Would you spend £ 1000 on a shiny case or eye-catching sticker for your phone? What if that phone belonged to a character from a video game?
While this question may seem like a wild scenario, these kinds of wacky things happen almost daily! Well, it turns out that there are a lot of people who buy these types of cosmetic items for their equipment within games all the time.
If you are new to CS: GO, it is an FPS game known for hosting some of the most prestigious tournaments and events known in esports. As with any competitive game or “sport”, betting on teams and results is a given, but in CS: GO the added convenience is that players can use skins and game elements to bet on their games or betting markets. favorites. Sites like CSGO Luck have the widest selection of skins and cosmetics available and you can play here to jump into the fun right away and see why CS: GO gaming has taken the online world by storm
So how exactly do people decide which items are worth thousands in real money and which items are not worth the pixels in which they are displayed?
Let’s put on our thinking caps and use our powers of logic with a touch of common sense. If you’re an avid fan of a certain game and spend a great deal of your free time playing, then it’s practically a given to spend a few pounds here and there on new gear, like a powerful new weapon or a recent release. piece of equipment. It’s incredibly common for games, especially mobile games, to use people who purchase game items as their main source of income. For many free mobile games, it is the only way they can make money.
However, avid gamers don’t just spend their hard-earned money on in-game items. There is another section of games where people clamor to get their bank card: cosmetics.
The function of these elements is purely the aesthetics they give to the elements and they do not actually influence or affect the character of the game in any way. Some players will happily spend thousands, or even tens of thousands, on a super rare cosmetic for a knife or weapon that their character wields in the game.
One of the biggest games in the field of cosmetic item video games is arguably Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, also known as CS: GO. This is Valve’s best-selling game and the in-game cosmetics that players love to buy or trade in are called skins.
CS: GO originally implemented a feature that allowed players to customize their weapons and gear using these skins, and the whole concept quickly became a big part of the game for many players. Valve made sure that no matter the value of the skin, it would not affect the main gameplay of the game, only the design.
Getting these looks is usually down to sheer luck. Players receive points for playing matches and completing objectives in the game, and then these points allow them to level up. Upon reaching new levels, the game gives players an in-game box, which is then opened to reveal the goodies it contains. Hopefully good skin that is incredibly rare and worth a ton of money.
For players who do not want to leave the entire process to pure luck, there is the Steam Community Market. This hub is owned by Valve and used by players to sell skins.
The community market does not seem to be as successful for Valve in the first appearance, as many of the skins that are for sale are very cheap. But when you consider that the game has millions of users every month, and Valve takes 15% of all items sold, you will soon see how they make this little ecosystem work. Add in further the fact that players cannot actually withdraw funds from the Steam Market and have to use them to purchase other items on the market and you can see how the income that Steam is making is quickly piling up.
The fur trade industry
The fact that Valve takes part in the action and the fact that players’ money is locked in a closed system has created a new industry of its own: the fur trade. Completely independent platforms have appeared online that will pay money for new and rare skins, while also offering a place for players to list their skins to trade.
Other sites will buy CS: GO items instantly, offering players different options to get paid for their items. You can even find online casinos that will use these aspects of CS: GO as a form of ‘casino chips’ to use in casino games. It’s surprising to think that these nondescript single-game cosmetics from 2013 have become a currency that players can use online in 2021.
So the real question to consider remains: Is it acceptable to pay your hard-earned money for a totally virtual item, a collection of pixels that will never be real, that has no real use except looking good?
It’s a battle between the head and the heart, while the head can say ‘it’s just pixels’, the heart likes the look of that rare knife skin …
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism