In The MMORPG Ultima Online, One Of The Early Rare Items Sold For Real World Money Was?
Answer: Horse Dung
In the world of online gaming, there are many examples of players paying cold hard real-world cash for items. Many times (whether you would ever spend the money yourself or not), it at least makes sense to do so: players buy powerful gear they would have trouble getting on their own, they purchase in-game currency to buy things they want, or otherwise enhance their abilities in the game.
Other times, the purchases are merely cosmetic, as in the case of the thriving hat market in Team Fortress 2. Sometimes, even, the purchase is both cosmetic and, to the outside observer, a bit absurd, as in the case of a rare item found in the early Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) Ultima Online: horse dung. You read that correctly—players actually paid cash (up to several hundred dollars) for a tiny low-resolution pile of horse dung. Why? Scarcity and a desire to show off.
The horse dung was, on the Ultima servers, a very rare item that the designers of the game just put in as a little joke. Only a few piles of dung would spawn per server and die hard fans of the game would trade for and outright purchase the dung to decorate the stables of their in-game homes—while no flaming sword of infinite might or a fancy suit of armor, every dog (dung?) has its day, it would seem.