[Dave Birch] The Sunday Telegraph magazine had a big feature on Entropia Universe (Project Entropia, as was), so clearly something is going on. The article interviews Jon Jacobs, an English guy now living in the US, who sold up to raise $100,000 to buy virtual real estate (a space station, in fact). He is quoted as saying “I nearly put the money into a house in Miami, but then along came Hurricane Katrina and I thought ‘where’s the security in that’?”.

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The article doesn’t contain anything that blog readers would find unfamiliar, but having sworn off posting anything about virtual worlds for a while, I can’t resist highlighting a couple of points.

1. The real-world GDP of Entropia Universe (EU) was $160 million in 2005 and is expected to double this year.

2. The tension between “gamers” and economic agents, as discussed by Richard Bartle at the CSFI, appears to be growing.

3. The EU real cash economy operates on a fixed exchange rate, which seems anachronistic.

I wrote an article about all of this stuff recently in a magazine for the UK’s independent financial advisor community, semi-jokingly calling on them to open a branch in cyberspace. Too late: I’ve now discovered that there’s at least one financial advice company — Sterling & Moss Associates — based in Calypso (the imaginary world in EU) already.

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