More virtual economy nonsense, as the NYTimes takes a look at the life of a chinese [virtual] gold farmer
. The big numbers are what is truly interesting:
It is estimated that there are thousands of [$80,000-a-year] businesses like it all over China, neither owned nor operated by the game companies from which they make their money. Collectively they employ an estimated 100,000 workers, who produce the bulk of all the goods in what has become a $1.8 billion worldwide trade in virtual items.
$1.8 billion sounds like a lot.. until you realize that U.S. motorists might be loosing $1.5 billion this summer
alone due to fuel's tendency to expand with higher temperatures:
"It is a little-known industry secret that the amount of gasoline you put in your tank when you fill up in the summer is less than the amount in the winter, in terms of weight and energy content," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who conducted a congressional hearing on the issue Friday.
I've quoted it before and I'm sure I'll quote it again: "A billion here and a billion there.. pretty soon it adds up to real money!" - Will Rogers.