in Gaming, General

Dollars for Dungeons

The idea of online economies has fascinated me. You put together an online multiplayer RPG, and economic forces are soon to follow. Trade, inflation, the works. People start selling in-game goods at places like eBay. Some even manage to make a living at it. Most games frown on this type of activity, and explicitly ban sale of in-game goods for real world money.

Cnet has an article about two such games called Entropia and Second Life, among the first to actively embrace their in-game/real world economy.

I’m not sure why these mini economies are so interesting to me. Maybe because they’re a microcosm; you can watch forces which are slow in the real world play themselves out on a manageable time scale.