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
    Never played WoW, 17 Oct 2006 @ 10:49am

    Wow Money Real Money

    I propose that WoW money could be exchanged for real money:

    Imagine this: a one-month subscription cost (I don't know what it is, so let's say $15) could be equivalent to $15K or $15M in WoW money.

    That means that if a player buys/kills/finds enough money in the world (meaning, they play a lot), they rack up enough money after a few weeks or months to allow for "one month free". They would take their $15K to the in-game stores and trade it, instead of weapons or needed items, for game-time.

    That kind of "reward system" would keep WoW gamers playing, it wouldn't cost the company all TOO much in "lost revinue" (if the cost of "free" game-time was steep enough), and it would help the WoW economy so these mysterious "million-dollar disappearings" don't need to happen.

    Or, they could just create a central bank inside of WoW, with the chance for gamers to group together and try to rob the place; full with "getting caught means you go straight to jail". :-p

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