Virtual Macroeconomics

An odd illustration of macroeconomics can be found in the world of online currencies for MMORPGS, as described here. As a commenter mentions there, I don’t think the EverQuest valuations are correct, but its still quite an interesting phenomenon. Especially things like the market for trading between virtual currencies.

Author: Patri Friedman

Patri Friedman is a consequentalist libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, separatist, communalist, and optimist. While his main interest is in practical ways of building freedom, like most libs he also enjoys endless theoretical shit-slinging and hair-splitting. His practical efforts are mainly directed towards Seasteading, a project to build floating cities at a reasonable cost.

3 thoughts on “Virtual Macroeconomics”

  1. Edward Castronova had hit bottom. Three years ago, the thirty-eight-year-old economist was, by his own account, an academic failure. He had chosen an unpopular field — welfare research — and published only a handful of papers that, as far as he could tell, “had never influenced anybody.” He’d scraped together a professorship at the Fullerton campus of California State University, a school that did not even grant Ph.D.s. He lived in a lunar, vacant suburb. He’d once dreamed of being a major economics thinker, but now faced the grim sense that he might already have hit his plateau. “I’m a schmo at a state school,” he thought. And since his wife worked in another city, he was, on top of it all, lonely.


    Everybody now: play those tiny violins, in stereo.

    Thus dwindle all “professional economists”.

  2. Everquest reminds me of a proposal I had for an online “virtual world” game. I would have called it “Crankquest”. The idea would be that you would play the role of a drug addict, buying “drugs” and committing “crimes” online. The main thing would be that it would be just as expensive as being a real drug user, but you’d never actually get high.

    The wonders of this future age of ours!

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