Virtual world economies examined
BusinessWeek Online interviews Edward Castronova, an economist who has become something of an authority of MMO / "virtual world" economies. He touches on World of Warcraft and Second Life, and it's always interesting to see knowledgable folks talk about the blurring line between reality and fantasy.
As if that's not enough, do you have other concerns about online games?
I'm also concerned that this commercial impulse could swallow up the separateness of these places. I would hate to see all that lost because of unregulated profit-seeking.
I would like there to be some kind of provision, like a wilderness preserve sort of law, for these places. We would need to have a law saying that if you promise you will seal off this world so people can't money-launder with it and can't liquidate the returns, we won't come in and tax all the transactions, and we won't subject you to child labor laws.
Check out this article on the macroeconomics of MMOs at BusinessWeek Online.