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Spread The Love (And Pay Us) 442

Posted by timothy
from the brilliantly-insipid dept.
Digitus1337 writes "Wired has an article up about a new online service known as 'FunHi.' You sign up and join a community, and give your fellows gifts, but as Wired has reported, 'these are not ordinary gifts. They're purely digital: little flashing icons of cars, planes, diamond rings and other virtual representations of expensive items included in messages members send each other. And FunHi members don't seem to care that the real money they're spending on the gifts, at prices as high as $30 an item, is going straight into the company's coffers." This leaves just one question unanswered... why didn't I think of this?" It sounds like an April Fool's Joke, but then, so does online trading of Everquest loot.
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Spread The Love (And Pay Us)

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  • wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AssProphet (757870) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:31AM (#8714145) Homepage Journal

    FunHI - yet another reason capitalism should come with a warning
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:31AM (#8714150)
    What about the Snobby Greedy Bitch... the one who thinks these gifts are reprsentative of real ones?

    Then $30 will seem quite inexpensive.
  • Status symbols (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:32AM (#8714161)
    I suppose a real diamond ring is a status symbol, as is using a $10 bill to light your cigar.

    So too is throwing your money away with a virtual gift. let them who want to, do it.
    • I suppose a real diamond ring is a status symbol, as is using a $10 bill to light your cigar.

      And there's the adage "It's the thought that counts." And many of the gifts mentioned aren't really functional anyway (excluding the car).

      Of course, if your friend is the kind who turns around and sells your gifts for cash, they may not like these gifts as much.
    • Re:Status symbols (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jkabbe (631234) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:40AM (#8714284)
      I suppose a real diamond ring is a status symbol

      Agreed. Buying a diamond is saying "here DeBeers, have some money" just so other people can see that you gave DeBeers lots of money. It's simply a more socially accepted method of throwing your money away.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        This may surprise you but some people actually think diamonds are nice to look at and that's why they buy them. It has nothing to do with status symbols. Then again, you've probably never even spoken to a girl so you have no idea.
        • Re:Status symbols (Score:4, Interesting)

          by evilad (87480) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:25PM (#8714844)
          Lots of people find other, cheaper things prettier, but still insist on diamonds as a token of fidelity.

          The Royal Ontario Museum had a display on gemstones for a while, with a placard over the diamond display anwering the FAQ: "Why are diamonds so valuable?" with a simple "Scarcity and excellent marketing."
        • Re:Status symbols (Score:5, Insightful)

          by neurojab (15737) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:31PM (#8714904)
          >This may surprise you but some people actually think diamonds are nice to look at and that's why they buy them. It has nothing to do with status symbols.

          Yeah right. Diamonds look nice, but so do countless other less expensive gemstones. Diamonds do have status associated with them, and that status and "tradition" is due to being propped up by DeBeers. If people just wanted to buy something that looked nice, why do wedding rings always have to have diamonds in them? Surely a few people must think a ring looks just fine without having to be diamond-encrusted, or perhaps prefer emeralds, opals, or rubies.

          The previous poster is quite right about the diamond cartel, your positive feelings about diamonds are in no small part due to their propoganda.

          >Then again, you've probably never even spoken to a girl so you have no idea.

          It's possible the previous poster has never spoken to a girl. It's also possible he talks to intelligent women instead of wasting his time on materialistic girls.
          • It more than "looks fine", cubic zirconium is indistinguishable from an actual diamond except with special equipment. But buying a cubic zirconium ring is often seen in society as, "My fiance(e) isn't worth a real diamond, here's a fake one." ....even if no one can tell. ....it makes no sense whatsoever.
        • Re:Status symbols (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hanssprudel (323035) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:34PM (#8714947)
          a) Cubic zirconium looks just as good. Many other gems that cost less actually look better.

          b) Even if you have specially trained eyes that can actually tell the difference, and you have some strange need for the diamonds, then modern industrially produced diamonds are actually more pure then mined ones. You need a microscope to tell the difference, and when you do, you rule out the man made one because it is too perfect. Yet the gemstones that DeBeer's has managed to manipulate you into buying are all mined - simply because they are about status rather than beauty.
          • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

            by el_gordo101 (643167)
            a) Cubic zirconium looks just as good. Many other gems that cost less actually look better.

