As Venezuela’s Economy Fails Citizens turn to Runescape for Income

It is interesting to see that regardless of location or government capitalism and the ideas behind supply and demand in many ways provide the best method to develop a living.

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As Dictatorial Socialism Fails Players Turn to Runescape

Venezuelan President Maduro, a socialist dictator, completely destroyed the Venezuelan economy and institutions of government.

The economic crisis is growing so outrageously bad that the average Venezuelan has lost almost 15 pounds since Maduro took office.

People are hungry, violence is erupting on all fronts, and rioting is becoming the daily norm.

Yet as the nation falls apart it seems a group of Venezuelans have turned to other means to support themselves.

Gaming Economy

Runescape gamers across the Venezuelan nation have become targets of scrutiny after new data showed Venezuelan teens using the game and some capitalist tactics to make more money than educated professors in their country.

Developed by Jagex ltd, a British video game developer and publisher, Runescape is recognized, on a Guinness World’s Records standard, as the planet’s biggest free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

The point of the game is to interact, fight and travel the world’s map to fulfill quests that help the player earn experience, new items and weapons for their avatars, as well as acquire in-game gold that can be bartered with other players and non-player characters.

Runescape creators developed 3 iterations of the game: the original and the two sequels. The original Runescape, now referred to as old-school Runescape, is the platform where many of the Venezuelan players are currently occupying.

Generally, within the boundaries of the old-school Runescape map, the player versus player, or PVP, opportunities are only available in a certain region of the world called the wilderness.  PVP references an in-game dynamic where certain environments will allow for players to fight each other in real-time.

When one player loses, the winner of the fight acquires the items, weapons, armor, and gold that the loser drops upon their defeat.  Additionally, there are much harder quests that can be accomplished in the region of the wilderness.

Gold Exchange

When killing a dragon in the wilderness, it drops bones and a hide that can be sold for real life dollars, Bitcoin or other virtual currencies in the Runescape “Grand Exchange”, the game’s virtual marketplace.

While harvesting dragon parts to sell, the average gold farmer can make 50 cents per hour.

More experienced players can make 2-3 dollars per hour.

This would mean that the average Runescape-playing Venezuelan teenager makes more money than a Venezuelan college educated professor who makes a measly 5 dollars a month.

It is interesting to see that regardless of location or government capitalism and the ideas behind supply and demand in many ways provide the best method to develop a living.

Hopefully, Maduro and his government learn from their more industrious citizens and begin to foster business instead of killing it.


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Jonathan Wasserlauf
Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.
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