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Space Money

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

Space Money

You May Soon Be Able to Get a Credit Line Based on Your Klout Score

Mr. King.

Betabeat has a new internet bank to dote on now that BankSimple has abandoned us for the City of Roses. Movenbank is a New York-based personal banking service that uses near field communication–the same technology as Google Wallet–to remove the cards and the wallet from banking transactions and replace them with your phone. Founder Brett King, an Aussie based in New York and London, rode the success of his book, Bank 2.0, and his experience with his boutique consultancy firm User Strategy, to start up a bank with “No paper. No plastic. No hidden fees.” The bank is launching its first product, a Mint-esque personal finance profile based on social data, on October 1 and plans to roll out the financial services over the summer. Read More