual house thing is totally embedded in a much smaller metaverse that won't be around/viable forever.

Speaking of which, Snowcrash's virtual property market has come true, hasn't it?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:40 AM on November 13, 2005

Yeah, the difference is that we have a zillion disconnected virtual universes, instead of one big shared one. (Well, unless you're referring to the DNS namespace, which had its land grabs a while ago.)

Malor, the guy's virtual hunting lodge is given a physical representation, in the form of visual displays, when people want it. And downloaded music that's encumbered by DRM will go poof when the authentication servers do or the last licensed piece of hardware gets an upgrade. I don't think the dividing line is very sharp.
posted by hattifattener at 10:58 AM on November 13, 2005

(from digital hollywood, c. 2004) Jon Jacobs, U.S. Spokesperson, Project Entropia -Jon Jacobs has written and Directed Five feature films including the Fantasy cult hit "Lucinda’s Spell"....

(from cnn, main link) Jon Jacobs, a director of independent films ...

Just a sloppy marketing stunt. Don't the folks at CNN have google?
posted by swell at 2:39 PM on November 13, 2005

(oh, pwned via)
posted by swell at 2:48 PM on November 13, 2005

Hahahaha. Sorry. Shouldn't trust what I see on the front page of CNN.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2005

Don't the folks at CNN have google?

They have it, but don't know how it works.
posted by moonbiter at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2005

posted by meehawl at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2005


Yep -- and a fraudulent attempt at getting "buzz." Sad, sad, sad.
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on November 13, 2005

Wasn't that a Muppet?
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:26 PM on November 13, 2005


Please explain. Is the scam artist the man who bought the 'land' or whoever sold it to him? Is the purchaser planning to sell shares? I'm not sure how the Ponzi Scheming comes into play.
posted by nobody at 6:27 AM on November 14, 2005

Please explain.

Creating "value" within a software simulation is as easy as adding a few lines of code, or a quick cut'n'paste. Therefore, the idea that people will be able to amass virtual capital without being prone to hyperinflation is remote. Therefore, only the very earliest pioneers will be able to realise gains on their "investment", achieved mainly by selling title to them to 2nd and later generations. The idea of appreciation within Entropia is contradictory. Therefore holding property long-term is sub-optimal. The secret to wringing value from virtual game environments is to acquire control of and then sell the tokens as quickly as possible before their value depreciates to nothing or they are deleted or replaced. To comfortably support an increasing number of sellers will require a population of eager buyers increasing at a much faster rate, in order to keep demand exceeding supply.

Physical objects have an exclusive nature that precludes effortless duplication. Intellectual property has been surrounded by a web of laws that constrain its duplication.

Within a project such as Entropia, I see no such safeguards. It's a similar accelerating scheme to those "cyber rebate" operations a few years ago. Or think of the rapid depreciation in the eBay market for "imaginary girlfriends". Or self-replicating tulips.
posted by meehawl at 9:42 AM on November 14, 2005

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