Online Economies

Interesting story today in the SF Chronicle by Tom Abate, titled “Economists to explore world of online games.” Some economists are starting to catch on to the fact that online game worlds are economies (of both real and virtual currency), which could possibly provide ideal laboratories for experiments.

Castronova discovered that an unofficial trading network had grown in which gamers traded platinum pieces — the basic units of Norrathian currency — for dollars. Moreover, this funny money had a real world exchange rate of a little more than a U.S. penny, which was “higher than the yen and the lira.”

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