Strange Times: During The COVID-19 Outbreak, Evictions Get A Pause...In Final Fantasy 14

from the final-notice dept

As the world navigates the reality of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, we've already noted several ways that the outbreak has changed our daily lives. Me being me, I noticed just how many professional sports organizations were moving into broadcast versions of their eSports as a way to fill the void. That of course isn't the only way video game life has changed.

Another appears to be the odd case of Final Fantasy 14, an online MMORPG. The game has had a vibrant, if congested, real estate economy involving the buying of virtual homes and properties. Due to the outbreak, the game recently announced that, similar to real life in many cities, evictions were on a pause.

In an announcement yesterday, the Final Fantasy XIV team announced that they would freeze housing evictions within the game due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic affecting the world. Automatic demolitions on abandoned houses in the game’s fantasy world of Eorzea are on hold for the foreseeable future.

“Taking into account the world-wide spread of the COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”) and the financial consequences of various cities going into lock-down, we have decided to temporarily suspend automatic housing demolition,” the announcement said.

We're in a state where it's hard to generate much sympathy for anyone who would lose a virtual house while real life folks are losing their jobs, their well-being, and their lives. That isn't the point of this post. Instead, I find it somewhat interesting, after years of video games being looked down on by older generations, the industry is ingrained in every day life to the point that there is some sort of mirroring effect going on. Evictions in real life get stayed, evictions in virtual life get paused. COVID-19 effects the real economy, COVID-19 effects the virtual economy.

This is interesting, but not meant to replace any of the real world work and danger that currently exists. Still, you have to wonder coming out of this whole ordeal whether we'll see real world effects on entertainment choices as well.

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Filed Under: covid-19, final fantasy 14, virtual evictions, virtual worlds


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2020 @ 8:26pm

    ...affects...

    Interesting, though.

    I remember seeing community caretaking in other games, in the past, due to other natural disasters. Kind of cool that this happened top-down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      I haven't played this particular game, but I'm skeptical of this whole Final Fantasy property ownership thing. Not because it's virtual, but because I've visited enough towns in RPGs to make me think there are going to be bands of roving treasure-hunters constantly coming in to rifle through my treasure-chests.

      Although, come to think of it, the treasure-chests were never empty before I got there and never got refilled after. Nobody ever felt the need to lock their doors. In a world full of "villains" and "monsters", the evidence suggests I was literally the only person who didn't respect property rights. I thought I was the hero...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      Square has regularly paused housing demolition / eviction in response to large natural disasters (ex. hurricanes and earth quakes) until they felt players had a chance to get back on their feet.

      Generally they've treated the player base for XIV pretty well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agammamon, 2 Apr 2020 @ 8:44pm

    I find it somewhat interesting, after years of video games being looked down on by older generations,

    Its really only one generation that has been in a position to look down on videogames - Boomers. Gen-X and younger have been brought up with them as part of their lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 12:12am

      Re:

      While you are generally correct, I'd just remind you that "boomer" refers to a specific generation of people born in the baby boom following WWII, and is not a blanket term for anyone older than gen X. The parents and grandparents of the boomers would also look down on videogames.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Narcissus (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 4:15am

        Re: Re:

        I would appreciate it a lot if we could refrain from using terms like boomers, millennials and Gen Xers at all! These terms are confusing, fluid, mean different things to different people and come loaded with a lot of preconceptions.

        Can we just refer to years? Boomers: People born before '64
        Gen X: People born before '84 (I looked this up and actually Wikipedia states: "beginning as early as 1961 and ending somewhere from 1977 to 1984")

        Alternatively you could talk about somebody's age: Boomers are people between 75 and 55, for example.

        It would make for much clearer discussions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 5:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are certainly fluid descriptions of each group, but the point is that there are groups before the boomers.

