Player vs Player Economics

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Proposal
Short Form
Beginner

Excerpt

Just for the lulz, players in EVE Online (a Massively Multiplayer Online game [MMO]) replicated an energy crisis. Carefully attacking a source of fuel caused shortages of critical equipment and price ripples throughout the game. This shortage drove alliances of thousands into conflict over shifting resources. For most of the hundreds of thousands of players, they knew nothing of the economics, they just knew the game got more exciting.

Description

Just for the lulz, players in EVE Online (a Massively Multiplayer Online game [MMO]) replicated an energy crisis. Carefully attacking a source of fuel caused shortages of critical equipment and price ripples throughout the game. This shortage drove alliances of thousands into conflict over shifting resources. For most of the hundreds of thousands of players, they knew nothing of the economics, they just knew the game got more exciting.

Most MMOs thrive on conflict between the players, otherwise why be massively multiplayer? How do you drive that conflict? Some use backstory and clever psychological manipulation. Most say you fight because you’re red and they’re blue. The best use economics. A rich economic system is an endless source of player conflict. Innocent players are consumed in warfare ultimately in the service of the invisible hand.

We’ll look at two popular and well done MMOs and their very different views on economics: World Of Warcraft and EVE Online. We’ll use them to illustrate important economic concepts such as opportunity cost, efficiency, transparency, elasticity and subsidies.

No prior economic or gaming background is necessary to enjoy this talk.

Speaking experience

Schwern has been speaking at Open Source conferences for over 12 years including OSCON, Open Source Bridge, LCA, OSDC and Kiwi Foo.

A sampling of videos of Schwern's talks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9smvof85xOc
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5248422316660075262
http://blip.tv/open-source-developers-conference/git-for-ages-4-and-up-4460524

Speaker

  • Schwern round tuit oscon 2005

    Biography

    Schwern has a copy of Perl 6, he lets Larry Wall borrow it and take notes.

    Schwern once sneezed into a microphone and the text-to-speech conversion was a regex that turns crap into gold.

    Damian Conway and Schwern once had an arm wrestling contest. The superposition still hasn’t collapsed.

    Schwern was the keynote speaker at the first YAPC::Mars.

    When Schwern runs a smoke test, the fire department is notified.

    Dan Brown analyzed a JAPH Schwern wrote and discovered it contained the Bible.

    Schwern writes Perl code that writes Makefiles that write shell scripts on VMS.

    Schwern does not commit to master, master commits to Schwern.

    SETI broadcast some of Schwern’s Perl code into space. 8 years later they got a reply thanking them for the improved hyper drive plans.

    Schwern once accidentally typed “git pull —hard” and dragged Github’s server room 10 miles.

    There are no free namespaces on CPAN, there are just modules Schwern has not written yet.

    Schwern’s tears are said to cure cancer, unfortunately his Perl code gives it right back.

    Sessions

      • Title: Text Lacks Empathy
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B202/203
      • Time: 2:303:15pm
      • Excerpt:

        Have you ever written a nice friendly email and gotten a reply that seems like they read a whole different email?

        Textual communication has special problems. This talk will help you mitigate them: ensuring that what you mean to say is what is understood; interpreting messages that seem totally out of whack; and increasing empathic bandwidth.

      • Speakers: Michael Schwern, Noirin Plunkett
      • Title: The Style of Style Guides
      • Track: Chemistry
      • Room: B302/303
      • Time: 11:0011:45am
      • Excerpt:

        When you code, should you indent 2, 4 or 8 characters? Where should you put the braces? What should your variables and functions be named? Is it worth having an argument about any of this?

        This talk offers an analytical approach to deciding which elements of style will benefit your code. We’ll discover which is the “best style” and which is the style you should use.

      • Speakers: Michael Schwern