The situation in Venezuela is one of those rather enviable ones. We all read the latest reports, which show that the inhabitants of this country, living on the verge of poverty, are getting closer to civil war. No wonder - people can fight over food in the streets, and the government there seems to still believe that socialism, as introduced, works. This is patently untrue, Venezuelans are about to get close to North Korea... and let's be honest, we can only feel sorry for them.
A worthless currency
We will pay for the American dollar - on the black market, of course - about twelve thousand bolivars. In conversion, this equals 5662 gold pieces in World of Warcraft. In a word, for a dollar we'll buy more bolivars than gold. I guess this means that people in Azeroth live better (even taking into account Deathwing, Arthas and other pleasantries). And seriously: in simple language, it means that the demand on the world market for Venezuelan currency is lower than the demand for virtual currency from WoW. No surprise there. In a country with rampant inflation, on the verge of bankruptcy, just such bizarre situations arise. We can thank the crazed socialists for that.
Bread and game
Leaving aside the fact that most games are illegal in Venezuela (because, as you know, they are offerings made to the golden calf of capitalism). Yes, that means the player is a criminal in that country. So Venezuela is at times even worse than North Korea - a place, I remind you, where the police only help victims of crime when they are sure the case will not end up in the media. Hugo Chavez didn't want a mind-numbingly brutal game, so everything ended up on the black market. Anyway, let's not kid ourselves - Venezuelans have bigger problems on their minds than the fact that they have to pay a lot of money for a token. In their country, inflation has already reached 800%. Next year it will probably reach 2000%. The economy has crumbled to a trickle. People are forced to vote for the ruling party under threat of being fired. Add to this the lack of food, the fact that they even ate banana peels... and suddenly a player living in Poland begins to see his own country almost as flowing with milk and honey.
Venezuelan citizens' spending on electronics is limited to three hundred dollars a year. This means that the black market is thriving like nowhere else - but also the threat becomes quite real. You can go to prison for three to five years for renting a "violent" computer game, or pay such a fine that a banana peel will be a luxury for the next six months.
Well, we can only hope that the authorities in Venezuela will change for good. Which we sincerely wish them.