This morning I read an article on Boing Boing about a weirdly addictive new online game called The Domain Pricing Game. Essentially, the creator made a game where two domains are displayed and you have to pick which one is worth more than the other. I’m not quite sure where the pricing data comes from so it feels a bit more like a game with random domains with random values assigned to them.
I guess to make the game somewhat entertaining is that the creator decided to focus on names they consider to be junk, and going through a few iterations of the game, I can confirm, most aren’t amazing, but there are some that I could see selling for quite a bit more than they have listed in-game. Here’s what the game looks like once you’ve made a guess:
While I’m not sure that I agree with Boing Boing that the game is “weirdly compelling” it is fun for a minute or two and then I think that’s about the shelf life. What frustrated me about the game is the little disclaimer the creator put at the bottom:
“please don’t buy any of these domains, they’re all terrible and you’d be supporting asshole domain squatters”
Yikes. First things first, to say they’re all terrible feels a little silly. Just look at the example above, if I was a company called Krypton that sold CBD products, I’d probably think that $3,500 was a pretty fair price for that domain. SmartCBD.com sold for $5,999 last year so it’s not like KryptonCBD.com is a terrible domain worth nothing.
What I think this shows is the continued disconnect between most people and the Domaining world. You can own a house, never stay in it, not rent it out, and just let it sit and appreciate over time, and everyone will call you a smart investor. Do the same with digital real estate and you’re labeled an asshole domain squatter.
It’s almost as if the game creator didn’t realize that big companies like Google, Facebook, Estee Lauder all own and sit on domains they aren’t using, aka squatting. For some reason when these companies hold onto domains they’re considered smart businesses, but when individuals do, they’re squatters.
Using DomainTools I took a look at the creator’s own site, looked at the email he had listed as the registrant, and noticed that he owns 17 domains…and nope, all of them aren’t developed. So I guess he’s a squatter too then?
What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!