            Try to explain that to a real-world, emotion-having, concerned-about-what-her-friends-think woman and see how far you get. "But honey, the Cubic zirconium is just as good as a diamond, plus we aren't supporting DeBeers! Hey wait, where are you going? Honey? Baby?"
            • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

              by be-fan (61476)
              And we're back to the point about how diamonds are just status symbols.
            • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

              by BlackFoliage (210832)
              Or you could find a real-world, emotion-having, NOT-concerned-about-what-idiots-think women who shares your values. Do you really want to spend your life with someone who throws ethics out the window for a sparkly piece of junk?
            • by aussersterne (212916) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:45PM (#8715954) Homepage
              Thank God my real-world, emotion-having girlfriend is more concerned about feeding the hungry and stopping de-facro slavery and international economic imperalism than about impressing her friends with carbon rocks.

              And she's not only ethical, she's hot!
              • Yeah, but she doesn't shave her armpits and wears the birkenstocks for two weeks straight. And eventually all that Ben & Jerry's ice cream will catch up with her.
            • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

              by WNight (23683)
              Does that mean the cz doesn't look like a diamond, or that she's a gold-digging whore who wants to know she can yank you around by your dick to the tune of $10k for a stupid rock?

              Sorry, but it's the truth. If the ring will never be subjected to a test that would prove the stone isn't a cz then it should be irrelevant if it is. If she's demanding real diamond it's merely for a status symbol.

              Perhaps I'm unreasonably rational and ignoring the emotional aspects, but I feel that if someone throws away a house
          • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Lumpy (12016)
            There is a factory north of here that makes synthetic gems that are guarenteed to fool even experts.

            Shelby diamonds, in shelby michigan. they have to laser etch their logo into the edge of every gem to make identification easier for most experts.

            They prefected a process that adds natural like imperfections into their gems, but they are chemically identical to the natural thing.

            this is why I laugh at everyone that buy's gem's for their finger or neck. It makes me want to sell them a DVD rewinder.
        • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rossifer (581396)
          some people actually think diamonds are nice to look at and that's why they buy them.

          Sure, but they should buy them at the market price, not at the DeBeers artificial price. Just try to sell a diamond to a store for a fraction of the price they've got on a similar diamond. The moment you leave a retail store with a shiny new diamond, it loses 50-80% of it's value as a saleable good.

          People who like diamonds should buy diamonds at estate sales and keep the DeBeers markup in their pocket. There are small
      • I got my wife a Mac Cube and flat screen. Nothing like being married to a computer geek (she's a telecom analyst and loves having Mac DTP and command line tools all together).
    • mod up!
      Excellent article about DeBeers scumbags
      http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/82feb / 8202diamon d1.htm

      Wired had an article about artificial/cultured diamonds; decent read.
      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/di amond.h tml

      Also, if you care about exploited children in Africa, watch Child Soldiers. It's really depressing; Congo, Angola, Sierra Leone, etc. use diamond money to buy weapons and send kids to war.
      I guess DeBeers' would defend themselves by saying that those kids would otherwise have too
    • Re:Status symbols (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Daulnay (695892)

      Really, most of what we in the developed world spend money on is status symbols. The value in a Mercedes or a Rolex isn't in the actual car, it's in the status they provide. Why do people buy new cars? Status. Lights inside your case, to wow your friends at the LAN party? Status. A neatly mowed front lawn? Status. (Seriously! Read Thorstein Veblen's seminal _Theory of the Leisure Class_.) Martha Stewart housewares? Status.

      The key to value and status is scarcity. Period. If something is useful, bea
  • by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:32AM (#8714164)

    I'd love you more if you just gave me the money...
  • by Channard (693317) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8714179) Journal
    ... maybe the people who are prepared to pay out cash for virtual items will be so busy trading their nonexistent gifts they won't have time to breed, and the average IQ will go up. At the very least, it should keep the terminally gullible out of circulation.
  • Like.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bitchell (159219) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8714180) Journal
    Like purchasing a square on the moon. Whats the point.

    A fool and their money are soon parted.
  • Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

    by mr.henry (618818) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8714182) Journal
    This reminds me of a line from Larouche in Adaptation [imdb.com]:

    I'm training myself on the internet. It's fascinating. I'm doing pornography. It's amazing how much these suckers will pay for photographs of chicks. And it doesn't matter if they're fat or ugly or what.

