Real Economist Joins Valve as Virtual Goods Economist
My good friend Andrew Leonard of Salon has a fun and fascinating post about Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek economist who went from analyzing his country's political system in relation to the EU's struggles to solve the continent's debt crisis... to becoming the official virtual goods economist for Valve Software:
Via the common distribution platform of Steam, Valve players can trade in game items known as “hats” — used to differentiate player avatars from each other — for objects in other games, or even for downloaded games that have been purchased but not yet played. But it’s not always clear how to value items from different games, or what would happen if, say, Team Fortress hat-makers flood the market with an overabundance of supply. You have to be careful when you integrate different economies — as has been demonstrated by the unhappy marriage of Germany and Greece: two vastly different economies attempting to coexist under one currency.
"His recent affiliation with the left-wing political party Syriza and his strong condemnations of Greek neo-Nazis have led to death threats..." In other words, his real world economic theories have led to real terrorist threats, so he's leaving the analyze an economy largely based on the activity of virtual terrorists (and counter-terrorists).