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Do Online Gaming Companies Employ Economists?

Some online gaming companies hire economists to help manage the in-game economies of multiplayer games. Economists tend to be hired by gaming companies that make their profits on in-game purchases and are responsible for developing rules and regulations. For example, in 2012, renowned Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis was hired by video game company Valve, the maker of Half-Life games, to help establish a virtual trading system within different games. Economists might also use video games to run economic experiments, which can be difficult to do in real life, and some have developed their own games for this purpose.

More about video games:

  • Research has shown that people learn information more effectively by playing video games than by less-interactive means.

  • Some gaming companies have psychologists on staff to study the behaviors of players, such as what makes a person more likely to quit a game or purchase in-game items.

  • Multiplayer online games account for 14% of all games played online, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

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