Friday, September 21, 2007


I thought many of the readers out there might be interested in the Metanomics 2007 programs going on in Second Life. They are hosting a number of speakers, including my former professor Bryan Camp from the Texas Tech School of Law.

Those interested in the study of Metanomics should try to attend some of their seminars. For the uninitiated, their FAQ gives the following overview:

“Metanomics” refers to the study of the business and policy aspects of the “metaverse” of virtual worlds. Metanomics can focus on issues arising within virtual worlds, such as how developers manage the economy of a game world (like World of Warcraft), or how residents of virtual worlds manage and regulate business. Metanomics also includes the study of how real-world businesses can use virtual worlds as part of their strategy, and how real-world law and regulation might apply to virtual-world activities. Finally, metanomics includes the use of virtual worlds as laboratories in which to study real-world business or policy issues.

Metanomics can take an "immersionist," "augmentationist," or "experimentalist" perspective. Immersionist metanomics attempts to understand business and policy issues from entirely within the virtual world in question, with little reference to the outside world. Augmentationist metanomics views the metaverse as simple an addition (augmentation) to the real world, and examines how its appearance affects business practice and regulatory policy. Experimentalist metanomics uses the metaverse as a laboratory in which to conduct controlled experiments that can tell us something new about the real world (such as eliminating capital gains taxes actually does increase investment and productivity).

[Thanks to Robert Bloomfield for the tip!]

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