    Paying for crappy porn.. that's bad. But paying 30 bucks for a stupid icon? These people are dumber than that guy that loves his spam. [slashdot.org]

  • by bl4nk (607569) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8714186)
    That you spend real life money on..
  • More proof that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gmail.CURIEcom minus physicist> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:33AM (#8714189) Homepage Journal
    A fool and their money soon part. Capitalism seems to make this easier, and the internet makes it EVEN easier. I say good for this company, if an idiot wants to spend $30 on a picture of a ring, let him, it is no less idiotic than spending a couple grand on a real one.
    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:58AM (#8714507) Homepage Journal
      I find myself wondering what will happen if the recipient of the icon of the diamond ring starts copying and distributing those icons.

      Suddenly, fake diamond-ring-icons will threaten the natural diamond-ring-icon cartel, and FunHi will have to spend millions researching and building devices for distinguishing between the natural and fake icons; millions more advertising that only "Natural Diamond-Ring-Icons" show real love.

      You see ... you cynics ... ripping off the gullible is not just the fast-track to the gravy train. Getting a sustainable revenue channel by scamming the soft-of-the-brain is harder than it looks.

  • Charm Bracelets? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by themightythor (673485)
    These sound like the charm bracelets that my little sister drooled over in the 80's. Except even more pointless.
  • by mahdi13 (660205)
    This is so cool! I'm signing up right after my labotomy!

    Next thing you know AIM will be charging for the use of emoticons in their IMs...
  • by MadAnthony02 (626886) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:34AM (#8714198) Homepage

    Their buzz system [funhi.com] (scroll down) is a direct ripoff of eBay's feedback system [ebay.com]. Wonder how long they get sued for that?

  • by bc90021 (43730) * <bc90021@bc9002[ ]et ['1.n' in gap]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:34AM (#8714201) Homepage
    From the article:

    "Selman says FunHi has banked about $10,000 in the month since FunHi launched. And given that Georgiades himself has paid about 10 percent of that, it's clear that not all of the service's 6,500 active members are doing the same thing."

    If two people (the article mentions one other having spent $1000) account for 20% of the $10K that this company has made in a month, this seems more like silliness on the part of a very few people, and shouldn't really be considered "newsworthy".
  • by Trespass (225077) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:35AM (#8714202) Homepage
    It may sound silly, but little things like this are seen as validating by a lot of people who spend a significant amount of time online. You don't really 'have' anything, but you know that someone, somewhere spent money on you.
  • Popularity (Score:5, Funny)

    by gid13 (620803) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:35AM (#8714209)
    The article mentions that the most popular members are invariably attractive females whose pictures show them scantily clad and in sexy poses.

    Seeing as this "buying nothing" idea is a capitalist's dream, I think it's only a matter of time before these attractive females rise up above their alleged vapidity to realize that they can control the world. As much as I hate to admit it, think about it: who would you vote for between George W. and Britney Spears?
  • Excellent! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:36AM (#8714213) Journal
    It's good to know that there are plenty of suckers left in the world, I was getting worried that my combo hair brush, vegetable peeler and ice skate sharpener wasn't going to sell!
  • How I wish that I were unscrupulous enough to come up with such an idea. This system would be equivalent to: if Slashdot moderation were geared towards highly rating those posts that advertised for their sponsors...
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cca93014 (466820) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:36AM (#8714216) Homepage
    Just as well there aren't 2 billion starving people in the...

    Oh, wait.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:43AM (#8714319)
      I just bought them some pictures of food.
    • Oh, hush. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:43AM (#8714328)
      It's not like the money that's spent on this is taken out of circulation, no? It's just moved somewhere else -- a company that pays its employees and (presumably) its shareholders [via dividends], who it turn spend it on... well, whatever they spend it on, which may or may not include feeding starving people.

      Indeed, if the people who spend money on this are the kind of people who aren't inclined to give money to feed the starving, then it's to the benefit of those who are starving that the money is now out of their hands and in someone else's.
    • What are you doing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KalvinB (205500) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#8714874) Homepage
      on the internet? That money you're wasting on yourself could be better spent feeding the hungry. I bet you have the nerve to drive a car, too.

