Rixty, a company that sells virtual currency like the kind used to buy goods in games like Farmville, ran into a little setback trying to acquire customers. People without bank accounts, namely children and the broke, were unable to avail themselves of Rixty's product. It would look, how do you say, "sub-prime-y," to offer credit to people who might not be able to pay it back. So Rixty came up with a nifty solution: an anti-credit card. Gamers can use coins at any of the 20,000 participating Coinstar machines and get a Rixty card with a sixteen-digit PIN that they can use to play the hundreds of games. But it's not just the near-penniless that are using the service. One husband came to Rixty so his wife wouldn't know about his Farmville habit. Miles Carr, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, saved hours commuting to the mall for gift cards now that he can use a Coinstar nearby: "I'm completely satisfied, and that has to mean something coming from a 22-year-old male." Oh, Miles. Your complete satisfaction with the act of schlepping coins to a Coinstar in order to go home and play Dark Ages does mean something — just maybe something different than you think.
Photo: Photo: Ad Age