Virtual world grows real economy

January 29, 2002 | Source: New Scientist

A computer game played by thousands of enthusiasts over the Internet has spawned an economy with a per-capita income comparable to that of a small country, according to new research by a US economist.
The online fantasy game EverQuest lets players create and control characters–or avatars–within a fantasy world called Norrath.

Characters gain skills and possessions that they can then trade with other players using the game’s currency of “platinum pieces”. However, many EverQuest players have found this process too complicated and have instead opted to sell their assets for real money though trading web sites such as eBay.