Talk:Virtual economy

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eccliscism, this is nothing new and an unusual term

20,000,000 Sponsored Results?[edit]

Lol, that's results total, not sponsored.


I've never heard it called 'synthetic economy' but always virtual econonomy. Would it be a good idea to move the article to there, can you think of any cons in doing so? The benefit would be that it would be in accordance with its established name. --ShaunMacPherson 07:16, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree. --Mrwojo 16:31, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Moved. I left the mention of "synethetic economy" in the article because Castronova does tend to use synthetic instead of virtual (as he says on his website, "synthetic ('crafted') being a more accurate term than virtual ('unreal')"). But this was in the context of virtual/synthetic world, and he almost exclusively uses "virtual economy" like everyone else. --Mrwojo 16:25, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Virtual Crime[edit]

In the Boston Globe article on the virtual crime page, it states that "Evangaline," the runner of the brothel, was a man, but the article states s/he was a 17-year old girl. Can anyone clarify?

It was a 17-year old boy playing as a girl. The links on the Virtual Crime page that go to Alphaville Herald would tell you more. --YoungFreud 6 July 2005 23:42 (UTC)

It does actually say "17-year old boy" and refers to the fact that he is male, though it could do with a clearer note that he was playing as a female character. violet/riga (t) 7 July 2005 09:05 (UTC)
A statment like that is immaterial to the point of the paragraph. It doesn't matter what gender this person is vs. the character used, the point of the entry is the brothel incident. The relative gender of the character and user are only important if we consider that to be of greater importance than the brothel itself. --Aaryna 17:13, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Real-money trading[edit]

Real-money trading and the "real" economy interaction section of the Virtual economy article are about the same subject, and the title "Real-money trading" is not descriptive enough. Jobarts-Talk 00:16, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the merge, as long as the title Virtual Economy is kept, the other one seems to be incorrect and confusing. --Hetar 22:50, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I think we can redirect the other article into this one after merging. Antonio Carlos Porto 12:39, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree as well. Since it's such a big article, should all the info from the Real-money trading article be dumped or just everything that isn't specifically mentioned in this one? Edit - Almost everything on the Real-money trading article was either already here or not cited, so I'm going to turn it into a redirect. -- DSGruss 17:25, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

This needs its own section. RMT an activity that can occur in a virtual economy. It is related to Virtual Item Sales (VAS). VAS is a buisnes model which describes the legal sale of virtual items/assets by the operator of the virtual world. This is sometimes called the primary market. RMT is often the illegal version of the same activity, the secondary market. Often the user sells virtual items where it is prohibited by the EULA (End User License Agreement) e.g. World of Warcraft. See RMT Strategiesfor a detailed look a RMT. --HapticHedonist 21:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Cases of virtual property sales banned by operator tried in court[edit]

I'm currently working on the swedish article on MMORPGs and its section on virtual property, and I seem to have mislaid my old material on court cases about the enforcement of virtual property sales. Specifically, the only court case I can recall was that of BlackIce. The company sued - I believe - Mythic (and possibly other companies as well) but the case disintegrated as BlackIce was discovered to be a bit less than lawful themselves (this from my recollection of events; I'm asking because I can't find the actual documents). Part of the coverage of the events was done by one or two of the major MMO-gamer sites at the time (I believe PlayertoPlayer(?) or possibly GameSpy), who undertook what in retrospect could be seen as a precursor to GrokLaw - for instance, they published legal documents of the case as pdfs on their site. I'd appreciate any clues, remnants or documentation of those events, as I believe that was the first attempt to try, in court, the banning (in EULA) of out-of-game sales of in-game property. Thanks, // OlofE 10:05, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Economy stability[edit]

"In extreme cases, a hacker may be able to hack into the system and create a large amount of money. This could result in hyperinflation in the game as is the case with Guild Wars." No source for proof. This makes Guild Wars look like it is hacked, while every exploit gets fixed and accounts gets banned, and even the system has been once reverted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

Taxing on Virtual Currency[edit]

I think there should be a section about the bill that congress is debating on whether they should be allowed to tax in game currency.

