On Salon, Andrew Leonard ruminates on a new paper that tries to analyze gold farming (doing repetitive in-game tasks to earn money that is sold to players) with international development. Richard Heeks's (University of Manchester) new paper "Current Analysis and Future Research Agenda on "Gold Farming": Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games" is the first paper to explore gold farming from a development perspective, and as the title suggests, it is mostly a literature review and an attempt to define the areas for future research on the topic.
This was a pure-gold find for me, as I'm working on a young adult novel called For the Win that expands my story Anda's Game (about union organizers who sign up gold farmers in the developing world), and I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about gold farming. Heeks's paper is absolutely enthralling (for me, at least), a very broad and thorough survey of what we know, what we think we know and what we definitely don't know about gold farming -- it was even worth putting up with the world's least readable typeface (though it gave me a splitting headache). (Coincidentally, Andrew Leonard is the Salon editor who bought and published Anda's Game in the first place).
World of development economics Warcraft
Continuing survival of the sub-sector also relies on overcoming some severe
information failures – absence, uncertainty, asymmetry, and communication
problems. These have produced many examples of both opportunism and adverse
selection, with trading bringing uncertainty, risk and negative consequences. As
expected, these seem likely to have suppressed real-money trading well below its
"natural" level, and to have induced sellers into (potentially-hollow) assertions about
their trustworthiness. Because of its virtuality, though, real-money trading has seen
only a little of the localisation and intermediation one might otherwise expect in the
presence of such information failures.
Thirdly, continuing survival of gold farming relies on dealing with the many threats it
faces. Some of these are business-generic such as ease of entry intensifying
competition, or rising labour costs. Others are business-specific but just a low-level
nuisance such as character killing or account and IP banning or fraud. Others still –
patching, game redesign and marketing channel blocks – require constant innovation
to stay one step ahead. And a final category is much more serious such as game
company substitution or legal action by governments or game companies. Game
companies probably take such action through a mix of economic, moral and personal
in-game experience rationales. But one must recognise that gold farming bringsa
benefits to these companies, while action against gold farming brings both anticipated
and perhaps unanticipated costs.
, Current Analysis and Future Research Agenda on "Gold Farming": Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games (PDF)
Ben Stewart’s Sword Shop is a minimalist buy-and-sell game. Every day, people come into your sword shop wanting to sell your their old gear. And, hopefully, more will come it to buy it. Everyday you will be offered swords at different conditions and rarities, your goal is to make a profit. This is accomplished by […]
Chimpanzees at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute have learned to play the game rock-paper-scissors. From Phys.org: (Seven chimpanzees) sat in a booth housing a computer-based touchscreen and were trained to choose the stronger of two options (based on the rules of the game) they saw on screen. They first learnt the paper-rock sequence, then the […]
After years of buzz, the USC Game Innovation Lab finally released Walden: The Game earlier this month, allowing players to immerse themselves in a six-hour experience in which they play Henry David Thoreau on his gripping quest for solitude and mental clarity.
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]