Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot

Overview

Play Money explores the remarkable new phenomenon of MMORPGs, or Massively MultiPlayer Online Role-Playing Games, in which hundreds of thousands of players operate fantasy characters in virtual environments. With city-sized populations, these games generate their own cultures, governments, and social systems and, inevitably, their own economies, which spill over into the real world. The desire for virtual goods-magic swords, enchanted breastplates, and special, hard-to-get elixirs-has spawned a cottage industry ...

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Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot

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Overview

Play Money explores the remarkable new phenomenon of MMORPGs, or Massively MultiPlayer Online Role-Playing Games, in which hundreds of thousands of players operate fantasy characters in virtual environments. With city-sized populations, these games generate their own cultures, governments, and social systems and, inevitably, their own economies, which spill over into the real world. The desire for virtual goods-magic swords, enchanted breastplates, and special, hard-to-get elixirs-has spawned a cottage industry of “virtual loot farmers”: people who play the games just to obtain fantasy goods that they can sell in the real world. The best loot farmers can make between six figures a year and six figures a month. Play Money is an extended walk on the weird side: a vivid snapshot of a subculture whose denizens were once the stuff of mere sociological spectacle but now-with computer gaming poised to eclipse all otherentertainments in dollar volume, and with the lines between play and work, virtual and real increasingly blurred-look more and more like the future.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465015368
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/10/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,021,102
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Over the course of a decade of writing and publishing, Julian Dibbell has established himself as one of the most thoughtful observers of digital culture. His previous book, My Tiny Life, was published to great reviews. Dibbell’s essays and articles have appeared in Details, Spin, Harper’s, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Le Monde, the Village Voice, and TIME. Currently a contributing editor for Wired magazine, Dibbell lives in South Bend, Indiana.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fun and Illuminating

    Play Money is an unusually illuminating work on the trade in make believe things for very real money. What makes the pages turn so quickly is not just the intriguing subject matter, but the considerable wit, curiosity, earnestness, intelligence, and story telling verve of author Julian Dibbell. He takes you along on his wild ride to a Tijuana on-line sweatshop, across the country and through a cyberworld where dragons and orcs are slayed for booty which sometimes amounts to a real world fortune. This is a truly refreshing read that entertains while engaging and exciting you anew about topics you may have thought had already been explored enough by others- the amazing possiblities of internet play, commerce and globalization. Highly recommended.

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