News, research and discussion on virtual goods, currencies and economies globally.

JVWR issue on virtual economies, goods and service delivery published

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research has published its latest issue (volume 2, issue 4) titled Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds. Official announcement and list of articles below the fold.

In other news, slides from my presentation at the Game Developers Conference 2010 Social & Online Games Summit are now online: Why Do People Buy Virtual Goods? Ten Attributes That Influence Item Desirability. The room was packed and I hope the audience got what they wanted. Feedback welcome!

Volume 2, Number 4: Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds

In this special edition on virtual-world goods and trade, we are pleased to present articles from a global cohort of contributors covering a wide range of issues. Some of our writers, such Edward Castronova, Julian Dibbell or KZero’s Nic Mitham will be well known to you as distinguished leaders in the field, but it is equally our pleasure to introduce exciting new voices. Here you will find pieces written by academics, practitioners, journalists, a documentary filmmaker and perhaps the youngest contributor to JVWR yet, Eli Kosminksy, who attends high school in upstate New York. We would also point out that this issue extends its format to include Anthony Gilmore’s pictorial story, Julian Dibbell’s audio interview, and Lori Landay’s machinima. In real life, most contributors live in the US, the UK and Europe, and we, the editors, are based in Australia and France.

The editorial team for this issue includes:

  • Mandy Salomon, Smart Services CRC, Australia
  • Serge Soudoplatoff, ESCP-EAP / Hetic, France

Editor′s Corner

Why Virtual-World Economies Matter

Mandy Salomon

Serge Soudoplatoff

Abstract | PDF


Interactive Online Exhibits and Demonstrations

Rethinking Virtual Commodification, or The Virtual Kitchen Sink

Lori Landay

Movie | PDF


Invited Articles

On Money and Magic

Edward Castronova

Abstract | PDF

Characteristics of the Virtual Economy (after ‘State of Play VI’ Conference , 2009)

Julian Dibbel


China′s New Gold Farm

Anthony Gilmore

Abstract | PDF

Virtual Goods: Good for Business?

Nic Mitham

Abstract | PDF


Peer Reviewed Research Papers

“We Will Always Be One Step Ahead of Them” A Case Study on the Economy of Cheating in MMORPGs

Stefano de Paoli, Aphra Kerr

Abstract | PDF

An Exploration of Entrepreneurship in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: Second Life and Entropia Universe

Stéphane Kieger

Abstract | PDF

Born Virtuals and Avapreneurship: A case study of achieving successful outcomes in Peace Train – a Second Life organization

Robin Teigland

Abstract | PDF

Virtual Commerce (V-Commerce) in Second Life: The Roles of Physical Presence and Brand-Self Connection

Seung-A Annie Jin, Justin Bolebruch

Abstract | PDF


Research Papers

Understanding “Gold Farming” and Real-Money Trading as the Intersection of Real and Virtual Economies

Richard Heeks

Abstract | PDF

World of Warcraft: The Viability of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games as Platforms for Modeling and Evaluating Perfect Competition

Eli Kosminsky

Abstract | PDF


“Think Pieces”

Currencies and Capitalisms on the Internet

Minna Ruckenstein

Abstract | PDF

Licensing Considerations for OpenSim-Based Virtual Worlds

Shenlei E. Winkler

Abstract | PDF



Teens and Virtual Goods: The Fun, Useful and Affordable Luxuries that are Driving the Virtual Economy

Maura Welch

Abstract | PDF


Editor-in-Chief′s Corner

Topping from the Viewfinder: The Visual Language of Virtual BDSM Photographs in Second Life

Shaowen Bardzell

Abstract | PDF