Money for… Nothing

avatar-bodyI just paid $5 for virtually nothing.  It makes my avatar look cool.  It’s a developer/publisher I’m happy to support with my dollars, but it’s something I can’t really ever interact with, just display.

I paid for an outfit to make my Xbox Live avatar look like a character from a game series I like; Splinter Cell.  It wasn’t TOO bad a deal in the grand scheme of things, because I had $7 in free Microsoft Points Picture390(Microsoft’s virtual currency used to buy Xbox and Zune purchases) from buying shampoo and stuff from Target over the weekend.

I have no tangible media on which this content is sitting.  If Xbox Live’s servers break, I cannot access what I purchased.  In essence, I purchased a license for it, which I’m granted if Xbox Live’s servers are functioning properly (which to their credit is VERY reliable, barring last winter’s complete meltdown).

The concept of it is just blowing my mind as I sit here thinking about it.  Perhaps a nice thing about it is that the money I’ve spent on this content license is going to the developer, who in turn could make a potentially stronger product with my money.

I wish more things would do this promotion, like ‘Buy a Big Mac, get $1 in MS Points’. I know it’d only appeal to a limited market, but I’d wager they’d still draw that specific crowd out to make a lot of money. 

If you play Xbox, how much virtual money do you estimate you’ve spent on the service over the years?  Is there a way to tell?