Whether you believe it or not, the in-game economy consists of more than too many people putting up metal resources, or that putz who believes he'll get 13 pp for a level 40 master spell. Edward Castanova, an economics professor, speaks to business week about the reality of in-game economics and how they work.

When economist Edward Castronova wrote his first paper in 2001 about the economies of online games, he did it mostly as a joke. But even by then, he realized that in online virtual-world games such as Sony Entertainment's EverQuest, people were creating new economies that were as good as real to millions of participants. His studies eventually drove him to write an entire book about the subject, Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games, published last year.

Read businessweeks article Virtual Worlds, Virtual Economies and mull over this type of thinking next time you go shopping on the broker.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016