Here's a question many researchers have stumbled over at one point or another in their careers as pioneering virtual world analysts: Why do people pay real money for virtual items?
Pixels and Policy takes a look.
Digital Growth, Real Revenue
The virtual economy is certainly more than an aberration, and with Second Life bringing in nearly $500 million a year in virtual sales alone, the virtual economy may even be doing better than the real economy!
A new report published in the Virtual Economy Research Network argues that Second Life and other virtual worlds have such healthy real-to-virtual economies because of one main factor: social pressure.