Any suggestions? 23:03, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Can I just ask why MapleStory is NOT included. Players can sell and buy items using mesos. Players can EVEN set up their own shops in areas known as the "free market". Free markets can be found in various cities in MapleStory. Tell me three reasons why NOT to include MapleStory.MapleStory's economy is GIANT with more than 70 million players. If no one replies, I WILL change it. Tally Ho!Darano 01:10, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

The article (poor as it is) is not a list of virtual economies. Thus even notable virtual economies (if MapleStory's qualifies) shouldn't necessarily be mentioned. Merely adding it because you're a MapleStory fan would likely detract from the article, and just add one more thing to clean up. W (talk) 04:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

other perspectives... ? ripple pay and cambros --- - -[edit]

what about Ripple monetary system and virtual currencies at sites like Cambrian House (Cambros)? --Emesee (talk) 05:50, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:WoW accounts.jpg[edit]

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Inflation IRL[edit]

Before my edit today, artcile mentioned one particular institution that is controlling inflation in a particular country. Inflation, is steady percentage increase in money to goods ratio. During peaceful times, with technical progress and more-free-than-not trade, supply of goods increases. With steady amount of money on market, the prices shouldn't rise, but get lower. One of ways of explaining inflation is that it is spiral of increases in prices of producers, sellers and wages of laborers. The truth is, that given steady amount of money, the market would indeed suffer shortly when almost everyone gone insane and started valuing money too much - but then most insane businesses would go bankrupt, and the prices would get balanced. Inflation is de facto occuring only, when at least one of the factors - goods or money amount on market, is chaning. So if we determined that during peaceful times without crisis we have increase in goods, than inflation requires even greater percentage increase in money amount. The institutions dedicated to controlling inflation are actually those responsible for it's existence - they are printing money to maintain level of inflation they desire. According to Keynesianism, it is good for economy, when certain level of inflation is maintained by dedicated insitution, by printing new money. This all said, i think that removing sentence that said that some institution is keeping inflation low was legit, since it's actually job of this insitution to keep it higher than in natural situation.

As a side note, since it is all non biased, that i wrote above, time for something biased (not related to the edit in article tough). When we've already have inflation covered, please visualise all goods and services on market as a basket of apples. Everyone of us had their share of work that we got some dollars for. And now we can sum up all dollars and all apples and determine price of an apple in dollars. So if we have 24 dollars in total, and i have 3, and we have 18 apples, then i can buy 2 apples and have some cents back. Now, if somebody has the power to print money, they could print additional 12 dollars. Market reacts to the printing in 6-12 months (different sources may give different information tough). Our market is small, so it reacted instantly. We now have a new price, of 2$ per apple, what means i can only have 1 and a half of apple. That's what inflation is about - eating up consumming power of your money. While before priting everyone who worked for their money together had whole basket, now some institution holds 1/3 of money, and thus 1/3 of all apples. This means people of labor and people of initiative lost 1/3 of their consumming power...

Now you know what does it mean, when you have inflation of 2% - if you had no money printed, process would be reversed, with each day there would be more apples in the basket, while your money, kept in the bank as a base of investment credit, would be worth more and more apples each year. So if there was no inflation maintaining institution, your withdrawing money from market would be signal: i am not buying today, you can have my apples, but i will be buying tommorow, when apples are cheaper. Of course that's just first lesson of true capitallism.

If you got asny curious, there's plenty of people more experienced than me - this school of economy is over 100 years old. There's plenty of reading out there, check Austrain School for example. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:02, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Related articles that need improvement (if not merging)[edit]

The following two articles look like they need improvement badly (as of 26 May 2010) just to match the level of this one. Besides, the subjects may overlap and duplicate, therefore perhaps some content can be moved between articles.

Personally I'm not that determined, interested, even competent to touch this, so just signalling the problem to you.

The state of neglect that these articles have apparently been left for years is curious: is it that Wikipedia and Internet economy are somehow at odds?

6birc (talk) 17:24, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

A handful of other articles not necessarily in poor condition which seem to overlap conceptually with the above—perhaps should be consolidated/merged:

6birc (talk) 17:37, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


I'm going to undo this edit adding "proto-economy" as a possible synonym. A "proto-economy" would probably mean an economy in the early stages of developing, whether virtual or in a physical village, or whatever. A quick search turned up some uses of "proto-economy" relating to "virtual economy", but they look to me like they're used in this "early economy" sense. CRETOG8(t/c) 23:42, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

"Virtual currency"[edit]

The usage of Virtual currency (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is up for discussion, see talk:digital currency -- (talk) 03:53, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

cross meaning[edit]

We have been using the terms in app purchases or in game purchases for decades to refer to buying things in a game for use in a game usually using money earned from within the game - ie in the wonderboy games. This article doesn't have anything to diffentiate when or not an in app or in game purchase refers to purchasing something in a game with or without real life money. ZhuLien ZhuLien (talk) 09:41, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Secondary Markets, Liquidity, and Rivalry[edit]

Just thought I'd mention that I believe secondary markets seem to imply the real economic concept of "liquidity", and that the definition given for "rivalry" seems to form the opposite concept. Does "rivalry" have a correlating term in (Political) Economics? -- TheLastWordSword (talk) 14:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Pfft. Yes, it does. LOL. -- TheLastWordSword (talk) 14:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Hoffmann's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Hoffmann has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

I would add economic experiments done in virtual economies.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Hoffmann has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Thomas Chesney & Swee-Hoon Chuah & Robert Hoffmann, 2007. "Virtual world experimentation: An exploratory study," Occasional Papers 21, Industrial Economics Division.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 15:03, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Dr. Chuah's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Chuah has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

Comment 1:

"However, some people do interact with virtual economies for "real" economic benefit.". It needs to be pointed out that there has been extensive growth in VE where people trade for "real" economic benefits.

As pointed out by Nazir and Lui (2016), the last decade has seen massive growth in the VE market size. For example, up to 2014, Second Life alone generated economic transactions to the value of US$ 3.2 billion. This was more than what was expected of all VEs combined back in 2004 (Castronova,2001; Linden Lab, 2013a). These in-world transactions have real-world impact as the virtual currencies can be converted to real money. As a result, real-world companies are increasingly attracted to VE. Virtual supermarkets are even expected in the near future (Khan & Brouwer, 2016). Apart from commerce, virtual worlds will also have a place in the future for entertainment and education. Within education, for instance, a large number of respected institutions have a presence within virtual worlds including University of Illinois, Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University (Downey, 2014).

Comment 2: Due to the growing popularity of VEs, economists have started investigating virtual worlds as functioning financial, labour and product markets that are capable of producing a host of micro and macroeconomic phenomena (Guest, 2007).

Experimental economists have explored the potential of virtual worlds to bridge the gap between laboratory experiments and field studies, allowing researchers to use representative subjects in more natural environments to study the relationship between the conditions of interaction and the evolution of social institutions in a controlled manner.

One of the very first virtual economic experiments was conducted in 2007 by Chesney Chuah and Hoffmann (2009) to examine the feasibility of virtual worlds as practical experimental platforms. In order to allow comparability with the conventional lab setting as far as possible, these researchers harnessed the customisability of Second Life to create a virtual experimental laboratory in detail including participant desks and partitions programmed to make communication between them impossible. They then used their avatars to recruit participants from among Second Life users located in this world’s virtual public places and teleported volunteers to the virtual laboratory. The virtual participants, through their avatars, then performed a range of standard interactive decision tasks including the ultimatum, dictator, minimum effort, guessing and public good games under (simulated) standard lab conditions. These games were selected as established measurement tools for a range of human social motivations including fairness, altruism, cooperation, reciprocity and coordination. In particular, stylised results from conventional lab experiments exists for these games and could serve as a benchmark. They found that task behaviour in the virtual lab in these games did not differ significantly from established real-world results. A number of subsequent experiments have also used Second Life to recruit participants for experimental sessions conducted in simulated lab facilities (e.g. Atlas and Putterman, 2011). Some of these experiments have also compared experimental results from the virtual lab with comparable sessions conducted in physical settings (Fiedler and Haruvy, 2009; Fiedler, 2009; Fiedler et al., 2011; Fullbrunn et al., 2011; Greiner et al., 2014).

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

We believe Dr. Chuah has expertise on the topic of this article, since she has published relevant scholarly research:

  • Reference : Thomas Chesney & Swee-Hoon Chuah & Robert Hoffmann, 2007. "Virtual world experimentation: An exploratory study," Occasional Papers 21, Industrial Economics Division.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 18:31, 26 July 2016 (UTC)