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Testbed elements: Money

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Choose an arbitrary amount: one million. Ok, upon entry into the game, each player has one million MU (monetary units). This money is on deposit with one of the many computer controlled banking institutions. These banking institutions offer poor service and high fees. Each banking institution has a unique identifying number. Each account number with each institution is a unique number. A player may have as many accounts as he wishes. The game enforces unique institution numbers and unique account numbers. This cannot be fiddled by players. These game controlled banking institutions charge monthly fees, and per transaction fees which are a percentage of the size of transaction. These fees are high. Theoretically, these game controlled institutions invest money through various channels, but this invested money is generally not available to players. Also, upon entry into the game, each player creates a name for himself and is assigned a universal ID number. To transfer money from one player to another, (say, from player A to player B), player A needs needs the account number and institution number where player B keeps his account. Presumably, player A gets this information from player B through communication. The reason for the high fee structure of the game controlled banking institutions is to encourage players to develop their own banks. Doing so requires money expenditure up front, not making it easy to do so. Likewise, advertising is necessary to attract business (from other players). The incentive for players to use player controlled banks is to get around the high fee structure of the game controlled banks. The incentive for players to develop their own banking instititions is to generate revenue (from fees) and to have money to invest (or lend). When a player deposits money into a player controlled bank, the money literally goes into control of the player who operates the bank. The player who controls the bank may freeze any account, freeze all accounts, or only make a selective amount of money available to the player who has the money on deposit. All fees are set by the player who controls the bank. Any player controlled bank is automatically (by the game) assigned a unique institution code as is done for the game controlled banks. Any account for a player is assigned a unique account number (within that bank). Players who operate banks are given an interface to toggle features of player''s accounts. Player operated banks are automatically wired into the game controlled banking network, facilitating transfer of funds from one account to another account. Players who have accounts can do this at will without requiring maintenance from the owner of a bank. However, these account transactions may not operate if the owner of the bank has frozen that feature for that player. Players who own banks (and players who don''t own banks) may transfer money from one player to another for the purpose of payment, whether that payment is for a rental fee, paying a bill, buying something, lending money, etc. The game does not care. All money which is on deposit with a particular player owned bank is available to the owner of that bank. The owner of the bank has what is called a ''master account'' number (unique from other accounts with that bank) to allow the owner of the bank to send and receive money just like any other player does. If a ''run'' on the bank is made, and the owner of the bank does not have all available funds (because a large portion of the money is invested or lent out) then naturally that money won''t be available, and repercussions will follow. It is entirely possible that any player may create a business to rate banks, based on auditing. It is also entirely possible that other players may choose to insure the funds of banks. What has just been described is the ability for money to be transfered between players throough an unalterable game mechanism, without causing interference to monetary policy, or who controls it.

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Example:

Player A owns First Miner''s Bank. First Miner''s Bank has an institutional code, say 0333.

Player B, C and D have money on deposit in First Miner''s Bank, like this:

Player B: 1,000,000 Account #1
Player C: 2,000,000 Account #2
Player D: 5,000,000 Account #3

Player A (who owns the bank) has a ''master account'' with First Miner''s Bank which looks like this:

Player A: 8,000,000 Account #0

If player C deposits another 1,000,000 into his #2 account, then the following changes are made:

Player C''s #2 account value rises by 1,000,000.
Player A''s #0 account value rises by 1,000,000.

Now, player A can do with the money in account #0 things just like player C can do with his money in account #2.

Let''s say player A lends out half of the money in account #0. If players B, C and D all request to transfer their money out of their accounts at nearly the same time, then some accounts will come up short. This constitutes a ''run'' on the bank.

Note that player A''s account #0 is a special account. Do not confuse it with any number of other regular accounts he may have with other institutions.

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And so when a player wishes to pay someone, they are presented with the following:

Enter your banking institution code:
Enter your account #:

Enter the recipient''s institution code:
Enter the recipient''s account #:

Enter the amount you wish to pay:

Presumably, the player can create ''shortcuts'' for their account info, and ''bookmarks'' for common business partner''s accounts.

Likewise, scheduled automatic payments could also be setup for routine scheduled payments.

Obviously, some type of security measure (password) would be necessary to prevent other players from tapping into your account. Although it seems reasonable that maybe that sort of thing should be breakable.

Since the game keeps data (and enforces uniqueness, and is responsible for assigning codes) on each institution and the accounts of each institution, transfer of money is a straightforward process.

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Now, I''m not disagreeing with anything, ...but why do banks have to be a necessity. Can''t a player just carry a certain amount of cash on him? And if it''s too much he needs to carry a suitcase, otherwise he can have a big box underneath his bed, of course someone who flashes a lot of cash around will be inviting robbers and stuff, but it will also allow untraceable transactions which is a risk a player might one to take. In that case the main purpose of banks will be for protection of cash, and maybe loans and stuff.
The banks could then issue cheque books or credit cards which will work in the way you described.

What do you think?

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what would prevent the "player banker" from taking the cash and leaving town?

I would never trust someone "in game" with my money, unless i can be 110% certain i can retrieve my money, no matter what.

Thats why "computer operated" banks, are such a succes.

And if this would happen in a game, were players pay a monthly fee to play. A bank that goes bankrupt..... You will loose customers, people will quit your game.

Banks should be a sure thing, an institute i can trust!

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quote:
Original post by Belni
what would prevent the "player banker" from taking the cash and leaving town?

And just where is he going to go? There would be a record of this. Who is he going to establish relations with in the future?
quote:
Original post by Belni
I would never trust someone "in game" with my money, unless i can be 110% certain i can retrieve my money, no matter what.

Then use the game controlled banks, and their really high fees.
quote:
Original post by Belni
And if this would happen in a game, were players pay a monthly fee to play. A bank that goes bankrupt..... You will loose customers, people will quit your game.

Maybe. Bad decisions made by players are not the game''s responsibility.
quote:
Original post by Belni
Banks should be a sure thing, an institute i can trust!

Why?

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You may not be able to trust a bank but you can split your money and put it into perhaps 4 different banks to avoid disaster plus keep some cash around.

Banks will be vital because they will allow quick transactions. You want to buy that factory? You are not going to carry $3mil in cash to the owner of the bank who lives 3 starsytems away, are you? Especially if there are pirates looming around and a trip like that might take (RealTime) a week or so.

Also, the governments should be able to put laws and safeguards into place much like in the real world and anybody who wants to run a bank >has to< have a proven record in the game (perhaps running a business). I marked has to like that because that would be a restriction put in place by the governments not the game. If a government doesn''t look after banks and the like and then something happens its their economy (and main income flow) that goes down the drain

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I think this is a great idea.

If I was a player however, I wouldn''t like to have others control my wealth, so I''d try to transform my spare cash in other resources. High storage prices might counter this strategy.

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Why would I want to run a bank? Unless the game is a banking sim, why would I want to take time out of my busy starship freighter schedule to worry about investing people''s money?

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