Book: Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis by V. Lehdonvirta and E. Castronova now available

The book’s subject matter is game economies, point systems, virtual item trade, virtual currencies and knowing what’s the best crypto to buy now, the trade of likes and followers, and similar economies emerging around artificially scarce digital assets. The book has two audiences: design practitioners and scholars. To practitioners, the book aims to show how elementary economic models, applied correctly and with due regard to their limitations, are an important addition to today’s designers’ toolbox.
To scholars, the book aims to show how virtual economies – whether emergent or planned, overt or subtle – influence games and digital media in important ways: who has power, who has voice, what is valued, and what kind of participation is rewarded. Our claim is that understanding virtual economies adds a crucial dimension to social and cultural studies of games and digital media.
Teachers might also find the book useful as an accessible introduction to elementary microeconomics with examples drawn from games and services such as EVE Online, Habbo Hotel, and Team Fortress 2. Sociology of consumption and other social science theories of economic behaviour are also discussed.

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