Virtual Currencies: The Rise of a Not-So-Virtual Monetary Unit

From FarmVille Dollars to the Evony Cent,
nearly every virtual world, multiplayer game and online environment
seems to be adopting synthetic currencies – the little tokens we
happily give our real money to acquire.

Virtual
currencies each have their own exchange rate, from L$250 to $1 in
Second Life to 50 Evony Cents for $5 and everywhere in between. But
once successful virtual currency company now claims the success of a
virtual currency has little to do with its price.

Continue reading Virtual Currencies: The Rise of a Not-So-Virtual Monetary Unit

Why Do People Pay Real Cash for Virtual Items?

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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.

Continue reading Why Do People Pay Real Cash for Virtual Items?

Merry Virtual Christmas: $30 Million Spent on Virtual Items over Holidays

Virtual economies are the subject du jour for 2010, and the mainstream media is catching on. Could it be residual hype from the booming virtual goods market or something much more fundamental – a growing understanding that these worlds are more than mere games?

During a Christmas shopping season that disappointed most retailers, virtual goods sales had a banner year, moving tens of millions of dollars in digital loot and setting up for a solid 2010. Is the growth of the virtual goods market a long-term trend?

Pixels and Policy takes a look.

Continue reading Merry Virtual Christmas: $30 Million Spent on Virtual Items over Holidays

Can Virtual Currencies Eclipse Real Currency?

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EVE Online's ISK: The currency of the future?

From FarmVille Dollars to the Evony Cent, nearly every virtual world, multiplayer game and online environment seems to be adopting synthetic currencies – the little tokens we happily give our real money to acquire.

Virtual currencies each have their own exchange rate, from L$250 to $1 in Second Life to 50 Evony Cents for $5 and everywhere in between. But once successful virtual currency company now claims the success of a virtual currency has little to do with its price.

Pixels and Policy investigates Cellufun's claim that content – not cost – is the prime indicator of a virtual currrency's success.

Continue reading Can Virtual Currencies Eclipse Real Currency?