Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Chicken Bubble

Photos (Top to Bottom): Tulip Prices, 1636-1637, FUGly Chicken; FUGly Chicken Family, "Rare" FUGly Chickens, Insane Prices for Eggs (look closely at the hovertext

Written 27 June, 2009

The Chicken Bubble

A clever avatar has hit upon an ingenious scheme to fill the grid with prolific virtual chickens. The avie's name is sion Zaius.

sion has created a puppeteer-animated virtual chicken that can reproduce, using simple Mendelian inheritance patterns that determine color and sex. The chickens of course hatch from eggs, and the eggs are laid by hens which are impregnated by roosters. The chicks, if properly cared for, grow up to be chickens and make more chickens. And more chickens.

And before long, the damn things are crossing the road.

sion's chickens are phenomenally popular-- just type chicken in search and you'll see dozens of chicken farms. Even my good friend Marnix Maliforzik has been henfested.

The chickens must be fed and cared for and can be healed if they become sick-- of course, you must buy food and supplies from clever, clever sion.

To learn a bit about the chickens and the lag problems they can cause, see here and here.

People are spending money to feed their chickens, breed their chickens, heal their chickens, update their chickens, transport their chickens, house their chickens, buy their chickens toys and clothes-- and, what is making people really crazy, I think, is they are occasionally getting "rare" eggs. And of course selling them for high prices (the highest price I saw for an egg in my quick cruise of some chicken farms was $1500L; see the photo).

People are busily making chicken accessories and coops; I even saw a HUD that renames the chickens' colors. OMG!

The chickens are fun, but some people are going just nuts over them, thinking they'll make a fortune on rare eggs.

This is very much like the tulip craze that swept through Europe in the early 1600s. Before the collapse of the tulip bubble, a single bulb could command more than the price of a house or a year's wages for a worker.

After the collapse, of course-- well, how much does a tulip bulb cost today?

The tulip craze worked through supposed rarity of variations of the shape and color of tulip flowers. This is EXACTLY what sion has done with hir chickens-- contrived a scarcity, creating "value" where no actual value actually exists.

If you like sion's chickens, have fun with them-- but for god's sakes, don't get caught with a fortune in "rare" eggs and chickens when the bubble bursts.

Because if you really think about it, sion's chickens are really really fugly!


Marnix Malifozik said...

As I said the other day, Chey, I love the comparison. Nice work :)

Oh, and 1,500L is nothing, btw - I saw an egg for 24,000L! You could buy a house for that, you know.

I know they're addictive little blighters, but come on.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Marnix, my house-- the one I've been living in for nearly three years-- cost $200L. You could buy dinner for two at Appleby's for that! Or about, ummm, 150 REAL eggs.

♥ Lolita ♥ said...

*Laughing* I saw those around my trips and was very interested in seeing what it was all about. But my friends have warned me! "Don't even start!" it gets pricy. And they die easy!

But I answered, "But they look so cute!!"

They said get a dog! lol

kaie magic said...

this was very interesting to read. thank you chey. i have been thinking how sion chickens remind me of a pyramid scheme... those who got in at the beginning will do well selling to all of us new chicken farmers, and those who get in at the end will have lots of leftover eggs to sell! i love the comparison with the tulip craze in Holland. thanks for a fun read!