You need movie ideas? Julian Dibbell writes in Wired about the physical world economies of online games like Ultima Online and Everquest.
The messy complex of characters and possessions that had been Troy Stolle’s virtual identity was broken down into parts far more valuable than the whole. The priciest items were listed on eBay within a day or two, and one by one they went off to the highest bidder.
But the most valuable of all was the last to go. Not that Kiblinger lacked for house buyers in the month that Stolle’s tower stood at auction. He sold one property to a single mom in Colorado, another to a manager for a database company in California. Yet another went to a woman in Virginia, who bought the house for her mother, an Alzheimer’s sufferer whose last link to reality was her Ultima sessions with her daughter…
At first he thought the previous owner was a character named Blossom. She handed off the deed. But Blossom turned out to be one of Kiblinger’s avatars – and not even Kiblinger at the keyboard but his cousin Eugene, who gets $10 an hour to run around Britannia doing the deliveries that used to take up most of Kiblinger’s workday.