          I'd also say that applying hard limits is an exercise in futility either way. To use your numbers, for example, a 55 year old "boomer" is almost certainly going to have more in common with a 54 year old "genXer" than they will with a 75 year old boomer...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I was born in 1981. I'm not consistently part of any generation. Past gen X by most definitions, but as I graduated high school just before the new millenium I'm not usually counted there either. And despite common perceptions of "millenials", most children of the 1980s did not grow up with a lot of electronic technology like mobile phones and the internet as people born in the mid-90s often did.

          These generalizations don't make a lot of sense.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And despite common perceptions of "millenials", most children of the 1980s did not grow up with a lot of electronic technology like mobile phones and the internet as people born in the mid-90s often did."

            If there needs to be any hard type of gap between generations, it might make sense to make them pre-internet vs kids who have never known a time before it. I got my first modem at 17, so it makes sense that I and people of my generation view the world a little differently to those who grew up with it, even though I've spent my entire adult life online. Similarly with phones.

            Hard rules are still dumb, but if they have to be made it makes sense for them to be based on world events or major societal changes.

            "These generalizations don't make a lot of sense"

            They're not meant to, really. As far as I understand they're rough categories given by sociologists to help examine the generation gaps during the 20th century, but they were never intended to be hard and fast rules. That's just something that happened when the media picked up on the terms.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 9:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If there needs to be any hard type of gap between generations, it might make sense to make them pre-internet vs kids who have never known a time before it.

              If you mean "internet" in the sense of "normal" people having internet, yeah, that makes sense. Because some of us did kind of grow up with BBSes and the internet and were considered nerds for that. You know, back in the days when online dating was a humorous movie premise.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 9:45am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                OK, you got me. I should have said "web" rather than "internet". My point still stands, though. A person born after the mid-90s where a majority of people started getting online will have had a very different life experience to those who never had it there.

                I'd also note that the difference is regional as well. Pre-web, Americans were far more likely to be online than other places due to a quirk of the telephone billing system. In the US, you had free local calls, but more expensive long distance and international calls. In most places in Europe, the system was a small charge for national calls (no differentiation whether is was next door or the other side of the country) and pricey but less expensive than the US international calls. What this meant is that while when you got online in the US you only paid your ISP, while elsewhere you paid the ISP and the phone service. That made access prohibitively expensive for many people outside the US.

                If you want to give a more accurate differentiator, it might be when non-metered connections became the norm, rather than pay-by-the-minute dial-up. But, either way, if you're talking about generational differences, you have to use the times the majority of that generation did something, not when a few outliers were ahead of the curve.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 11:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In similar circumstances.. by the "chart" would be Millenial, but world view? solidly GenX.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Apr 2020 @ 9:34pm

    Wild speculation on my part

    Various companies are chipping in where they can. We've seen entertainment related companies adjust release windows. Perhaps this is the operator's equivalent contribution: by freezing virtual evictions, the operator may hope to reduce the odds of having players decide to quit Final Fantasy over having lost their virtual structure. If players lost a virtual structure and reacted by going outside and playing offline games with other people, that would be bad from a quarantine perspective. Keeping them in the game keeps them in their offline home, away from other people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 1:03am

    Isn’t it comforting to know thani these trying times, there is an invisible army of Trump supporters that are armed, willing and able to protect Americans from globalist socialist assholes like PaulT and Stephen T. Stone? It comforts me, that’s for sure. POTUS recently opened all the gun stores so that honest GOD FEARING law abiding Americans LIKE ME can make sure you globalist assholes respect us, our property, our traditions and our way of life. Really. A HUGE and INVISIBLE ARMED American population ready to shoot anyone who poses a threat to any of us RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES. Gives me great comfort.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 1:21am

      Re:

      Yes, we know you're an unstable idiot with a gun fetish, so full of fear that he's shitting himself about the opinions of someone sitting 3000 miles away.

      "there is an invisible army of Trump supporters"

      The problem is you're not invisible. Stupid, loud, dangerous, but you're very much visible and not the majority.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 1:31am

        Re: Re:

        Are you sure?

        Someone, apparently invisible to idiots like you and CNN, elected Trump.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 1:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Someone... elected Trump."

