What Kind Of Virtual Economy Is It When Millions Of Dollars Just Disappear?

from the ask-Cartman dept

For years, we've been hearing reports about the growth of in-game virtual economies, often claiming things like it's equal to the economy of Namibia. Of course, many of those claims break down when you look closely at them, as the numbers are actually much smaller than claimed, or the transactions are questionably counted. There are also other problems with trying to count in-game economies -- partly because they're very much at the whim of the makers of various games. So, for example, when World of Warcraft makers Blizzard simply remove 11 million gold pieces from circulation, after shutting down accounts that made gold through fraud and cheats, how is that counted in the grand economic scheme? Just like questions revolving around whether or not real world laws apply within games, it's not so easy to just say that the economies of these games can be equated with real world economies as well.

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  1. identicon
    The infamous Joe, 17 Oct 2006 @ 10:07am

    Ah, now I see...

    I think I get it now, the author of this article was comparing apples and oranges to trick me into posting a comment..

    I live somewhat in a hole, so this Entropia Universe thing is relatively new to me... however, I do play Wow, and it seems to me that the two aren't comparable. (In this matter)

    In WoW, if you decide to cancel your subscription, it doesn't matter if you have 2 copper or 720 gold, all that happens is that you can no longer play. The Entropia Universe, judging only from what I can glean from the comments above, if you make lots of in-game money, and decide to stop playing (Or whatever you do in a virtual world) you actually make REAL money depending on how much in game money you've horded.

    So, the two aren't even really comparable when it comes to taxes, and yes, if you "earn" enough cash in EU, you SHOULD be taxed... after you cash out... because before that it's not exactly "liquid". Or maybe you can choose on being taxed in game or when you quit... Of course, what do I know?

    The real question*, to me, is: Who wants to live a normal life on the computer? Why not.. uh.. just go outside-- or to work? (As opposed to me, who probably wouldn't last long running around with a sword, slaying things.)

    *I lied, this is not a real question. Please don't answer this: It's just a joke, and not a very funny one at that.

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