Author Topic: A strange MINING question for MMORPG players  (Read 802 times)

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Offline Prinz Eugen

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A strange MINING question for MMORPG players
« on: September 15, 2007, 02:47:46 pm »
I don't play computer games much and not at all for MMORPGs. But I saw this link:

http://myeve.eve-online.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=498

Hmm: "Market overview for mineral markets"
<http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=587968>An overview of the mineral market in EVE Online

An MMORPG company has hired a professional economist to write quarterly reports on its in-game economy, including (in this case) comments on increasing efficiencies of mining make-believe elements.

SO I'm thinking: "Hey! someone should set up a PLACER MINING operation in the game!"

Placer Mining: A ruthlessly efficient form of hydraulic mining using erosive water jets, but also in rare places delivering not water but caustic leeching fluids such as cyanides - especially for extracting gold and copper - or other acids to dissolve gangue outright - oops, along with all the surface vegetation and barge-loads of poisoned forest critters.

You got that right. About 100 years ago people went copper mining by flooding areas with liquid cyanide, letting it all collect, and chemically solidifying or electroplating the dissolved copper out of the nasty, poisonous pond. One of these sites in Montana is a super-fund cleanup site and they're STILL not done remediating it...

Placer mining was practiced by the Romans as early as the 4th century. Therefore it could be 'in period' for medieval-type adventure gaming worlds. In Roman times, miners were often condemned criminals who never saw sunlight again for the rest of their lives. (Imagine spending your last 7 - 15 years underground busting rock by animal-fat lamplight. If there was a collapse, nobody cared, because there are always more prisoners... 'Next!')

The Latin name for this environmentally destructive method was "ruina montium." Check this out:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://museovirtual.csic.es/salas/paisajes/medulas/ruina_med.htm&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Druina%2Bmontium%2B-inurl:(kelkoo%257Cbizrate%257Cpixmania%257Cdealtime%257Cpricerunner%257Cdooyoo%257Cpricegrabber%257Cpricewatch%257Cresellerratings%257Cebay%257Cshopbot%257Ccomparestoreprices%257Cciao%257Cunbeatable%257Cshopping%257Cepinions%257Cnextag%257Cbuy%257Cbestwebbuys)%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Placer mining in the American West devastated the landscape:
http://www.smoothstonesprospecting.com/placermining.jpg
http://www.nps.gov/archive/klse/hrs/hrs4b2.jpg

My questions: (a) Is it or possible to do something like build a dam or divert a stream for mining in a game? (b) Is it permissible to totally destroy tracts of "environment" in these games, since it's not REALLY *the* environment?

Wiseguy note: Next up would be coal-fired smelters (high sulphur? too bad...) and steam power for draglines, shovel dippers** and all other sorts of 18th, 19th, and early 20th century fun. Maybe even some virtual union-busting, company towns, etc?

In other words, since some players play for escapism, can an MMORPG serve as an outlet for those who are fed-up with real-world environmentalist drudgery? Set up a leather tannery or a fabric / fiber dye-works and just dump the alkali into the river just like old-times? Heck even drinking a beer and throwing the bottle away in the street ("Look Ma - NO DEPOSIT!!') could be a break for some players, depending on how onerous things are where they live in the 'real' world...

- GLL

**PS Did anybody read "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel" as a kid?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mulligan_and_His_Steam_Shovel