The Japanese word "gachapon" (ガチャポン), or "gacha" for short, refers to a variety of vending machine-dispensed capsule toys popular in Japan, and the machines that sell them (the word is based on the sounds the machines make).
Second Life now has Gacha machines too, and they've become extremely popular over the past year or two. An increasing number of creators are putting series of beautifully-crafted items for sale in these machines, from furniture to little scripted creatures. Each machine dispenses a variety of items that constitute the series, some of which are "common" and others that are "rare". When you put a small amount of money in the machine (typically L$50) you'll get one of the series – probably worth much more than you paid. It could be a common, or, if you're lucky, a rare. Getting a particular rare – for example to complete your set – may take many tries, and in the process you could end up with a lot of duplicate commons you already own.
Machines with new contents are launched at major events throughout the year, such as The Arcade; but as all the items are transferable, there is an enormous aftermarket where hundreds of independent vendors collect and sell items from the many series available – and sometimes prices can go through the roof.
Gachas have no doubt affected the economy of Second Life. But for good or ill? Who are the creators making gacha items and what are they offering? How does the secondary market work? These and many other gacha questions are addressed in this programme, in which we interview several popular creators and others involved in both the primary and secondary markets, along with an avid gacha collector.
Tune in to learn more – but be warned, Gachas can become addictive!