Is EVE Online's Clothing Fiasco the "Sad Culmination of Vainness"? [Update]

In an interesting footnote to last week's highly emotional and controversial EVE Online clothing release, the game's senior producer Arnar Hrafn Gylfason wrote a blog post defending his company's decision to have virtual clothing goods costing more than real-world equivalents.

Or, at least he tried to defend it. And hey, maybe in his head, before he wrote this, it made total sense. But what he actually wrote is a little nuts.

People have been shocked by the price range in the NeX store, but you should remember that we are talking about clothes. Look at the clothes you are currently wearing in real life. Do you have any specific brands? Did you choose it because it was better quality than a no-name brand? Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop. Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50? What do other people think about you when they see you wearing them? For some you will look like the sad culmination of vainness while others will admire you and think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Whichever it is, it is clear that by wearing clothes you are expressing yourself and that the price is one of the many dimensions that clothes possess to do that in addition to style and fit. You don't need to buy expensive clothes. In fact you don't need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are.

We will gradually introduce items at other price points, definitely lower and probably higher than what‘s in the store today. We hope you enjoy them and are as passionate about them as you are of the current items that are for sale.

EVE players will no doubt look forward to the goods priced lower. Me, I want to see how high they can go, and how many people actually believe some 1s and 0s that you never actually own are somehow similar to brand associations on real, tangible products.

UPDATE - Gylfason has since posted a new message, saying that an "extraordinary meeting" of the game's leadership will be held in Iceland (like, in-person) at the end of the month, "to help us define and address the real underlying concerns, and to assist us in defining and iterating on our virtual goods strategy".

Is EVE Online's Clothing Fiasco the "Sad Culmination of Vainness"? [Update]

fearless, virtual goods, and rage [EVE Online]