Furs: $13,500 for a fursuit is too expensive! Gamers: Hold my beer!
This week, the furry world was rattled by news from the fandom’s bidding site of Dealer’s Den when a record setting bid closed out a battle to acquire a fursuit from the highly in demand Made Fur You. The final bid came in at $13,500 dollars by Desafinado, a fursuit collector who already has two to their name made by Mischief Makers, dropped the wad of cash to secure their third. They plan on making a horned cat character named Sage with it. They have done an interview over the transaction with Dog Patch Press that can be found here.
If anyone was curious as to what the suit will be. This is the character I am looking to get done. I was debating between this one and my bunny; but there are some other makers I would prefer to have my bunny done by, so Sage is the choice. pic.twitter.com/fzy1kzto55— Desafinado (@DezziFae) January 30, 2018
The transaction has brought up many critical statements. In those they note that the amount of money is the amount of a car, or a sizable down payment on a mortgage. Of course, such comparisons to practical commodities overlook the fact that the purchaser in question may already have shelter and a mode of transportation that they are secure and happy with. Finances are a very personal thing, and it takes some perspective to realize that there is always someone out there who will make a less practical financial decisions in the world when they are secure in the needs department. In fact many furry artists bank on this.
The eclipse of the gamer
It didn’t take long for a more egregious example of exuberance to rear its head this week as a JimQuisition video highlights a transaction in the gaming world that similarly has those in that culture scratching their heads. This one around a virtual skin for a sniper rifle in the team shooter CS:GO. The skin has several factors of rarity going for it: it is a particularly rare skin, found only in the rarest form of loot box, in the rarest quality. Oh, and it’s also “signed” by an American eSport star Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, more known for being the MVP at a recent world-tournament in Boston where their team, Cloud9, won. My estimates is that is probably what influenced the seller to sell it at this time since demand for their virtual signature would be in higher demand.
So how much did this cosmetic for a virtual sniper rifle cost its purchaser? Just over $61,000. To put this in perspective, from what I can find some of the best real world sniper rifles don’t get much higher than $15,000 dollars. So if you were to have one of those with this skin on it and signed by a celebrity (modified and certified that you can’t actually kill people with it, of course); than the price seems to be more reasonable in my mind. But this isn’t a really real item, it is a virtual one. But I guess I’m old in that way: we live in a virtual world where virtual people vie for virtual power. Even so, this one skin is worth just over six bitcoins at the time of writing, which I would hope would make the young whippersnappers understand how much we’re talking about here. For only a few minutes at least as the value changes to make the conversion inaccurate.
In a more ironic perspective, the buyer of the skin paid just about as much for the weapon skin as his eSport idol probably took home from said Boston tournament after factoring for splitting the money among team members and other such deductions.
But that is what makes markets tricky, it’s really hard to judge the value of things, and when you throw people into the mix such measurements become trickier. A baseball card is a baseball card, but what if it has Babe Ruth on it? A fursuit is a fursuit, but what if it is made by a popular fursuit maker? A copy of Starcraft retails at $60, get one signed by HuskyStarcraft, Irda, or any other celebrity in that community and what happens to the price? How much are people willing to pay? People underestimate the power of celebrity and the effect it can have on pricing. I think it’s one of the reasons people roll their eyes at this kind of thing. But it shows that we do value people, and at least the ones in this story are all talented in some way. There are plenty celebrities that are untalented who have an inflated worth greater than a hot air balloon that makes Bitcoin’s inflation look like party balloon in comparison.
I’m sure if you’re American you have one example in mind. I’m not saying you’re wrong.
Their stuff is crap, and our crap is stuff
But if we are going to go the route of the frivolous expenditure shaming this week, we shouldn't really be wagging our fingers internally at a furry fan expending a good amount of money for a real and physical item. Instead we should take perspective that the other nerdy groups out there will expend so much more than us on their less than practical passions.
A fool and their money are soon parted, as one says. So who’s the bigger fool? One who spends $13,500 on a commodity that can be utilized in the real world and maintained for life if proper care is taken and would have just as much value then as now? Or one that spends nearly five times that much on a virtual item that will depreciate heavily in value as CS:GO goes the way of the dodo as all online multiplayer video games eventually do? I’m guessing, for example, that there are individuals who dropped a lot of money on Team Fortress 2 hats or earbuds that may look back on some of those decisions with regret.
In the end we should take perspective that the other nerdy groups out there will expend so much more than us on their less than practical passions. In this roo’s opinion, now may be the time we should start to reevaluate where gamers and furries fall in relation to one another on the infamous nerd hierarchy. Because compared to gamers, furries are clearly far more fiscally sane. At least for this week.