A magic sword that someone could play for 10 hours to get it for free, and someone would buy it for $100 when they could get it for free playing for 1o hours. But that made sense because it saved the 10 hours.

At peak we had plots of land that sold for $10k per plot. Like the real world, location location location. There was no way to resist the truth, that virtual items takes effort time and expense to acquire. As demand rises for rare objects (and land), of course the value of that virtual but limited item rises. …like bitcoin mining… Virtually inevitable, no way to resist it. These virtual items have quantifiable real world value.

In a game, if you want to do monetary policy? You can just push a button, and it happens far more quickly than in the real world. We can change or avert it instantaneously, we can instantaneously react. As a laboratory, it was a great place. We ran into problems early on, we didn’t realize we were creating a deep monetary policy, we though we were just making a game, willy nilly. Suddenly we had rampant inflation. Slowly but surely infinite “wealth”. The prize of sword or house by necessity had to go up, … rate of pace… stumbled into the monetary policy experiment. …it took us a few years to do that… in the case of a game … different from real world [leaving the world] is different As an experiment for variables, watch quickly, great experiment bed Faucets and Sinks … the sword can never leave shroud of avatar (unlike bitcoins) trade for the real world (bitcoins) real currencies

We were making the game for entertainment, we thought we were selling entertainment… we didn’t want to be in the banking business playing games professionally bad side: gold farmers, china, low wage sweatshop, bots and scripts that can kill and deny real life players good side: in game theater, rented by playwright, backstage, charge fee for front door, put on a good play (virtually) have tools in game to reward people who are good at content creation we cannot come close to creating content fast enough economic benefit game credit for contributions, conceptually good, but 90% wasn’t a good fit not curated in a way that was needed self curated incredibly custom cryptocurrency content creation advertising creation of value receiving currency first, mining we will ultimately take bitcoin in the game

In game, will accept bitcoin at some point

Software issues

Bitcoin meteoric last year, even bigger meteoric year ahead once the software problems taken care off (paying in cabs etc…)

repurposing of existing technologies e.g. magic the gathering exchange

not gonna make a good plane, legacy issues, players not having the resources to deliver on the experience

critical mass in rela world not yet met

internet is the real way, companies coming on in the next 6 months

Linux and curation, incredibly superior

linux as the professional operating system (on the backside) completely crowd created foundation

Talks about Gabe Newell and valve, Gabe Newell says that Valve is the bottleneck (steam),

RG: understand very much about steam is trying, democratization, distribution, channel availability

adoption requires more

technical superiority different from marketing

network effects

marketing standpoint bitcoin has a huge advantage due to the press

bitcoin marketing lead

going back to steam, push to publish is just start of valve, you need more than having a best game you need people to know about it


anyone should be able to open a shop and sell content from the steam platform

should work itself out

http://letstalkbitcoin.com/e86-virtual-worlds-real-money/#.UwxIOl4s3Zs Shownotes for Let’s Talk Bitcoin #86 – Virtual Worlds, Real Money

  • Adam sits down with Richard Garriott about money, games, cryptocurrency, the intersection between MMO developers and national governments, Valve’s publish-as-a-protocol.This is the full length version of the interview and includes a discussion of LTBcoin.Credits Episode 86 of Let’s Talk Bitcoin was produced by Adam B. Levine, edited by Denise Levine.Music was provided by Jared Rubens (@jaredarubens) and General Fuzz(www.generalfuzz.net/tunes.php) Questions or comments?Email adam@letstalkbitcoin.com – Have a good one.
Paul Troon12 hours ago
Great interview! Richard’s careful discussion of the issues is clearly informed by his decades of experience with the complexities of virtual economies. I only wish there had been more time to speculate about how virtual worlds might evolve over the next few decades to be more protocol based like Bitcoin. Current MMOGs suffer from having to provision for maximum usage load, which means companies must charge to host on expensive servers peered with high bandwidth connections. Decentralized protocols (think Bittorrent and Bitcoin) scale computation and bandwidth as usage grows with out any centralized costs or points of failure. I also loved how Richard and Adam used the word curate. Open entertainment (and information) markets need both creators and curators.

GREE:D • 2 days ago
The NSA wrote about virtual economies in 2008 and it was well researched. Value is not just about a sword that took 10 hours but fulfilling an identity and blending real world aspirations with virtual accomplishments. The definitions of currency are being rewritten now but keep in mind, the virtual game concepts discussed here are as old as computers. Emergent gameplay was lost for 20 years while technology caught up with the fancy graphics. http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1ynzpj/im_confident_we_will_ultimately_take_bitcoins/ [–]coinclippers 2 points ago

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the term mudflation but Bitcoin could be used to solve that problem by removing (in old games) or not adding (in new games) virtual currency (wow gold) and only allowing the sole use of bitcoins as the in game currency that players must bring with them. You might not know it but some companies actually hire economists to deal with mudflation, it’s that much of a problem. But with Bitcoin, it’s not as hard or complicated as one might think. Think of the WoW AH but imagine no gold exists within the game. You deposit some bitcoins into the Blizzard wallet and you can then spend those coins in offchain transactions. Blizzard could take a % of each sale and you can withdraw and deposit at will. Don’t have any bitcoins? List an item for sale. Given bitcoin is perfect for micro transactions, it’s a great fit. Everyone can participate and fraud isn’t a concern as it was with Diablo 3 RMAH. Taking it a step further, if a developer wanted to bootstrap the blockchain into the game client and avoid offchain tx, they could use it in a way to ensure no gold dupes could ever occur as the in game currency runs off the blockchain, essentially outsourcing the currency of their game and the security of it entirely. You could cut off Chinese farmers and other black market RMT at the knees at the same time. I don’t think we will see anything like this from Blizzard or other gaming companies any time soon but one can imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult for a game like Path of Exile to incorporate something like this (trade against millibits instead of exalted orbs for example). Exciting stuff I think!