[SLED] Economics of a Virtual Community
c.reynolds at hud.ac.uk
Tue Jan 16 09:51:01 PST 2007
I agree Richard. If you're teaching life skills or economics, Owen's idea is a good one. But if you're teaching something else having to obtain money then food would be a frustrating waste of learning time...
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From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of Richard Smyth
Sent: Tue 16/01/2007 16:12
To: SL Educators
Subject: Re: [SLED] Economics of a Virtual Community
Why the need to replicate the real-world economy? If I had to work to get strength/food or to pay for these things (because I have no time to work inworld), then I couldn't participate in the ways that I do. . . (As it turns out, I was lucky enough to have a computer with the right graphics card; if I didn't, my participation would have to wait until the next time I bought a computer--5-6 years from now?!)
There's a book just published called "Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything" and suggests that a different economic model *is* emerging. . .
Richard Smyth/Abaris Brautigan
Owen Kelly <owen.kelly at arcada.fi> wrote:
If I may join in slightly late:
In my view the economy of Second Life is skewed very oddly because it is
exclusively an economy of optional luxury items. What it needs (for many
reasons including future viability AND educational work AND general fun)
is items of economic necessity. Specifically necessary items which get
used up and need replacing.
Second Life needs virtual food :)
If avatars had strength and/or health bars (as they do in many many
rpgs) and avatars died or became immobilised if they ran out of
strength/health then several things would follow:
1. everyone would need to buy food and drink, so everyone would need to
engage economically with the world, either by working or importing real
2. the sales of food and drink would become another source of economic
activity, and offer people different kinds of economic choices.
3. These things would be consumable items and therefore need constant
manufacture, which would broaden the kinds of possibilities the world
Additionally, at the moment, in contrast to (say) Entropia, raw
materials (in the form of prims) are free and limitless. The economy
therefore models something like the economy in one of the outer rings of
Heaven, where angels in no need of sustenance pluck raw materials from
the ether and model them out of playful creativeness.
Nothing wrong with this, but if it is a form of economics then it is not
economics as we know it, Jim.
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