Play Money by Julian Dibbell (2006)

Play Money

Play Money is a quick read on the adventures of Julian Dibbell attempting to make a living at trading virtual goods within online worlds. I found the first half of the book to be most interesting, as he ranges fairly widely over the topics of play, work, and money. In the second half he becomes consumed with trying to make money himself, and it’s pretty hard to make stories of ‘buy low, sell high’ very compelling.

Here’s a tidbit that intrigued me:

Could it be that scarcity is not so much a necessary evil as an economic good? Could it be that the real world’s never-ending abundance of scarcity has prevented us from recognizing, until now, that we’ve actually developed a taste for the stuff?

Some links: Dibbell’s Play Money blog, where much of the material in the book first appeared. And the ongoing Terranova blog on matters virtual.

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