Virtual Economics

Well, it had to happen sooner or later, and I guess you could call recent attempts to regulate internet gambling a step in that same direction, but I am blown away by this article for two reasons.

One: This is simply an amazing event in history; we have the US Congress trying to extend their legislative authority into a virtual environment. They want to lay taxes on virtual assets and gains. I'm not arguing whether this is right or wrong, I'm simply in awe that the debate has come up at all.

Two: The reporter who wrote this story, he's technically the Second Life avatar of the actual human being who is in charge of Reuters' in-game Second Life news bureau. That's just so meta I can't even stand it. As Warren Ellis has said, Reuters has embedded a journalist in a virtual environment, in fact they've embedded a whole Reuters bureau. Aside from WoW blogs by staff members of gaming sites, I think this might be a first. Either way it's pretty cool.

Update: The Net at Risk airs Wednesday on PBS at 9:00 PM. That's what I'd be watching if I were in America tonight (or tomorrow...or whatever).
The future of the Internet is up for grabs. Big corporations are lobbying Washington to turn the gateway to the Web into a toll road. Yet the public knows little about what's happening behind closed doors where the future of democracy's newest forum is being decided. If a few mega media giants own the content and control the delivery of radio, television, telephone services and the Internet, they'll make a killing and citizens will pay for it.


Anonymous Dad said...

Times they are a changing...

People will go to where the money is - physical or virtual.

Reporters will go to where the action is... physical or virtual.

I am enjoying your posts. Would love to hear and see more about the elementary kids.



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