Why am I calling for a boycott of the most popular event of the year, the grandfather of the entire gatcha economy in Second Life? Well, for those very reasons.
At least one of the organizers is something of a douche, but that wouldn't be a reason to boycott anybody -- I save my personal boycotts for people who are douches both inworld AND on the forums.
No, I have three substantive issues and if these changed, or even 2 out of the 3 changed, I might end my boycott.
Interestingly, one of my complaints last time was that the Arcade required a whopping 50 pulls for the freebie special gift. That's $2,500 or US $9.25 for a thing that more often than not was just a potted flower or handbag or something stupid. (That's a problem with special prizes at all events; seldom are they any good; they are likely made in a hurry by hard-pressed creators).
So surely not only because of me and my blog but plenty of other people who bitched about this, they now have put this down to 25 pulls.
People think protests never work in SL or never do any good and laugh at you; in fact they do, because changing that reward system from 50 to 25 -- nearly US $10 going to $5 for those greedy creators -- is quite a sacrifice on their point. Likely they will see it made up in people simply pulling the same amount, only on more creators' one-armed bandits.
See, the real force for change here may have been by creators who made crappy gifts nobody bothered to pull 50 times for, and they whined and demanded a change to 25 -- for all we know!
Another quiet force for change may have been the yardsale owners who benefit the most from the gatcha economy. 50 pulls deprives them of renters with extras to sell; 25 pulls cuts that problem in half.
Changing from 50 to 25 is good, and progress, but not enough to end my boycott, because the special rewards should be TRANSFERABLE and are not.
My other beef was the high price of the pulls. While in their early days they were $25 or $50 and rarely more, today many are $75 and $100. $100 already feels not like a gatcha, but a store cost.
Creators argue that for something like hair or skins, $100 is nothing and a fraction of their store cost. Nonsense. There is no difference between the hair made for $100 versus the hair made for $50. It's as good or better. For furniture, there is no rhyme or reason. It's not like pixel-wranglers have materials cost. There's no difference in a $50 or a $100 item; $50 items can be more hard to make and time-consuming than a stupid box with a blanket thrown over it that someone might charge $75 for. Price does not reflect anything but greed. I've noticed the creators from some of the poorest countries charge the most because once they figured out they could drain down spenders from the First World, they saw no reason not to grab more. And it's not just Third World creators. Some of the Japanese and Chinese are the worst -- they routinely set to $75 or $100 and are very stingy with the rares. They do this because they can and you won't do anything about it.
But it can be any nationality that sets a $75 pull and a very low change of a rare simply because they can and they don't care or they actively despise customers.
So only free markets with active consumers can give people like this the feedback they require.
Here's a list of those with more than $50 pulls:
Mai Moi $75
David Heather $75
Half Deer $75
Le Primtif $75
Little Bones $75
M.Birdie Story $75
Mon Cheri $75
Moon Amore $75
Random Matter $75
Remarkable Oblivion $75
Sweet Thing $75
When you look at the shopping guide and compare the $75 to the $50 items you will see what I mean. There's no difference. Tableau Vivant hair for $50 is different than somebody else's hair? Of course not.
So don't buy the $75 ones and send a message.
Boycotting the Arcade event and these prices doesn't mean that you have to refrain from buying these items.
I myself buy Arcade items -- but I buy them at HALF OR LESS the price at yardsales and refuse to pay these prices. So anyone can do this without announcing a boycott or joining my group Boycott Arcade.