How Habbo Hotel Turned Its Players Into Ruthless Teenage Capitalists

How Habbo Hotel Turned Its Players Into Ruthless Teenage Capitalists


Habbo Hotel is a self-described virtual
community for teens. At its peak in 2012 it had customers from 150 different
countries, had 273 million registered users and saw 5 million unique visitors
every month. Habbo was essentially Club Penguin for teenagers. You could visit
places, chat to people, play games and make your own rooms. However there is one thing that dominates all aspects of Habbo life. Coins. Coins could buy you the
latest furniture, the nicest clothing and Habbo Club – a form of premium membership to distinguish you from the peasants. The issue with coins is that they can’t be
obtained through normal gameplay, you have to buy them with real-life money.
This means that coins have actual monetary value and some players have
sold their virtual currency for thousands of dollars. With the prospect
to make actual real-life money, Habbo turned from a glorified chat room to a
terrifying experiment of anarcho-capitalism done on teenagers and
adolescent children. Anarcho-capitalist societies can generally be characterised
by three main points and Habbo ticks all of the boxes. 1. Anarcho-capitalist societies are anarchies which means there is no central government control.
In 2012, Habbo employed 225 moderators worldwide. Now there are zero moderators,
all of them have been replaced by artificial intelligence which only
serves to censor bad words. The lack of any real moderation has led to the
proliferation of scams and illegal casinos throughout the hotel. The second
characteristic of anarcho-capitalist societies is capitalism which by
definition means the trade and industries within society is controlled
by private owners for profit rather than the state. Habbo is defined by capitalism.
Coins will never be given out by Habbo unless they are purchased. Trading is a
key aspect within the game and it isn’t regulated or moderated. And finally the
last characteristic of anarcho-capitalist societies is that they
are a… Mecca for paedophiles These two conditions have led Habbo to turn into an emulation of a free-market capitalistic and materialistic society.
Their adolescent and teenage players end up turning into ruthless capitalists in
order to survive. New players who join Habbo Hotel start off with zero coins.
The only way for players to get coins are to either pay for them or to get
them from someone else. Giveaways are the bread lines of Habbo. In the absence of
government, the privatised welfare state steps in. Giveaways are events where rich
Habbos donate furniture and coins to peasants in need. You may be tempted to
think that this charity is altruism at work. It isn’t. This is an example of
giveaway. You may be confused as to why there are fastpass queues in a giveaway
like the ones found in theme parks. This isn’t unusual. When there is no
regulation or moderation, people are free to call whatever they want as giveaways.
In reality this is a for-profit game. In order to win coins, you first need to
roll a six in the dice. Next you need to teleport to one of these green areas
which you have a 33.3% chance of doing Finally, you need to put a switch, which
assuming is not rigged, has a 50% chance of failure. Assuming you do all of that,
you win the grand prize of one coin. Now you could risk it. Pull the second switch,
which assuming was not rigged, has another 50% chance of failure. That would
bag you the grand prize of two coins Crunching the numbers you only
have a 2.78% chance of winning one coin. The chance of winning the
jackpot of 50 coins? That’s a 0.022 percent chance. Now
remember that I mentioned fastpass earlier. In these types of quote-unquote
“giveaways”, the owner usually sells a Fast Pass which allows you to skip the long
peasant queue and gives you slightly more favourable odds. But like a casino
these odds are stacked against you and chances are you will not make your money
back and once the owner sells enough fast passes for the day they shut down
the giveaway and they open a new one under a new name. Where you have to buy a new Fast Pass. No refunds given. But those aren’t the only types of giveaways. There
are other forms such as radio giveaways where players are forced to listen to a
radio operated by a fan site. The DJ periodically tells the viewers
the special keyword that is required before you can collect your duck or
whatever the DJ feels like giving to you This, of course, boosts traffic for the
fan site so they’re earning money too Real-life money, that is. Then there are
leavers giveaways. Leavers giveaways are run by rich shadows who are no longer
interested in the game these type of giveaways usually attract the most
attention and these Habbos could be extremely generous. Or they could be
trolls. In the absence of moderation there’s nothing you can do about it Corporations dominate every facet of
Habbo hotel. They have a special name: Agencies. In return for working in their
corporation you get paid coins. The amount each agency pays differs
depending on pay policy and like corporations in real life, agencies have
tried to attract players in many ways But the modus operandi of all agencies are
the same. People get paid to recruit others, so let’s run it down. First a new
player like you heads up to the front desk to apply for a job. You are given a
nice shiny badge, a new motto which displays your rank within the agency and
a hideous uniform. You are then ushered into a training room where your training
begins. Your taught to obey commands given to you by higher ranks. Disobedience will
not be tolerated and you will be fired for doing so. You’re then given a set of
rules like wear your uniform, no coloured chat and never ask for pay or
promotions ever. There are no workers rights in Habbo; there are no trade
unions in Habbo; there is no safety net or employment protection in Habbo. You are told to comply or be sacked. After that you are taught how to hire new people
