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Good link Amanda - thanks. The paper you posted is by Professor Edward Castronova, one academic games powerhouse. He's best known for publishing a paper on the economics of EverQuest, covered in this Slate Article. He hand-crawled over Ebay and other online player auctions to demonstrate that there are tangible links between the life of online players and the economic life of living earthlings. He is Julian Dibbell's godfather.

You can see his list of papers here, including On Virtual Economies.

Jane and I saw Castronova present to a Stanford Law School class back in February. Then he previewed an early draft of this paper you've linked, "The Price of 'Man' and 'Woman': A Hedonic Pricing Model of Avatar Attributes in a Synthethic World" and we were eager to see it shared online to start discussion.

If online auction prices of female avatars are artificially low, then theoretically, players who want to maximize their dollars and power within the game will over time buy female avatars, driving the price back up. That's the invisible hand argument. But gender is an externality, and that's important to study. Castronova deserves praise for giving us good subjects, and data, to examine and debate.


I thihk so,too


It's a little late, but you can find a quiz linking to fairly extensive personality/gender stats on MUDs here.

There's also a whole site devoted to the psychology of MMORPGs.

Enjoy your browsing!


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