December 22, 2008

From WoW to DNS

I am late on this Wired story (and on everything else, as usual readers will have noticed), a fascinating account of the rise and fall of an eBay-like platform for virtual goods.
Since I discovered the economy of virtual worlds, I think there are many things the domain business can learn from it, although virtual worlds came after the DNS (a main difference remains: Copyright applies to most of these goods, but not to domain names). This article shows that those who make a living from the sale or resale of digital items do not make money for nothing as Knopfler sang, but discovered and organized a market which value depends from the social needs of human beings - like any other market.

  • "The IGE founders had built a successful business, and now they wanted to make it a legitimate one: IGE wanted deals with game publishers that would give it license to traffic in virtual items without violating the games' terms of service."
  • "But by then it was clear that Pierce's undoing had also been the result of uncertainties about the nature of virtual goods in general. Who really owns them? Who determines their value?"

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