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Artificial markets in games

These kinds of articles are always really interesting to me: The new economics of Counter-Strike.

One of the big problems for economics, as a science, is that it’s nearly impossible to follow the Scientific Method by tweaking variables and rerunning experiments. Instead, you can only look backwards, build models, watch future data, and confirm. The weakness there, of course, is that you can never truly make sure your measurements are independent.

But video games have a lot to teach economists – through artificial like Hollywood Stock Exchange, Second Life, etc., you can adjust rules, rerun experiments, and generally have a contained little space to see how humans interact with one another. Pretty damn interesting stuff.

The most famous study I’ve seen comes from the economy of Everquest. Article here, and paper is here.

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