Thursday, October 1, 2009

World of Economies

Virtual Economies in Videogames Used as Case Studies

This article describes how a research group at Indiana University is attempting to use video games to try and simulate real-world economies. Lead by professor of telecommunications, Edward Castronova, these researchers are looking at how Massive Multiplayer Online game economies mirror and deal with similar issues our national economy is currently facing such as inflation. They are using the game known as EverQuest II as a case study.

It is important to note that the demographics of the video game users do not closely match those of the real-world. There is a significantly larger number of males (80% versus 50%) in the video game world and the income for the average gamer is also considerably higher ($84,000 versus $57,000).


I think it is a cool idea to use video game economies to try and mimic a real one. We are able to manipulate these fake economies and use a sort of trial and error approach that cannot be done in the real world. It could potentially provide some answers and solutions for the problems we are facing today. However, I believe economists have access to better virtual economy models than the ones offered by video games. The idea is fun and new but does not seem to be the best possible method to solve the complex problems of our economy.

I could see the application of video game economies for high school or basic-level college economy courses. It is an entertaining and interesting way to introduce the material to students. Beyond that, I feel it would be a waste to college Junior and Seniors that need a more authentic experience that closer reflects our world today.
Gaudiosi, John. "Virtual Economies in Videogames Used as Case Studies." Reuters 01 Oct 2009 : 1-2. Web. 1 Oct 2009.


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