BoingBoing notes that NPR's online game reviewer sides with me. That's right me.
From npr.org: 'Robert Holt is a manager for NPR.org and an avid player of online games. He reviews games for NPR's All Things Considered. His first online gaming experience was in 1986, playing the strategy game Diplomacy on a computer bulletin board system. Holt explains some of the terminology and methods of paying to play -- and why he thinks it ruins the gaming experience'
"Sure, it's great to be all-powerful, or 'uber' in game parlance. But at what cost? I consider it cheating to buy your way in to an uber character. In order to be truly 'uber,' you need to earn it. Besides, it takes a lot of skill to use a high-level character's abilities to their fullest, so an inexperienced player that has purchased a high-level character will very often lose a battle or die because they don't have the experience of all that playing time.
For me, the point of playing these games is not to win -- it's to be immersed in the worlds, and to interact with fellow players. You miss out on truly experiencing the world if you don't earn your items and character abilities."