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Video Games are now hiring economists

by | 27th, June 2012

I KNOW, I know, it’s not quite what you would think is a sensible idea four years after the Great Financial Crash. But video games companies are starting to hire economists to help them design the games.

Here’s one such job ad. They really are looking for an academic economist to help them work out how to write the rules for the games.

This isn’t though to do with Angry Birds and the like. This is about the big online games where there are thousands, perhaps millions, of players. Certain of the games companies have got seriously out of their depth here. Once you start introducing money into the games, the ability to find gold, use that gold to buy powers or attributes, even feed real money in to buy gold, then you’re facing all of the same problems that central banks do in the real economy.

What’s the correct money supply? What should relative prices be? What’s an acceptable inflation rate?

Given the success that economists have had out here in the real world in recent years you might think that paying them to do this for games is a little odd. But bad as the results of politicians acting on economists’ advice has been, the in game economies are incredibly important to the games developers. That’s how they make their profits after all. And while we might not think that economists have all that much clue about the real world the truth is they probably have more than software geeks do. It goes without saying that they know more than politicians of course: my cat manages that.

 



Posted: 27th, June 2012 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink