Monday, February 09, 2004

Virtual Cash Breeds Real Greed:

The “Gaming Open Market” is a currency exchange where traders can buy and sell Simoleans, Lindenbucks, and the virtual money of other online game worlds. There’s a partial list of these games near the beginning of this 2-page Wired News Story that discusses the exchange. I’m quite fascinated by the way virtual online worlds are navigating towards the real one, and we now have people (some of whom do not even play any of these games) speculating with game money. The article includes a warning by Dan Hunter (of the Wharton Business school) that these currencies are inherently subject to inflation. The article also asks whether some of the game sites will hold such activities illegal. There are fascinating questions about whether people injured in bad transactions would have legal recourse. “…I am buying nothing, and then selling nothing, for a profit," said one speculator they interviewed.
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