and work in the front desk. Help others begin their career in the same way
someone started yours After that indoctrination session, you
are told to begin to recruit new people As you start pouring hours into working,
you begin to be promoted into higher ranks. Higher ranks give you privileges,
like working in easier jobs like security or training, or the privilege to
stop wearing that hideous uniform, or to be able to use coloured chat. This system
of promotions end up cementing your loyalty to the agency and make you spend
even more hours in it. Wages can be meagre. Agencies usually advertise
that they pay 6 pounds [sic] an hour or 71 coins a week, but in reality the peasants
only get paid one coin an hour and pay is only given at certain
designated pay times. After getting paid you’re told to continue working and are
threatened to get paid banned if you don’t follow their pay policy. With such low
wages people begin to work in agencies for hours to even get enough coins for
some decent furniture for their rooms Habbo no longer becomes a game.
Instead it becomes a medium for your daily commute. To work in an agency, that
pays you little, and demands your obedience. But, of course, pay is still pay.
One coin an hour may seem little but if your the owner of an agency, having an
agency staffed by dozens of workers on minimum wage can still be taxing. So how
do agencies make money? The answer lies in power. The obedience
demanded by corporations on its workers are no accident. People enjoy telling
others what to do. Agencies run on a very simple hierarchical structure where the owners boss around the directors who boss around the managers who boss around the peasants. Rich Habbos are willing to pay thousands of coins in order to
become high-ranking officials so they can tell the peasants what to do. Power
sells and the agencies know this. And sidenote: notice how there are two sets
of uniforms in this agency. One looks decent and the other looks like a school
PE kit. This is because Habbo’s premium membership Habbo Club is needed to wear
certain items of clothing. Clothing that doesn’t make you look like a complete
hobo. Habbo doesn’t just allow classism within its users. It promotes it Gambling used to be legal in Habbo.
Casinos were a common place feature of the game. Pre-2014, the Habbo economy
flourished. Rare items were being traded at high prices, which were used to
decorate lavish casinos Then the Danish Ministry of Taxation
caught on and told Habbo to stop letting minors spend real-life money on coins to
gamble them away… because child gambling is illegal. This prompted Habbo to not only
ban gambling but shut down Habbo’s largest casinos and banned their owners.
This single event has been attributed to Habbo’s decline. The gambling ban led to the crashing of the stock market. Values of rare items plummeted as they turned out
to be pretty much useless for anything other than decorating casinos. And this
hit Habbo hard. Revenues from coin sales dropped and Habbo ended up having to lay
off their staff leading to anarchy. But with the sacking of moderators the
underground casinos rose. People began to gamble the same way they did back in
2014. But with the gambling ban Habbo instituted certain restrictions. You
could no longer place more than three dice in a room, so people who came up
with ingenious solutions to overcome this ban. In the past, people played
blackjack and poker with a set of five dice but it’s possible to adapt the game
so it only requires three. Furthermore you could set it so that the room only
has three dice and that the dealers of the casino would simply share the dice
around. Another solution people came up with was Wired. Wired furniture was the
redstone of Habbo. Wired took an input and if certain conditions were met, gave an output. This allowed players to program things in their room and make impressive
things such as automatic games. People used Wired to make random number
generators which acted as dice. These pseudo dice allowed casino owners to
circumvent the dice ban. However the issue with Wired is that only the owner
of the room and those with special permissions granted by the owner could
view its contents. It is possible to rig anything that involves Wired. There have
been countless stories of opportunistic casino owners rigging their pseudo dice
in their favour. Habbo’s casino ban inadvertently led to the explosion of
con games and scams. Casinos are still by far the most profitable venture of
Habbo hotel, but not necessarily the way you think it is. Sometimes the admins of
Habbo log in. In the absence of moderators casinos operate in broad
daylight but periodically casinos have been shut down by these admins and got
their owners banned. So owning a casino is still a risky venture that few dare risk.
Casino owners would sell dealer memberships at a high price usually for
hundreds of coins if not thousands Usually owners would sell multiple tiers
of memberships, with the dice sharing membership usually incurring a premium
fee since in-game dice can’t be rigged Casino owners could sell hundreds of
these memberships and it isn’t unusual to hear them earn tens of thousands and
hundreds of thousands of coins by selling them. That’s equivalent to tens
of thousands of US dollars. The risks outweigh the benefits. [CONCLUSION] With no real
moderation and a currency backed with real-life money it is easy to see how
Habbo turned into a virtual experiment of unregulated capitalism. Many players
of the game are teenagers and a sizeable proportion of players are adolescent
children. Most of them don’t have a background in economics, yet the
conditions of the game led to the emergence of ruthless capitalists
practices. In such a harsh environment some chose to quit. Others decided to
make their own communities, a much fairer one than the one Habbo
offers. But that’s a story for another time

100 thoughts on “How Habbo Hotel Turned Its Players Into Ruthless Teenage Capitalists

  1. Hi, so I have just this up. This is my Discord:

    https://discord.gg/T7QywSa

    Will post stuff like teasers and what not, as well as endlessly spam you with requests for fact-checking. Thanks so much for the support <3

  2. Socialist porpaganda!
    😀 Habbo hotel is still more free than any state, for you don"t have to buy things, like you do with school supplies, or ID cards 😀
    you should take a job in a socialist country, or in a corporate (same thing basically, with the capitalist version being a little bit more humane) and you would see, that this "dystopia" is actually an utopia 😀 It"s funny, because you actually explained, why regulations, always lead to more criminality and corruption in the casino part.

  3. I sunk way to many hours trying to grind in Habbo. I didn't have money to buy coins so I would work at the dumb armies people would form and go to giveaways (most actually were not dice roles and all you had to do is wait in line) to get enough furniture to start my own shop and was on the way to saving up for my own casino until the low IQ mongoloid mods permanently banned me and gave no reason for why and I got zero responses when I tried to appeal. Aside from these mods, I loved the experience and it allowed for patience and persistence to pay which is probably why the pseudo-intellectual leftists don't like it because you have to work for furniture and coins and it's not given for free. Hell a governing body coming in and taking my hard earned work sounds more like what you want. Teaching kids that reward comes from work and success doesn't come fast is a pretty positive thing to do, otherwise they end up like Trolligarch here, complaining because his virtual welfare check never came.

  4. i was seven and eight partying, socialising, living my BEST LIFE, having one of the biggest trading houses with the most exclusive items and had a social circle with the actual owner of Swedish habbo. I got all that by scamming some dumb ass kids on races and other games LMAOOO, it really taught me some lessons though

  5. Jesus, _Tee_'s port room. And then the whole rest of this video was such a spectacular hell that looks nothing like the game i remembered, what the fuuuuhhh

  6. Tempted to sign up, buy enough coins to get a single outfit (that makes me look like a vacationer), and get fired several times.

  7. I used to play habbo hotel when I was around 11 up until age 13, I am now 23. There was no agencies back when I played, but boy oh boy did I spend ridiculous amounts of money on this game. I also hacked so many of my real life school friends. Habbo was rogue. Not surprised it has progressed into full blown capitalism.

  8. I use like Coke music more because the coins were free and easy to get if you just made multiple email
    Accounts to sign up for new coke music accounts then double windowed and traded yourself. Ahhh the good ol days of scamming the system.

  9. Ok imagine if some giant YouTube raid habbo hotel and the agencies and giveaways demanding change, communist revolution style and the raiders would wear red cloathing and have the Soviet Union flag

  10. Man, I wish I would've known about this back when Habbo was big. I've wanted to do something like this in an online game for a long time now, but there aren't many options out there.