          Yes, the electoral college. The people voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 1:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Riiiiight. Take out the illegals in California, and Guess What? Trump wins! Leave them in and Guess What? Trump wins again! Wins! Wins! WINS!

            You are a fucking limey loser. Trump is an America winner! WINNER! Yay!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 2:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Riiiiight. Take out the illegals in California"

              If you think you have a voting system that's so broken that over 3 million people who can't vote were able to do so, you probably shouldn't be boasting about the result.

              "Trump is an America winner! "

              If so, that's a sad reflection of the standards there, and you probably deserve the horrific effects of his bad decisions that are starting to bear fruit now.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 2:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winner

              He really is. He is doing his best and slowly getting the US where it belongs, into first place. Just recently he managed to reach first place in total COVID-19 cases. And he is working very hard to reach 1st in other metrics as well. The US is already in the Top 3 in new cases, total deaths, and new deaths. #AmericaFirst

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 2:25am

              The funny thing about your whining about voting is, Donald Trump himself said the following about the attempt by Democrats to expand vote-by-mail initiatives in the most recent coronavirus-related stimulus package:

              I will tell you this, when you look at the before and after, the things they had in there were crazy. They had things — levels of voting — that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again. They had things in there about election days, and what you do, and all sorts of clawbacks, and they had things that were just totally crazy[.] (Source)

              Your Dear Leader doesn’t want to make voting easier because he believes (wrongly, I might add) that no Republican would ever win an election again if he did. Five states conduct all their elections almost entirely by mail, and they all elect Republicans at some level of government — including Utah, which has been a longtime stronghold for Republicans. And the funny thing is, the age demographic that would most benefit from vote-by-mail at this juncture in time (people aged 60 or older) tends to lean Republican. Hell, older voters (ages 65 and older) went for Trump over Clinton 53%-45% in 2016.

              The data doesn’t support the assumption of “more voting = no Republicans in office”. Vote-by-mail has never been proven to be any less reliable or insecure than other forms of voting. And nobody — including a special commission created by Trump himself — has ever found any real evidence of widescale voter fraud. For what reason, then, does the GOP support and enact voter suppression tactics such as Voter ID, refusals to reënfranchise felons after their release, the shortening of early voting periods, gerrymandering, and shutdowns of polling places in rural/“blue-leaning” areas?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 2:54am

                Re:

                Oh I get really hard when you talk about my dear leader. Say more, hot stuff. Bend over and bare your ass in both hands like you do for your sissy friends and then type a few more words with your nose and tongue. We’re all waiting.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 5:02am

                'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigging the game.'

                The funny thing is that by even making the argument of 'more people voting means less republicans in office' they are basically admitting that even in their own view the majority of people would not vote republican if given the choice.

                Talk about an own-goal of an argument.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 5:17am

                  Re: 'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigging the game

                  "they are basically admitting that even in their own view the majority of people would not vote republican if given the choice."

                  It's more like - they know that voter suppression, gerrymandering and gaming the electoral college have made them over-represented, and if everyone were truly allowed an equal vote they'd be out on their asses instantly even with the current numbers.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                    identicon
                    Rj -pmurt dlanod, 3 Apr 2020 @ 5:43am

                    Re: Re: 'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigging the

                    YeH! It’s more like - yeah! It’s more like you are both leftist globalist idiots that are each referencing the other in a pathetic attempt to sound legitimate. Yeah! Yay! Echo chamber!

                    You so pathetic. I’d like to shoot you in your metaphorically pathetic lack of a soul. I’d bet 100:1 you worship the devil. You are disgusting and without a place in our future society . Mark my words, this day at this time.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:04am

                      Re: Re: Re: 'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigging

                      You know, this would be less of an "echo chamber" if the only people offering opposing opinions were capable of acting like a mature adult. It's not our fault that no such person appears, and all we have is the likes of you.

                      "You are disgusting and without a place in our future society"

                      As you keep pointing out, I'm not in your society, I'm in a different society on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, that's enough for you to lose your shit when I comment. How fragile is your society if that's enough to break your grip?

