01 February 2005

They run for fun

More signs The Economist is going soft: Here's a quote from a light article on the economies of online role-playing games, some of which allow players to sell virtual in-game items to other players for real-world cash, and some of which forbid it.

Normally, this newspaper's devotion to free trade is unwavering. Yet curbing the trade of in-game items is defensible, since game economies are run to maximise fun, not efficiency. While writing his forthcoming book, “Synthetic Worlds”, Mr Castronova has been pondering whether real economies could be run for fun too. “Wouldn't that tip the economics texts on their heads?” he muses.

I'm reminded of the words of the great Dr Seuss (reviews):

From there to here, from here to there
Funny things are everywhere.
Here are some who like to run.
They run for fun in the hot, hot sun.
Oh me! Oh my! Oh me! Oh my!
What a lot of funny things go by.

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