The Castle Doctrine rewarding in-game robbery with real money

The Castle Doctrine developer Jason Rohrer has come up with a new way to tempt people into buying early access into his game: offering actual money. A contest running through 5 PM on January 27 will offer players a chunk of a $3,000 bounty, and you can increase your earnings by stealing more from other players.

As detailed on the game's official site (via Kotaku), you'll get a payout based on how much money your house is worth according to the exchange rate. That exchange rate is in flux based on how much cash is currently flowing through the game, but as of the time of writing it's currently listed as $421 of game money equaling $1 of real greenbacks. So if the exchange rate stayed steady here--which it almost certainly won't--a $100,000 house in the game would net you $231 in real monies.

You'll have to purchase the alpha to be eligible, as the full game doesn't launch until January 29, after the contest has ended. And given that the value shifts according to how much cash is flowing through the game, we'd expect Rohrer to be cutting lots of fairly tiny checks.

You could also win physical prizes. The top eight players will have their favorite in-game painting sent to them as pixel art on an actual canvas. But, you need to own that painting in-game, so even if you finish in the top eight you need to make sure you have some art sitting around to convert. Other prizes include Rohrer's own (unused) dog club, a Door Devil door reinforcer, and a $50 shopping spree at a New Mexico gun store.

If those prizes sound like there's a certain tinge of home-protection, that's for good reason. The Castle Doctrine is both named and themed after the actual legal doctrine in many states that allows you to use force, including lethal force, in protection of your own home. A lengthy blog post goes into detail on the inspirations of the game. Offering actual money assures that the weekend will be overrun with violent robberies, which should get across Rohrer's point nicely.