I was just browsing the New Scientist Space Blog, and found a post about a new web-enterprise called Galaxiki. (Galaxy Wiki, geddit ?) It says it is “a fictional online galaxy created, maintained and owned by its Community”. It boasts that you can join free, and it has a kinda community pitch… but it looks like a business to me.
You zoom in on a grid and end up picking your very own star .. and then gee whizz, you can buy the star and edit its properties !! Of course, being a community thing, you can pay anything you like .. as long as it’s at least 5 euros….
So in some ways its like an updated version of that scam where you sell someone a star and give them a certificate, except the star isn’t even real ! You just make it up.
On the other hand, its not really like one of those old scams, as the guy who designed and built all this has worked really hard. Its a lovely toy. If it was painted clearly as a money making business, I would be completely happy with it. I just feel uncomfortable when you can’t quite tell whether this is a business with a cynical “open community” veneer, or an intrinsically open thing with a business veneer.
But maybe I am being a daft old purist lefty. This is C21. Its ok to make money. Hey, we all have Google ads on our blogs, don’t we ? Errr.. not me actually. I am not against making money. I just don’t like all that clutter. Adverts just add noise and confusion to life. How is a chap supposed to see past the ten thousand things ?
On one page, it says “this is not a research tool”. Dead right. I picked a star at random and got TAH357. Nobody has bought it yet and it has no lifeforms. Apparently – big sigh – its a “yellow giant class star”. Aint no such animal folks.