Virtual Economists' Vili Lehdonvirta speaks about virtual currency design at Game Developers Conference tomorrow at 2pm March 06 2012
I'm giving a one-hour lecture on virtual currency design at the GDC tomorrow (Wed 7 Mar) at 2pm. The venue is Moscone Center, West Hall, 3rd Fl, Room 3022. Find me after the talk to get a GDC attendee discount code for Virtual Economists' new Virtual Goods & Currencies Pricing Reports and Data for social games and mobile games.
Designing Virtual Currency by Breaking (Almost) Every Rule in the Economics Textbook
Many games today feature virtual money of some sort, whether a "hard currency" sold for real money or a "soft currency" earned through play. The question that this lecture answers is, how do you design money? Not how do players obtain money, nor how do they spend it - but how do you design the money itself. Economists have identified around a dozen attributes of a good money - the kind of money that makes an economy efficient. These attributes make a great guideline for designing serious digital currencies. But in game design, we don't always want things to be efficient - we might want them to be challenging and fun instead. In this lecture, we therefore turn the economists' advice on its head and come up with a guideline for designing "bad money"! Both historical and virtual examples are included.