  11. I long ago decided that capitalism was a rather good analog for nature itself. Work hard and use your resources wisely, and you'll be well off even when the bull rears its ugly head in the stock market. But be a lazy system surfer or chose to live on welfare – or spend money you don't have – and you'll fall flat on your face until you accept personal responsibility for your life.
    It's tough love forcing forward progress, just like mother nature. And you don't fight mother nature. She always wins, lol.

  12. I remember playing habbo. I started when I was 9 years old. I would chat up with people, play games, all I had was pixel furniture (untradeable) and some cheap furni I won playing events, but I had many friends and as little furniture I had, it felt like a lot. That, until I entered a room called a "Casino". Everyone was "placing bets", 5gb bets, 10gb bets, hell, even 20gb bets. I didn't even know what a "GB" was, I asked someone, they said "goldbar", "a goldbar?" i said "what's that?". I found out a goldbar was worth 50 coins, everything I made in months of playing was worth as little as 5 coins. I was astonished, people were willing to let a game of fate that lasts 10 seconds to decide who keeps what is earned in years of gameplay. I wanted in, I wanted to taste that lifestyle. I lied, scammed, I ripped people off and I made many enemies. The road was long and hard, but I made it. I had power, money and influence. 3 years later, at the young age of 12. I was standing on one of the biggest pile of wealth in the game. And at what price? I had no friends, my only friends were "business acquaintances", people who needed something from me and from whom I needed something. I had some of the most expensive furniture in the game, but it wasn't worth anything to me, as long as you have the money to get it, everything tastes the same, it was just a pixel image with a ridiculously high price tag.

    If you were to ask me, if I was to go back in time, would I do it again? Probably.

  13. i remember i tried habbo once, joined some agency, did a little bit of work, realized the "pay hour" is at like midnight for my timezone, then never played again

  14. Legit made this game a small side hustle when I was 14.
    You would sell and trade "super rare" furniture in real life with PayPal. Also, you'd buy "gold" or coins through a 3rd party seller for super cheap and then use them to trade and sell in the game. It was actually pretty easy to do and was fun.. until you get banned permanently on each account you've traded on.

  15. Its been a while since i play habbo, but really i did not care about my appearance nor my room. I was just there, play some minigames people created (I still remember some) and also some maze people created by putting floating furniture, and need to go through those.

    I dont remember when i played, but i had a lot of fun.

  16. I remember playing the game back in like 2011, it had premium stuff back then too but you could still do stuff as a peasant. I remember this airport room that was actually kinda fun to go through. I never really heard of or even seen much of this stuff, but then again I was pretty young and had little idea on how everything worked. Wow, crazy to think that I used to play this game

  17. This is not anarchy as defined by ideological anarchist but starting of feudalism. In real life anarchism is just phase between old and new system of governance.

  18. Omg, habbo hotel turned into a shit show, so glad I chose to play RuneScape for my entire life over that game.

    When is the anarcho-communist revolution going to happen comrades?

  19. lmao I remember when I got a job as a secretary…. they fired me 😂😂 , I didn’t even understand how having a job on habbo was supposed to be funny? I just played around there with my friends that’s it.

  20. Oh my god I have actually stood in giveaway lines and seen erp-prostitutes but I think I stopped caring about Habbo before it added the agencies or got really, really bad.

  21. Habbo is proof that capitalism is a virus.

    You want to see peak capitalism? It's casinos and pyramid schemes as far as the eye can see, with poverty below.

  22. I actually enjoyed this game, and i spent so much time on it (and some money), bought some extremly rare furniture in 2012, forgot about the game itself, just to come back to the game and have furniture worth some decent money since it was only available when i bought it 😀

  23. EvE Online: We are the true player-driven economy that won't hold your hand.

    Habbo Hotel: Hold my HCS.

    note: HCS is Habbo Club Sofa, which is one of the furni used as a currency.

  24. My question is: Why would anyone play this game. Like..it sounds horrifying and not fun. You'd be better off playing Second Life. At least there you can learn how to create stuff to sell and make your own money instead of being constantly exploited.

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