The New Economy

September 02, 2013 11:14 ET

Virtual Economies and the Real World Consequences

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Sept. 2, 2013) - The evolution of video gaming has given rise to vast and nuanced virtual economies, many of which share an affinity with real world equivalents and offer a landscape on which to implement complex economic models. Titles such as Eve Online accommodate over 500,000 players - who each rack up an average of 22 hours game time a week and shed $200 a year on subscription fees - which goes some way to explain how virtual worlds can often mirror real world scenarios.

The New Economy journalist Aaran Fronda considers the importance of in-game economies in better understanding the world in which we all play a part. "Virtual economies can allow the player to view national economies and the financial institutions within them for what they really are, which is socially constructed objects that exist largely in the mind."

Eve Online developer, Eino Joas claims, "Good economic design is about making rules that are understandable, solid and provide the right incentives, and game developers have the advantage of being able to use trial and error to figure out the things that work."

The New Economy article also delves into the emergence of virtual consumption and the ways in which it could perhaps offset material consumerism in the near future. Fronda considers whether our national economies are in fact "complex socioeconomic games developed by our governments," and if so, whether game developers could offer an insight into the complex machinations of 21st century economics.

As the digital age paves the way for increasingly complex virtual communities such as Eve Online, we must utilise these opportunities - whether real or virtual - in departing from the failed economic models of yesteryear.

Head over to The New Economy now and read the article in full.

http://www.theneweconomy.com/technology/virtual-worlds-and-broken-models

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