May 13, 2009 SDF Virtual Economies

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On May 13, 2009 in Palo Alto at Pillsbury Winthrop SDForum’s Emerging Technology SIG hosted Bill Grosso of Twofish. He presented ‘Virtual Worlds and Real Metrics: Tangible Statistics about Imaginary Goods’.

Several years ago I watched Second Life ban gambling and banking as people misbehaved in virtual economies. To me, virtual economies allowed people to do virtually anything they wanted. I watched what happened there and saw it reflected in the real world. If more economic activity like purchasing virtual goods and services was going to take place, I shuddered at the thought of a digital dismal science, but there is hope.

Bill Grosso has thought about virtual economics more than anyone and says there are differences between it and the real world. We need more and better management tools than to just “avoid hyperinflation” or worse. We need an agreed-upon consensus as to the key metrics to use in doing so.

He started with some history (covering some early ideas in measuring virtual economies) and then explored some of the metrics that make sense for a virtual economy. He talked about how to increase profit in a virtual world and how to detect interesting user behaviors and profiles through economic measures. He showed screenshots of how Twofish’s analytics platform illustrated key points.


Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.