Play Time: MMORPG Play as an Economic Activity

The recent popularity of “eBaying” — the sale of seemingly fictive “property” within MMORPG — has raised numerous questions about the nature of MMORPG play. In particular, many have asked why players choose this practice, and how it might affect the game. This paper addresses these issues by examining some of the motives that drive MMORPG players and developers, and by outlining the economic forces that constrain or coordinate those motives. It concludes by showing how wages and preferences might determine a player’s role in the game property market. It also shows that, in a strictly economic sense, and subject to certain stringent assumptions, such trade benefits players, increases player population, and ultimately, increases MMORPG revenue. —Jeremy Neal KellyPlay Time: MMORPG Play as an Economic Activity (Anthemion)