Radar DDB 10am One Thing: In Game Economics, Real World Politics

The following post originally appeared on the DDB Canada blog as part of the Radar 10am series

In the past few years, one of the most interesting MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) to emerge has been EVE Online, a game in which each player takes the role of spaceship captain. What’s interesting about it about this game is that the economy is much more open and malleable compared to other games. So much so that the developer had to hire a real economist to help keep things managed as players form consortiums, alliances and trade pacts with other. The result is a capitalist system, one in which players can stand to lose thousands of real world dollars in online, in-game heists and, battles

At least, that’s true for most of the world’s players of EVE Online.

In China, like much of the country, players are behind their own great firewall. Their version of EVE Online only lets them interact with other Chinese players, as The Mittani reports, and that this has resulted in the players creating an in-game economic and political system more like the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China “with long term decisions and diplomacy being made by a politburo comprised of the CEOs of major member corps and a Chairman who handles immediate decisions and day-to-day operations. While fleet commanders have some initiative, it’s ultimately the Chairman who gets the final say on major ops.”

It’s a fascinating insider’s account of an incredibly complex game, and the type of system that the world is starting to pay closer attention to.

It’s been four years since the video game industry surpassed the movie industry, and 90% of Canadian teens and kids are gamers. At Radar DDB, we’ll definitely be staying on top of emerging trends in video games (and getting a few games in of our own when we can).

For more, read “Socialist State Emerges In China’s Alternative EVE Universe