The online role-playing game, Final Fantasy XI has garnered tremendous popularity within Japan, not to mention the rest of the world. Love of the game has grown steadily in the 11 years since its Japanese release in May of 2002.

Unfortunately, as gamers grow older and become busy with real-life responsibilities, they sometimes must set aside their virtual buster swords and magical mage staffs and focus on the tangible things in life. Luckily, there’s always a circle of lazy gamers ready to take their places! These impatient players are wide-eyed and eager to buy your character’s levels and loot off of you.

Recently, there have been a large number of characters from Final Fantasy XI being sold on Yahoo Auctions. What that really means is that people are selling their unwanted user IDs for cash, though that doesn’t mean that these people are money-grabbing game mongers who never much cared about the title; some of the characters they’re selling have taken a lot of time to strengthen! We found one tired gamer who clocked in 2,280 days (54,720 hours) worth of playtime and is now selling his account! That means he was glued to this game for the equivalent of more than six years.

So how much money is a seventh of this man’s total life expectancy worth? Well, by the end of the day on April 6, 2013, the bid was up to 462,000 yen! That’s more than 4,600 US dollars! It sounds like way too much money for a collection of pixels. And yet, when reading over the detailed description of the item, the seller insists that the actual value of the character is closer to 550,000 yen (US$5,500). Looking at all of the mythical weapons and rare relics that this account contains, it becomes a little bit harder to argue against him.

The item is listed on Yahoo Auctions as FF11 Account Burtang, Excalibur, Aegis, and Ochain Abandoning Account, with each one of those crazy names referring to a different high-powered in-game weapon or armor. Here’s a translation of the item’s full description: “This is a Japanese account with a playtime of 2,280 days. The transfer to a new user will be made in approximately a month and a half. There are two characters with job classes from the new expansion disk, a dark knight lv32 and a geomancer lv1. No quest or mission party affiliations.”

So what do you think? Is the price worth it? We asked some people who are well-acquainted with the game, and they told us that yes, it is! However, for anyone who’s not been introduced to this aspect of gaming, the price might appear unbelievably steep! Game companies and auction sites certainly have rules regarding the ownership, sharing, and transfer of games, but who knows if even they could have anticipated that another player’s virtual identity could sell for so much!

▼ The auction remains open until May 8th at 10:37 P.M. (JST), so now’s the time to bid!

[ Read in Japanese ]