Update (1 March 2023)

I did some more research into “MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) Virtual Economies” yesterday, hoping to begin sharing my findings later today. As I had suspected the other day, one of the most fundamental problems of running a “Virtual Economy” with its own Fiat Currency is the Inflation/Deflation Rate. Without Interest Rates, Taxation Rates, and constantly coming up with new Incentives to justify the existences of Kapital and Schuld, an MMO’s economy eventually faces inflationary or deflationary crises.

Most currently existing conceptions of Fiat Currency among the well-known MMO Virtual Economies revolve around five prominent types:

  1. In-Game: Either functions largely as a symbolic statistic with no real Value or resembles a Representative Currency that enables players to lay claims to in-game items.
  2. Premium: Involves players exchanging their offline Kapital for Kapital of the MMO Virtual Economy. With Microtransactions emerging from this particular conception, it tends to overlap between the first and third types.
  3. Subscription-Based: Blocked by Paywalls, players cannot access the full experience without paying a subscription fee. Relies on Soft Peg Exchange Rate between the Virtual Economy and a Market/Mixed Economy, where the developer and player base are both responsible for their Fiat Currency.
  4. Casino-Type: This conception of Fiat Currency functions akin to that of a Casino Chip at offline casinos. Their Value is only applicable to the Virtual Economy that it was designed for and are ipso facto worthless elsewhere.
  5. Player-Driven: The player base, not the developer, exerts partial or full control over the Fiat Currency. This tends to overlap between the third and fourth types due to the player base’s increased participation. They would play the MMO to create Kapital as in-game currency, then sell them on the World Wide Web (WWW) through an eCommerce platform for Kapital denominated in the Post-Bretton Woods Debt Standard.

These conceptions of Fiat Currencies are distinguished between Kapital backed by what I have been referring to as the “Post-Bretton Woods Debt Standard” and those not backed by it. It also demonstrates how Kapital and Schuld interact with each other in the MMO Virtual Economies of the Digital Economy within the Market/Mixed Economy.

Here, we encounter the distinctions between a “Digital Economy” and a “Virtual Economy.” If we consider the Digital Economies of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the National Intranet to be online equivalents of the Market/Mixed Economy and Planned/Command Economy respectively, then the “Virtual Economy” of an MMO has too many technical limitations to make it fit neatly into the framework of either. In other words, the Virtual Economy concept is a blank slate about as formless and shapeless as Postmodernity or Post-Capitalism. It is like the concept of the “Student Economy” that I described in The Third Place (1st Ed.), which in itself is related to the digital realm’s origins in universities and governmental research institutes. The economic life of a Civil Society or a Totality can be easily transplanted into a Virtual Economy as well as a Student Economy.

Of course, the great challenge that Production for Profit and Production for Utility have so far neither succeeded at is how to integrate Virtual Economies into the Digital Economy connected to the offline Market/Mixed Economies and Fractional-Reserve Banking Systems of Liberal Capitalist regimes. Production for Dasein, on the other hand, has its own premises and methodology.

Categories: Blog Post

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: