Eve’s first Quarterly Economic Newsletter (QEN)

Before I start talking about how cool it is that CCP has employed a full-time economist, I find it wildly humorous (and perhaps a little sad) that I’m far more interested in the economy of a virtual world than I am in the economy in the real world. Maybe it’s the subject matter or presentation; if Econ 101 in college had been presented as a game, maybe it would have caught my interest a little more. (Note to self: You work for a university. Sounds like a damn cool class to propose to a Dean some day).

That said, Eve’s quarterly economic report was released a couple days ago. You can get the PDF file here and dig into 15 pages of geeky Eve economic goodness. If that’s not enough dorkiness for you, all the dev blogs about the economy in Eve can be found here.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson has a pretty cool job. I was going to write about why Eve is a good environment for experimental research, but I think CCP’s press release when they hired Dr. Guðmundsson says it best:

 “EVE Online may be set in the future, but the skills needed to play are rooted in the real world of today. Players operate vast corporations whose shares are traded in-game among players so economic strength and agility is key to their success. Just as entrepreneurs and executives rely on real-world economic indicators, EVE Online players need timely information and analysis of the in-game economy,” said Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. “That’s why we created this important position and we’re delighted to have someone of Eyjólfur’s caliber and expertise fill the role.”

There are three major areas covered in this first QEN.  First is demographics (population, skill points and security status), second is macroeconomics (the monetary supply) and the third is price levels and inflation/deflation.

I’m not going to dig into any of them in this post. I think it’s too long for one entry. I might take things an issue at a time over the next few days and write up some thoughts on  Dr. Guðmundsson’s findings.  And actually, while I’m mentioning Dr. Guðmundsson a few times, I should probably mention the researcher on this project as well, Kjartan Þ. Halldórsson. I’m not accusing Dr. Guðmundsson of riding on the research of a good graduate researcher, but I’ve seen enough of that at the university level to know that Kjartan probably put in long hours compiling this data for the good doctor’s review and deserves recognition as well. Kjartan’s name is right on the front page of the report, where it should be.

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