      Starvation isn't a money problem. It doesn't take money to plant a garden and grow food. The problem is the assholes in charge who prevent the food from going to people who need it that need to be overthrown.

      There's plenty of food. And buying more of it isn't going to make the situation better for anyone but the assholes in charge who hoard it for themselves.

      The poor will always be with you. If you feel so compelled, help the poor in far away places. I'd rather help those around me. And that involves buying crap that helps pay their wages so that they don't starve.

      I don't suppose you stopped to think that if nobody bought anything they didn't need, 90%+ of the population would be out of work and unable to afford to eat. Our society functions based on the buying and selling of crap. Just like every other country.

      If you go to the Mexican border at least, everybody is selling something. Buying a pot or a flower you don't need really equates to feeding the seller and his family.

      Buying a stupid little icon helps keep this guy fed and with the extra money he buys more crap which puts money in a lot of people's pockets so they can eat and so on down the line.

      To claim that we shouldn't buy anything frivilous is incredibly short sighted. I don't think you realize how many poor people survive selling frivilous crap working at fast food joints, restaurants and what not. You think corporations should just give people money? Where do you think their money comes from?

      Ben
  • If it'll get me layed I'll shell out $30 on an icon.. :D

    BANG!
  • Test for them? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:36AM (#8714218) Homepage Journal
    Their domain expires 09-apr-2007. I guess the short term domain "lease" suggests this was an experiment for them, which seems to have paid off. Now I'm wondering what else they've done or had planned.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:36AM (#8714219)
    gf: LIKEOMGWTF!!!!11

    me: but it's the thought that counts, right?
  • by hak1du (761835) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:37AM (#8714227) Journal
    The real value of diamonds is a small fraction of what they cost in the market. The reason they are expensive is because a smart cartell has established them as expensive, if valueless, tokens of affection. And there is ample precedent in biology: males are supposed to demonstrate their wealth and prowess by not having to care about expending costly resources on useless pursuits.

    However, if you are going to do this, why not dispose of your resources in some socially valuable way? Demonstrate your boundless resources by making a "platinum circle" donation to your local opera house, either in your own name or in your sweetheart's name.
    • by GoofyBoy (44399) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:51AM (#8714423) Journal
      >males are supposed to demonstrate their wealth and prowess by not having to care about expending costly resources on useless pursuits.

      So are you saying that all the slashdot trolls are demonstrating their mating suitability?
    • Just like the parent said, except not to an opera house.

      Donate here [perlfoundation.org] or here [eff.org]

      Or buy them some music from here [magnatune.com] where the artist gets 50% of the proceeds. BTW, don't be fooled into thinking that iTunes or whatever gives money to artists. It's just as bad as buying a CD. Unfortunately, there's no way to buy music you hear on popular music stations and actually have a reasonable portion of that music get to the artist </rant>
    • by general_re (8883) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:58AM (#8714506) Homepage
      The real value of diamonds is a small fraction of what they cost in the market.

      The "real value" of any good or service is whatever you can get in exchange for it - any notion of intrinsic worth is a specious concept, as is any valuation other than exchange value. If people didn't value diamonds as highly as DeBeers does, they simply wouldn't buy them.

    • The Artificial high price of diamonds may be changing. Here [wired.com] is an article about quality mass produced diamonds, that I read some time back.
    • Demonstrate your boundless resources by making a "platinum circle" donation to your local opera house

      So, what's the "real value" of an opera house? In what way is the intrinsic value of listening to music greater than the intrinsic value of looking at a sparkling stone?

      Although so many people deride money, it's in the end one of the greatest and most important inventions ever made. Money is what allows one to make comparisons between the value of wildly different things, as judged by society as a whole,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:37AM (#8714237)
    ...of P.T. Barnum global holdings.
  • So if these virtual items are worth money, I wonder what will happen when some enterprising hacker finds a way to copy them for free? Will the company try to sue the person for copying items that have no inherent value anyway. And what when someone asks for their virtual engagement ring back when they break up with their virtual fiancee?
  • meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by monkease (726622)
    "never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

    but really, this does go to show something about how we attach value to even worthless things. way back when in britain there was a fad involving flower bulbs; way back when in america there was a fad involving beanie babies. when you really think about it, does the negligible manufacturing cost of a beanie baby really make it signifigantly more valuable than a magnetic charge on a hard drive?

  • Ok, so what happens the first time someone 'steals' a 'virtual' diamond ring on this service... I mean, do you call out the virtual police, perform a virtual investigation, put virtual handcuffs on the virtual criminal, call the virtual judge... you get the idea.

    You just *know* it's going to happen. What sort of crazy conversion laws do you think they'll try to apply ?

    Man, I would really hate to have to tell the inmate next to me that I'm in for "stealing a bunch of diamond icons for my cyber-girlfri
  • (I never took an econ class, so this is just my thoughts on the subject)

    So, they create a community that has a percieved value in virtual items. There is a demand (that they created) for these items (that they created.) They supply falsely "limited" virtual items at a price.

    Well, if people are willing and happy to pay it, they can supply it. Seems fine to me. Hopefully people are happy with their purchases. I wouldnt buy into it, personally. But, then again, Im the type that thinks MMORPGS are fairly fool
  • I guess a student posing behind the picture of a sexy girl could attact enough "love" to pay for his salary, the models photo-shoot, and leave some profit for the company...
  • Well, this is halfway there. Instead of spending money on actual crap, people are spending money on abstractions of crap. Now, the next step is to get them to create this crap on their own, make their own icons, and send those. Use MS Paint or whatever you've got. And that could be the start of something healthy, the path leading away from the crap. A community where people made gifts of original creations, that seems like a sound idea to me. FunHI! has achieved the important first step of removing money fr
  • I know at least 2 ppl that broke 6-figures last year playing that game and selling the cash they made from item sales to yantis (the 1000lb gorilla of the everquest auctions).

    In fact, EQ item sales have caused the rise of sweatshops of players to farm cashworthy loot as mentioned on /. before ....

    http://games.slashdot.org/games/03/11/24/0141243 .s html

    -chitlenz
  • Pimp (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mateito (746185) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:46AM (#8714352) Homepage
    From the article:

    Of course, being a young good-looking female doesn't hurt, as the members with the most fans are all women whose pictures show them in sexy, alluring poses.

    &

    The service aims, according to what might be called its bylaws, to foster purely positive and friendly interactions.

    Sheesh. Why not just call it "FunHo" and be done with it?

  • by salmo (224137) <mikesalmo&hotmail,com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:47AM (#8714366) Homepage Journal
    See real money gets changed for fake money. I think it's like US$10=FUnHi$30. Plus some of the gifts give the recipient even more fake money. All in all, most "gifts" cost just a few cents.

    The thing is that they're tapping an already existing culture- racing and souping up import cars. It serves as a fan-club kind of thing for these import models, and then expands from there.

    I really have to hand it to the guys who started it. They tapped a culture well, provided a means for them to play on the internet together and found a way to make a tidy profit off of it. Besides, you don't even need to pay to use it. You don't have to buy "gifts" for people. It's just a nice way to say "I like you" or whatever that backed up by a little bit more.

    I'll admit, I accidently ran into this early on in its development and started playing along for mostly 2 reasons: 1) I was newly single so having cute asian girls give me compliments boosted my ego 2) I'm horrible with internet culture (IMing and other sorts of things where you speak with abbreviations and smileys) so I thought it would be funny to see how well I do (and how well "they" do) with my paragraphs and thinking.

    It was fun for a while, but now it's getting really dull. Next!

  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:48AM (#8714382)
    Here, let me draw a picture of a diamond ring... store it in this database here. Now, I'll have you and a few others sign up as members to this database.

    You pay me $$, I will do a simple "INSERT INTO" statement and associate the diamond ring record with the recipient's user ID. You will feel good because you sent them a "gift", they will feel happy because they think they will have received a real gift.

    You will think it's fun, I will think it's funny. I will be rich, you will be paying me to alter my data in my database.

    At least this gives hope to people trying to make money out there.