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:38am

                      Y’know, for all your violent and ultimately empty rhetoric, I’m not seeing a rebuke of the idea that the GOP engages in and supports voter suppression for the sake of holding onto power by any means necessary.

                      Says a lot when you have to deflect from a central argument because you can’t refute it in any way.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 1:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: 'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigging

                      Someone really needs to pass these comments to the police. The commenter has stated his desire to shoot and kill people of difference many, many times now.

                      Isn't this how most mass shootings start?

                      Oe prehaps the commenter is really a democrat and wants to make people believe that republicans are dumb rednecks ready to commit violence just because!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 2:06am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: 'We're so bad the only way we can win is by rigg

                        I'm fairly sure that this guy gets his rocks off by play acting as a psychopath rather than actually being one. The problem tends to be the likes of 8channers who get egged on by the people they say these things to rather than get mercilessly mocked like we do to this guy here.

                        "Oe prehaps the commenter is really a democrat and wants to make people believe that republicans are dumb rednecks ready to commit violence just because!"

                        Leave the false flag fantasies to Alex Jones. Also, believing that about republicans is supported by a hell of a lot more evidence than what this idiot types. Although, as Trump says, I assume some are good people.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 3:30am

      Re:

      Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email, Hamilton.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      teka, 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:10am

      Re:

      Joke is on you, I recently went into a gun store to buy ammunition and they forgot to even check for the invisible brand of Lucifer! The fools! I am starting to think the stories of huge invisible americans lumbering around with guns (equally huge and invisible I assume) might be some kind of fairytale.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Notlimah, 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:28am

        Re: Re:

        Well, I don’t know about you, or if you ever read Carlos Castinada, but I did, and it changed me. I think it was the part about teleporting. Once I caught on to that, and the help of mushroom to actually do it, well, for me, it all changed. There are obviously a lot of invisible beings around us all the time. I personally have seen a lot of them, well not actually seen them ‘cause there’re invisible and all, but you feel me, right? Big invisible armies of Hamilton’s and Webster’s and gulicks and Ayers, formed over hundreds of years, marching in an invisible way to vanquish an invisible enemy! Flags! Coats of arms! We are ready for battle!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:39am

          We get it, you want an excuse to murder people you think of as Repugnant Cultural Others.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:41am

            Re:

            Well for sure the invisible ones. Even you would agree with that, being invisible yourself.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 6:46am

              You’ve made it quite clear before, during one of your obviously drunken trolling rampages here, that you want to kill actual people — including me. You rang that bell; you can’t unring it now.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Toidinaruoy, 3 Apr 2020 @ 7:09am

                Re:

                Thank you again for explaining your leftist lunatic rules. Bells. Ring. Credibility. Reputation. What were you saying, you shit smearing toilet licking asshole? Ring any bells?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:02pm

      Re:

      POTUS recently opened all the gun stores so that honest GOD FEARING law abiding Americans LIKE ME can make sure you globalist assholes respect us, our property, our traditions and our way of life.

      How many guns did you buy to make sure of that? And how many guns did you have before that wasn't enough to get the job done?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 9:10pm

        Re: Re:

        I'd be willing to bet that the only thing he has of any monetary value is his gun collection, leading to a strange paradox where he feels he needs to buy more guns to protect the guns.

        I wish I was kidding, but most stats I see tend to suggest that a plurality of Americans don't own any guns, while a small minority are storing the lion's share. While the current situation is hopefully avoiding the typical types of mass shootings, I do wonder how long it's going to take for some paranoid wacko who thinks he can shoot a virus away will snap.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 3 Apr 2020 @ 7:29am

    Game access is subscription-based (Roughly $15/month)

    Housing is limited in the game (only a certain number of plots exist)

    Players normally lose their housing plot if they don't use it for a long enough period of time

    Housing is an expensive investment, costing hours of gameplay worth of money just for the plot, not including all the time and care a player may may invest in decorating it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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