Space Money

This Economist Got Hired to Study Video Game Economies (And He’s Blogging About It)

Team Fortress 2.

Last week, a Washington-based gaming company got some attention for an odd job listing: economist. “Valve’s multi-player games… have allowed for the spontaneous emergence of complex virtual, yet quite real, economies,” the company said. “The task of a Valve economist is to make good use of the incredible wealth of data concerning these social economies, to pose fresh questions about their workings, and to generate methods for converting new knowledge about these economic vistas into tangible ideas that help improve our customers’ experiences.”

The chance to study an economy using perfect data? Yanis Varoufakis, a professor of economic theory at the University of Athens and visiting professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, took the bait. “I was more than intrigued. I was interested!” the economist wrote on his newly-launched Valve Economics blog, which already has more than 1,100 RSS subscribers. Read More