    I have an idea. I have a website filled with members and their email addresses. When you want to send a gift, YOU draw the gift using MS Paint. Upload the picture, I will email it to the recipient of your choice, and I will only charge $1.99. See, because YOU drew it and it would be from YOU! (The sad thing is, people would probably go for it)
  • by HomeGroove (527053) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:48AM (#8714389)
    From the site [funhi.com]:
    The FunHi Goldunn Rule: If ya can't say sumtin' nice, then don't say shieat!
    I find it hard to call something a "company" when they have the non-word "shieat" and "sumtin'" on their site.
  • teen entertainment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blue Master (675893) <wiesener.samfundet@no> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:50AM (#8714415)
    I live in Norway, and here teenagers have for many years spent big money on ringtones, logos, screensavers etc for their mobile phones. Now, with the new phones, people have started paying for mms messages, games etc as well.

    Also, there are tons of tv programs where you can pay for having your sms shown on the screen for a brief moment. Sort of like using IRC, but spending $1-2 each time you press enter.

    My point, I guess, is that the way young people spend their money doesn't really amaze me anymore...
  • A double standard? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by abh (22332) <ahockley@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:54AM (#8714463) Homepage
    There's post after post on here of people saying "this is stupid", "I can't believe these people pay for stupid icons", and "why would anyone buy virtual anything".

    Yet there's quite a bit of the /. crowd that thinks it is perfectly normal and acceptable to sell items or characters for an EverQuest game. Hello... Pot, you have a call on line one. It's Kettle.
    • "Yet there's quite a bit of the /. crowd that thinks it is perfectly normal and acceptable to sell items or characters for an EverQuest game."

      However, a number of Slashdot posters are critical of EverQuest items, as well. Furthermore, the EverQuest items at least have a use, even if that use is constrained to virtual progress in a virtual world. In contrast, the FunHi items are purely ornamental -- you can't even use them within the virtual world.

      On the other hand, there's one thing that I think does

    • The items in everquest can be re-sold and potentially for a profit. The items at FunHi (to my limited understanding) can't be regifted or sold.

      It's makes all the difference in the world. It's why people will buy 'shares' in a company which are esentially vitual property too -- because they're resellable.
    • Some Slashdot posters think FunHi gifts are dumb. Other Slashdot posters sell Everquest stuff. Hint: they are _different_ _people_.
  • Free love? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bitmanhome (254112) <bitman&pobox,com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @11:56AM (#8714490)
    Luv don't cost a thang: $.01
    Nuff sed.
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:02PM (#8714549)
    People like to compete. We like a challenge. We also like to reciprocate. We're social animals.

    FunHi, using symbols, tapped into that part of us, probably to their own surprise. It's symbols, though silly, have value - in dollars. So you can "measure" how much someone spent on you (or someone else) and ignore, thank, reciprocate, or compete appropriately.

    Do I think it'll last? No. But it's worth studying.

    Just my 2 cents. Or, in the future, 1/50 of a Slashdollar!

    (And yes, I expect FunHi's idea to be imitated to death).

  • You have to note that the prices don't really match up - The $30 super biznatch iced out platinum plastik translates to $20 real money. Still, it's hilarious.

    It seems to me they're a bunch of slashdot-style geeks blatantly milking a huge group of retards - the hint is the "Dominatrix Sub Whip +2" - I don't expect the idiots who actually use that site to have any idea what a +2 is.

    I also doubt that anyone who really wrote the way they do would be able to set up a complicated website.

    Tim
  • Horrible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by megan_of_wutai (649071) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:37PM (#8714989) Homepage

    FunHi seems to be an extreme manifestation of the overly materialistic culture it has emanated from (people who call themselves a "gangsta" or a "playa" or a "hunie", modern popular culture basically), it's just... too horrible for words.

    People judging how popular and loved they are on the basis of how much other people have spent on them *puke*.

    I guess they could all be doing it in an ironic and political fashion to show all members of capitalist societies to be whores. I'm sorta doubting that's the case, personally.

  • Irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mabu (178417) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:41PM (#8715894)
    What's really sad is that I bet some of the "high rollas" on this site are actually buying themselves gifts from alternate accounts, or are company shills designed to motivate a much smaller number of legitimate members to compete for more intangible crap.

    Ultimately, you have to respect a venture like this, that can make a person alternate between thoughts of "WTF This is sick" and "Wow, this is genius". It's both interesting & entertaining, and profoudly sad and pathetic as well. What an eloquent microcosm of capitalism, superficiality and materialism.

2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League

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