Virtual economy

12 01 2009

While the recent economic downturn may seem like a virtual economy to some (as in where did the economy go?), I’m actually referring to the economy (economies?) of online worlds (or games) like Second Life or World of Warcraft. You see, in some of these worlds it is possible for players to trade virtual goods (clothing, land, weaponry, etc.) for use in the game. Some players have even taken it a step further and are selling their hard-earned virtual goods for real money.

This industry is growing enough to attract the attention of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, suggesting that they may soon be looking for these entrepreneurs to pay tax on their capital gains. If that happens, the virtual economy will get a dose of reality (and may experience its own economic downturn).

Read more on the story from Ars Technica.




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