What does "Time equal"?

I'm somewhat of a geek and being so, I spend time playing video games. One that I recently started playing is "Star Trek Online", my geek level in your eyes just exploded, and I came across the following quote in one of the forums. (link What's a decently quick way to get Zen?)

Time = Money. If you want to spend no money getting anywhere takes a lot of extra time. You spend money, even a little, things get easier and move faster.
A little insight as to what Zen is; Zen is "online game currency" that can be purchased with either actual cash at the rate of one per US penny, or by completing missions and receiving a commodity (dilithium crystals for the Trekkie's) and selling it on an exchange for Zen at the going rate of 133 crystals per Zen.

The response to the aforementioned quote shows how some people are disconnected to the relation that time has to money.

No, time isn't money, people just use that when they can't logically complain about an F2P (free to play) system, but want to complain anyway. If your time was so precious as to be equal to money, then you should probably stop playing video games and go do whatever it is that makes your time so valuable
To which a lesson in basic economics followed:
Time absolutely is money, it's a crucial part of capitalism and economics. There is no instance where you can say that it doesn't equal money. Most if not all people value their time and if they can't put a monetary value on it, someone else will and abuse it accordingly. It's THE biggest reason F2P models are successful. These games do not stay afloat because of the people playing the game for free. They stay afloat because of all the people that want things done faster and are willing to pay for it to be done so. How do these people pay? By spending their time earning money or using money gained by someone else spending their time earning money. You can earn everything by spending the extra time of course but that is not free, that costs time. The only thing that is free is access to the game server, from then on it costs time. Time that could be spending doing something that produces revenue. Not only that, these digital items can be purchased with MONEY or by spending extra TIME. Thus TIME = MONEY, if it didn't, you could only buy these items with money and not earn them with time.

Nothing in life is free, everything has a cost, whether it costs YOU time or money or costs someone else time or money, it costs someone somewhere resources, material or otherwise.

To which, a show of ignorance was the reply:
Wow, time really does equal money? Let me just go down to the store and buy food for my family by paying in time. Can they make change for an hour, I wonder?

Yet another lesson in economics:
The time I spend working a comfortable technical job, affords me the money to buy groceries, so I dont have to spend my time farming.
"Farming" is also game slang for repetitively doing missions to accumulate commodities. "Hoe your row and harvest your crop."

A glimmer of truth finally comes out:
Time does not equal money, in the same way a cup of hot water doesn't equal soup. What you do during that time gives it value. Effort is the key here, effort, more than anything, equals money. And sitting around playing a video game doesn't take that much effort.

All this leads to the question this post poses; What does "Time equal"?

In "Star Trek Online", an hour of playing can net you roughly 2000 dilithium crystals which translates to 15 Zen, or the equivalent of 15 cents per hour for your efforts. Seems kind of cheap as compared to a part time job paying minimum wages, doesn't it? $7.25 in actual money, converted to Zen would actually save 50 hours of playing.

There's where the "effort" part of the last statement falls apart and the speakers ignorance shows the most.

Using "Star Trek Online" as an example, someone has the choice to either spend 40 hours of their lives at a full time job, spend zero money and play the game as if it were a full time job for the equivalent of one hour's worth of minimum wage labor, they could pay a little actual cash and play less repetitive "farming" missions in order to play the missions they enjoy and accomplish the desired results, or they could pay more actual cash and play for the sheer enjoyment of it without the hassles of seeing it as "a second job".

The last option could be to stop playing the game and using that "free" time in the pursuit of being productive that will benefit yourself personally, ie; fitness, part time job, or education.

Time is like money in the sense that one has to learn to spend it, save it, and generally treat it as a breakable and irreplaceable tool or you can exchange one hour's worth of labor for 15 cents worth of "cyber goods".

In my estimation, "Time equals" the choice between being productive in whatever endeavor you partake in or to be non-productive to your own detriment.



What does "Time equals" mean to you?




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