CONSUMER CULTURE OF INDONESIAN GAMERS

REVIEW ON GAME ITEMS MARKETPLACE “ITEMKU”

  • Wawan Wartono Communication Science Study Program, Social and Political Science Faculty, Universitas Pasundan
  • Yulia Segarwati
Keywords: consumer culture, gamer, item, marketplace

Abstract

Item is an object or commodity item in each game, especially in Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) genre. Every gamer competes to obtain good items, both in terms of functional and appearance. Various ways are done by the gamers to get items, starting from playing regularly, buying from game publishers, or buying from other players (making transactions). Since the MMOG (online game) era, such as Ragnarok Online (RO) which was firstly popular in Indonesia up to various types of games today, the gamers have already started to transact with other gamers. Hundreds of thousands to tens of millions rupiah flows in every in-game items transaction. Game item transaction tends to be enclosed and mostly done by gamers who know well enough to each other. Direct transactions between gamers are not without risks. Fraud is often happened from the type of item, nominal, and price and money paid. Gamers mostly complained about significant amount of transaction items fraudulent and were presented in various media including social media and game forums, both in official game account as well as community forums and fans.

            Now, gamers don't need to be afraid to transact items by the presence of an item market called "Itemku". "Itemku" is a game item buy and sale service managed by Five Jack company from South Korea. During the 2017, Five Jack got an injection of an additional 1.2 million dollars investment for the "Itemku" service. While operating from 2016 up to today, "Itemku" already has customers, both sellers and buyers. “Itemku” only acts as a mediator in selling game items to maintain transaction security. But actually, “Itemku” services are not only in terms of buying and selling items, but also include charging game currency and playing jockey services. However, the most popular service is the items sale and purchase that are more or less the same as items sale and purchase from Steam. The difference is that the items that are bought and sold in Itemku are more diverse both from the game developers or publishers and the type of the games. Indonesian gamers who usually transact manually, were then enthusiastic about the presence of Itemku which has been operating in Indonesia for 3 years.

Indonesian gamers’ enthusiasm in using Itemku services shows that game items have become important commodities. Shopping for game items is no longer just a hobby, but has become a necessity and culture of gamers in Indonesia. The game has become a market and its items become virtual commodity that are traded with the actual currency. Game items have become a daily necessity for gamers as well as the daily needs of people in general. Virtual commodities or objects such as items that are physically non-existent and can only be felt as virtual benefits sometimes have high value. Various items from various types of games with varied values from thousands to millions are traded on "Itemku". Buying and selling in-game items has become a new popular consumer culture among gamers. The transaction agents are not only limited to the upper class, but also the lower middle class.

Along with the diversity of MMOG that entered Indonesia and the growth of gamers, “Itemku” can continue to be the market leader in the game item market in Indonesia if it continues to innovate to meet the needs of its users. Itemku is not only a pioneer in the game item market, but also in the creative market among government programs that aim to grow creative industry in Indonesia. Industry without markets will be difficult to be developed, because in fact, the market can trigger a consumer culture that fosters industry, including games.

Published
2019-09-04