"Remember when a white man in Boston, spouting Trump slogans, beat up a homeless man outside a subway station? Trump responded: 'People who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.' Remember when a Trump supporter punched an African American man at a rally? Trump said that his follower 'obviously loves his country.' Remember when the alt-right provoked violence in Charlottesville? Trump pronounced some white nationalists to be 'very fine people.'"

— Michael Gerson in the Washington Post

Play Time

Analysis of MMORPG play as economic activity

Play Time is an economic analysis of play in massively-multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPG). It began as an undergraduate 'honors thesis', but, like most of my projects, it grew to a monstrous size and carried me away with it.

Contents

Play Time was originally written as one long and rather heterogeneous paper, but I have since revised and reorganized it. The work now comprises a general introduction and three separate monographs, of which 'The Problem of Abundance in MMORPG' is the most interesting. It should be accessible to anyone who has taken a few college-level economics courses. PDF and web texts are available:

  • An Introduction [PDF]
  • An overview of the topics to be discussed, along with definitions used throughout the work.
  • An Overview of the MMORPG Genre [PDF]
  • A broad description of the genre, as it stood in early 2004, written in a scholarly style. Most players and designers will not find this interesting.
  • The Problem of Abundance in MMORPG [PDF]
  • This is the paper to read. Identifies the wants and constraints that motivate players and developers, and shows that many definitive aspects of MMORPG design serve economic functions.
  • Principles of MMORPG Asymmetric Trade
  • A fairly detailed undergraduate-level analysis of the microeconomics of 'eBaying'. I haven't finished revising this one yet.
  • References
  • A bibliography for the foregoing works.