Funny Dice

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Fantastic economies

Clive Thompson has an article up this week titled Game Theories that explores the creation of economies within online MMORPGs such as Everquest and The Sims. I'd heard of this before, but the writing here is top-notch and the implications of owning virtual property worth real dollars are nicely thought out:

This debate may appear rather abstract right now. But, sooner or later, one of these game companies will start losing money and decide it can't afford to keep its virtual world. (Many observers expect at least one major world to go bankrupt this year.) If a game shut down, it would instantly destroy hundreds of thousands — perhaps even millions — of dollars. The homeless woman with the virtual mansion, for instance, could probably sell her goods for several hundred dollars; she would lose her single most valuable possession.

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