I was reading about an online game recently where while it was free to play within this virtual world you can spend real life money in order to help make your character stronger to better compete with others. You can literally spend thousand of dollars to essentially be a god of sort in this virtual world.
When you look at the sheer amount of money one could potentially spend it sounded so ridiculous as you could say buy a new computer or even a car with that much money. It was then discussed on how the company knows that people have a desiring urge to always be on top of things and will continue to spend in cases like these.
Another example I have seen of something like this is when say an online site offers collectibles in the form of things like virtual badges which you collect through various methods like attending events. They then post a list on who has the most. However, if you chose so you can spend money to obtain them. You bet a lot of people do it too. If you want to be competitive on anything in these scenarios it should be to challenge yourself not to spend any money I say.