Tuesday 30 July 2019

Dolphins - Pay to Win?

Dolphins in gaming are like "middle-class" in our social/political context.

And just as "easy" to define like FIRE.

I mean its "understooded", but people still like to ask how much we need to be financially independent or free?

And retire early? How early is considered early?


If you can live on USD1,000 per month (like our CPF Life FRS payout)... Hey! You are financially free!

Official retirement age is 62. So retire at 60 is considered "early" retirement, no?

When official retirement raised to 67, then everyone who retired at 62 now can pat themselves on the back and brag they have retired early!

Those who retired (forced or voluntary) at the official age of 55 decades ago must be wondering what's the fuss with "early" retirement at 60... (moving goal posts mah)

How about if you're a stay-at-home dad or wife with a spouse that brings home the bacon. Aren't you financially free now too? Although the offset is there's no retirement age... Unless you exercised the escape clause as in divorce... (Can still be financially free with alimony!)

This group can be the "easiest" to manipulate to a dungeon master.

Why do people pay to try to win a game when its clear they can never outpsend the whales?

Well, why do people buy tiny condos in suburbia that are surrounded by HDB flats anyway?

When they are eligible for a bigger HDB flat just across the road?

You know, I know.

During my staycation at Orchard Road, I like to roam the off beaten paths as in exploring the Cairnhill and Claymore hill areas.

Condos favoured by whales are located where they are no public transportation on the roads leading up to their locations. All I saw during my walks were maids walking the dogs. Now that's quiet and exclusive!

Yet, how do dungeon masters market their condos located in HDB heartlands?

5 minutes walk to MRT? Bus interchange at the bottom of your development? How convenient! LOL!

That's because they know you can take the girl out of the country, you can't take the country out of the girl. Wink.

Of course they are gamers who like to claim spending a few hundred US dollars per month on a gatcha game is considered whaling - especially if they are from Vietnam, Philippines, Mexico, etc. Must consider purchasing power parity and all that jazz...

Yup, its the same here in our FIRE community. Some like to invent their own definitions as in not counting the property they stay in as part of their networth (HDB dweller alert!); or have their own voodoo home-made formulas to calculate their investment returns.

Why lie to ourselves?

To feel good mah!

These are the people who ran 50 steps admonishing those who ran 100 steps ahead for spending on attas coffee, buying cars, paying for experential enjoyment.... (So waste!)

And yet got the cheek to turn around to be condescending to those who are just 5 steps into their journey. Look! I'm staying in a condo, you know? Nevermind its just a tiny apartment a stone's throw from a HDB block...

Yup, dolphins know they can't beat the minority whales. But hey! They sure can beat the hell out of the legions of free-to-play krills!

Thursday 25 July 2019

Pay to win - Whales

Many years ago, I heard this phrase from one of those Hong Kong movies that made a lot of sense:

"If a problem can be solved with money, then its no longer is a problem!"

In mobile gatcha gaming, whales are those players who think nothing of spending thousands of dollars per month just to summon rare and hard to get strong game characters.

Or furiously spend on "upgrades" generously offered by game publishers to develop and grow their charaters to "steamroll" other poor hapless players.

To a game publisher who introduces a "free-to-play" mobile game, whales are of their most important sources of income. 

For most free-to-play games, only 2-5% of their playerbase would pay for "powerups" or more summoning chances. And this include the dolphins (spend hundreds monthly) and guppies (spend tens of dollars monthly).

1 million players downloaded your game globally. 

Let's take 2% willing to pay. That's 20,000 players.

If per person they spend a lowly $10 per month, that's...

And if they now spend $100 on average per month... Rice bucket! (Say it in Hokkien for more impact)

Its the same in religion and social/politics. (And our FIRE community)

The minority pays so the majority don't have to.

That's why you don't go round bragging you don't pay any income tax... Its like telling everyone you earn less than $22K annually. 

No, the showoffs are the ones who "complain and whine" how much taxes they have paid...

Its cool to be a whale.

If you "spend" enough, you can have your name on hospitals. Cool or what?

And if you are willing to invest billions, your children have no problem getting shoe-horned into a good school.

Got a medical condition? Can fly anywhere to the best medical authority globally. What waiting time?

That's why many in the FIRE community "aspire" to be a whale one day. 

The honest ones have no problem admitting they want to be filthy rich.

Some, maybe due to their religious or cultural upbringing, may find too overtly pursuing wealth to be tacky... So they prefer to hide behind "empty" euphemisms like FIRE or minimalism.

When it comes to trading or investing, whales get the most favoured customer treatment from their brokers and investment bankers.

Want to bet that "free" analyst report or "hot tip" from your broker is already yesterday's news to whales?

Monday 22 July 2019

Gatcha gaming/FIRE/Social Politics

Gatcha gaming on mobile phones has gained popularity outside of Japan.

Before we go on, let's call a spade a spade - its gambling without the windfall, pure and simple.

Yet, how can it be gambling when there's no winnings?

And why do people fork out real cash in exchange for something that's not even tangible in their possession? 

In traditional PC games, at least you get a CD-ROM or have downloaded the game onto your very own C-drive. 

But for mobile gatcha games, everything you "owned" is stored in a server in the cloud. When the game dies and the server is shutdown... Remember the 99-year leasehold thing? 


I'm currently playing a Korean gatcha game.

The community on reddit is quite interesting; full of hype and drama. There's virtually no difference between the FIRE seekers in our backyard and the crybabies/whiners we find on most social/political platforms. 

I guess people are people everywhere.

Gatcha games are usually "free" to play.

I belong to the vast majority of free-to-play "FTP" gamers out there. 

Then there are the "dolphines". They usually spend up to a few hundred dollars a month on the game.

And for the minority of "whales", they can easily spend thousands every month without blinking or breaking into sweat. They are also known as pay-to-win "PTW" players. 

In subsequent posts, I'll share my parodies on these 3 groups of people in our FIRE and wider social community at large.

However, there's another important person I've not mentioned - the puppet master or dungeon master. The one who plays and manipulates the 3 groups against each other. 

You'll have to infer his role as I'm not stupid enough to go poke him directly!


Thursday 11 July 2019

I'm still alive and well!

And no, I did not bust my trading account.


What I thought was a 1 month break turned into  3.5 months!?

Now that's how we know we are having fun!

When we totally lost tracked of time...


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