April 29, 2015

Eve Planet Money?

So I'm a fan of a very economics geeky NPR show called Planet Money.  They've done a couple shows about Iceland (started by the economic collapse) and they've done at least one show about a virtual economy (Second Life) and a recent one about Magic: The Gathering.  So I figured I'd plug a show idea about Eve.  Anyone know anyone in NPR?


Hey there Planet Money hosts,

I thought I'd plug an idea for you that combines two things you'd like: Iceland and Virtual Economies.  What happens when you combine a free-wheeling libertarian economic model with massively multiplayer online game with an aggressive and very technically minded player base?
You get Eve Online, by Iceland software developer CCP.  A game that is primarily about virtual spaceships fighting in a fictional universe, but very strongly underpinned by economics that can be just as much of a player versus player battle as the combat between ships.  Not only do manufacturers contest through the markets in the traditional means of undercutting each others prices and exploiting new sales location, but also through manipulating those markets through speculation, hoarding, and controlling the means of products.  It's also a game where one of the best known player (Chribba) is an industrialist and trusted proxy for high-value deals.

You also get a player base that has a huge investment in economics, such as:
* The Eve Prospect Market Analysis podcast show (http://eve-prosper.blogspot.co.uk/)
* Markets for Isk (http://marketsforisk.blogspot.com/)
* Live data from the markets (http://null-sec.com/tycoon/http://eve-marketdata.com/)
* A player presentation on how he became a space trillionaire (https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLQvKSs1k6DLOiGGb44McruXcndTtzUUlu&v=1jytAfRGsjw)

Until recently CCP had an in-house economist, Dr. Eyj­ólf­ur Guðmunds­son, who has recently moved on to become Rector at the University of Akureyri.  Dr. Eyjo (as he is known to the player base) produced Quarterly Economic Newsletters (https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Quarterly_Economic_Newsletter) that include Consumer Price Indicies, Producer Price Indicies, etc.  There is an interview with Dr. Eyjo by the host of Eve Prospect from March 2015 here (http://eve-prosper.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/special-report-dr-eyjo-interview.html) which includes discussions about mineral price movements, inflation in the economy, and privately issued bonds.  You see references to the in-game currency (ISK) which is of course a reference to Iceland's own currency.
Eve Online is a subscription based game, but it also has a in-game item (a Pilot License EXtension or PLEX) that people can buy with in-game currency that gives another 30-days of play time.  So players who are good at economics can effectively play for free.
So that's a lot of information.  I've attached a few images as well.  I would be glad to help point you towards people who could help in development of a story if you folks are interested.  In particular I am in the same in-game group as the host of Eve Prosper (John Purcell, aka Lockefox) and he could be a great starting point.
Thanks for all your Planet Money content!


Anyone else have ideas for plugging Eve through such means?  Anyone else want to volunteer to be contacted if Planet Money actually gets back to me?  Anyone else I should plug as economics-geek friendly?

I didn't plug Gevlon Goblin for all his economics because his blog is mostly about Grr Goons for the past year or so, Mynnna hasn't been posting since mid-CSM9, etc.

It's a long shot, but man it would be cool.

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