Monday, December 12, 2011

A Teachable Moment in Skyward Sword

So when you first buy adventure pouches in Skyward Sword, the first one is 300 rupees. The second is 600, and the third 1200.

Call me amused...thanks to Nintendo for a teachable moment about supply and demand (decreasing supply of pouches and increased demand from you buying them resulting in price increases for each incremental purchase until supply is exhausted). Pity that they couldn't give Beedle a better story to illustrate that point.

Just think, if they had, how many fewer people would consider higher prices in abnormal times to be price gouging when in reality it reflects 1) the sudden scarcity of the product; and 2) the pricing mechanism use by store owners to ration it out to those with the most desire and ability to pay. That does raise another point: in normal times, it is cheaper to prepare for risks (insurance, stockpiling, etc) than in abnormal times...

Want to read another example of pricing in chaotic times? Daniel Abraham's first few chapters of The Dragon's Path is a rather well written tale to that effect. If I was an economics professor, I'd look to real life and fiction to find good supporting anecdotes like that.

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