Excuse Me, Do You Take Project Entropia Dollars?
from the charge-it-to-the-game dept
If you just had a long day of work inside a MMORPG, now there's a debit card for you. The creators of Project Entropia are now offering a card that can be used at any ATM to instantly convert the game's currency into actual cash. In the past, if a user wanted to convert in-game assets into cash they needed to sell their wares or gold pieces online (eBay typically). The tighter integration between the real-world financial system and that of virtual worlds expands their potential role as economic laboratories. For example, in this scheme Project Entropia converts PEDs (Project Entropia Dollars) to US dollars at a rate of ten to one. But in the real world, fixed exchange rates are hard to sustain (ask China about that). It'll be interesting to see if they ever need to move to a floating exchange rate, which naturally occurs in other games when transactions occur over third party channels. The games could also help us study free banking, a system whereby banks print up their own currency in the absence of a centralized issuing authority. Banks (and in this case the various virtual worlds) have a strong incentive to maintain the strength of their currency by not printing too much of it. Already some companies like to recruit game players, how long will it be before Wall St. starts looking to gamers to find currency specialists.