Social Economy: Why Facebook games have to charge money for items

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On almost any Facebook game wall, you will see posts from people complaining that the latest and greatest desired item requires real money to purchase. Many players cannot fathom why a Facebook game should ever require them to pay money for digital pixels, and find themselves irate when game developers do not offer a way to obtain all items without requiring real dollars to be spent. For some players, buying items simply isn't an option because they're too young to purchase without parent's permission, they are out of the country, or they simply do not have the extra change laying around to spend on a virtual game. In this column, we'll take a look at the reasons why Facebook game developers have to charge for items in their games despite player's constant objections.