I am getting officially wierded out by this concept. Here is a great article about a virtual game world market slipping into real world economic dollars. I am not sure what the hell this has to do with advocacy but there is a lot of weird ideas about what happens when online reputation starts to have real world value. Starting with the obvious idea that someone should set up a virtual fundraising department to the more complex ideas that there could be a new business model for advocacy campaigns out there this article is really just nuts.
Please let me know what you think in the comments section.
Things got even more interesting when Castronova learned about the "player auctions." EverQuest players would sometimes tire of the game, and decide to sell off their characters orvirtual possessions at an on-line auction site such as eBay. When Castronova checked the auction sites, he saw that a Belt of the Great Turtle or a Robe of Primordial Waters might fetch forty dollars; powerful characters would go for several hundred or more. And sometimes people would sell off 500,000-fold bags of platinum pieces for as much as $1,000.
As Castronova stared at the auction listings, he recognized with a shock what he was looking at. It was a form of currency trading. Each item had a value in virtual "platinum pieces"; when it was sold on eBay, someone was paying cold hard American cash for it. That meant the platinum piece was worth something in real currency. EverQuest's economy actually had real-world value.
Nuts. Nuts. Nuts. I Love it. I can see the online donation buttons now (cash or items from your virtual world).