You probably know someone who seems to lose themselves in virtual worlds. But how “unreal” are these virtual realities? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes game designer and Forte co-founder Josh Williams to talk about the development of real property rights and market economies in the virtual world of gaming.
Roberts and Williams begin their conversation with a discussion of the explosion in Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Games, such as League of Legends, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft. Williams describes how these games feature competitive and cooperative playing online- connecting teamwork and strategy, and players “engaged in systems of mastery.”
1- What most surprised you in this episode, and why?
2- What sort of markets currently exist in the sorts of games Roberts and Williams discuss? To what extent can entrepreneurship occur within a game? What are the limitations of these markets?
3- How might more secure property rights be introduced within games? How would this alter the “counter party risk on both sides” Williams describes?
5- What role does Williams see for blockchain in games? What would be Forte’s role in this? To what extent do you think a market economy can really exist in virtual space?