The Start of VMT

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In video game circles, the acronym "RMT" stands for "real money trade". This is the long standing practice of people paying real money for virtual goods. Well -- and it was inevitable -- it looks like the direction has been reversed. Via Mashable I saw an article noting that people are starting to sell real-world goods for virtual-world currency.

This may not be the very first instance of the activity, but it has now moved to being a whole business model. There really is nothing surprising about this -- at least if you already don't see anything odd about being able to buy computer hardware for "money" you earned playing a video game.

My question: what's the average amount of time it takes to make, say, 100 Linden dollars? With that information in hand, it should be a quick path to figuring out a few things about the time value of leisure for Second Life players. I think it would be fascinating to compare how long it takes to make the equal amount of buying power in Second Life as in the real world. How many hours would an average player need to work to buy, say, this monitor in Second Life versus her first (real) life? (Running at about $399 at TigerDirect, and 140,000 Linden dollars.)

What I'd expect to find: it takes quite a bit longer in Second Life. But the money would be spent on upgrades and various small computer items that are mprovements on the gaming experience, since I think this would be treated simply as a fun by-product of playing Second Life. That said, I'd also expect to see people under-estimate how long it takes as compared to real world work, possibly implying over-valution of their leisure time. (That is, they think it's pretty fast, and so spend more time playing in the belief that the value of playing the game is higher than it really might be -- though that requires some squishy comparisons in leisure activities, I suppose.)

And just FYI, as of yet, T&B cannot accept Linden Dollars as currency for tips. The regular large donations to Swedish Swiss bank accounts is still the preferred method. (NOTE: Donations will also be accepted in allotments of soda to stave off problems relating to low caffeine supplies for Ian.)

2 Comments

Swedish banks?
Swedish banks?

Hmmmm....

Swiss banks I could understand...

:-)

JohnF

This is what happens when I post before my morning caffeine.

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This page contains a single entry by published on January 23, 2006 9:35 AM.

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