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A Statistical Analysis of EVE Online. Virtual Decisions, Real Results Matthew Pruitt May 9,2009. So who would study ‘virtual’ economies? . Edward Castronova PhD Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991 Associate Professor of Telecommunications, Indiana University

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A statistical analysis of eve online

A Statistical Analysis of EVE Online

Virtual Decisions, Real Results

Matthew Pruitt

May 9,2009


So who would study virtual economies
So who would study ‘virtual’ economies?

  • Edward Castronova

    • PhD Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991

    • Associate Professor of Telecommunications, Indiana University

    • “Virtual Worlds Pioneer” Award, Virtual Worlds Innovation Awards, 2008.

    • MacArthur Foundation Grant, “Synthetic World Experiments and Impact,” June 2006 – October 2007

    • Author of Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games (University of Chicago Press)


Okay who else
Okay…Who else?

  • Dr. EyjólfurGuðmundsson

    • PhD. in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island

    • Was Dean of the Faculty of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri in Iceland

    • Currently employed by EVE as Lead Economist

      • Provides up-to-date economic information to players

      • Provides analysis of major events in eve


What has been published
What has been published?

  • Fairly new field, but some big players

    • Synthetic Worlds, University of Chicago Press

    • Avatars at Work and Play, Springer

    • Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, University of Texas

    • Entertainment Computing, Springer


Why do they study virtual economies
Why do they study virtual economies?

  • Everquest

    • Can earn 300 Platinum Pieces every hour

    • That’s $3.50 per hour

      • Castronova uses online auction sites to calculate the exchange rate

    • GNP of Norrath approximately $2000 per capita

      • GNP per Capita China 2005-$1736



Why do they study virtual economies2
Why do they study virtual economies?

  • EVE Online

    • "Its the best real world economic simulator in the [virtual] world...Its a giant spreadsheet”

      Sam Lewis, Lead Game Designer at Cartoon Network

    • EVE Online characters, avatar capital, can sell for thousands of dollars online.


So what is eve online
So what is EVE Online?

  • Objective

    • EVE is a player driven world

    • Characters join corporations and try to take down other corporations

    • Mining and development form the foundation for the economy in EVE

    • Piracy is an option as well


Goal of my research
Goal of My Research

  • To see if there is a correlation between the real world economy and that of EVE Online

    • Data was taken from the DJIA and in-game price history of minerals

    • "Minerals are needed to produce almost everything, and so it is expected that price changes in minerals would indicate what the price change will be further down the value chain.“

      Dr. EyjólfurGuðmundsson, CCP Lead Economist





This isn t working let s rethink the model
This isn’t working…Let’s rethink the model.

DJIA

Time


This isn t working let s rethink the model1
This isn’t working…Let’s rethink the model.

DJIA

(10/6/2008,

9955.50)

Time


Okay let s split the data at october 6 2008
Okay, Let’s split the data at October 6, 2008.

Isogen

DJIA


Okay let s split the data at october 6 20081
Okay, Let’s split the data at October 6, 2008.

Tritanium

DJIA


Okay let s split the data at october 6 20082
Okay, Let’s split the data at October 6, 2008.

Mexallon

DJIA



Explanations
Explanations?

  • Economic Decisions

    • Instincts guide a player in the game just as in the real world

    • Decision making is mostly an unconscious effort

      Wolozin and Wolozin

    • The minerals that seem to have stronger correlations are those that are not as rare and are necessary for most projects in EVE

    • Exception: Megacyte, used in mainly for armaments. Did become slightly more volatile Post Oct. 6


Explanations1
Explanations?

  • Player Types

    • “Given that virtual worlds are both psychologically unique and the setting for a range of different player behaviors, we propose that virtual worlds provide the ideal environment to investigate consumer (mis)behavior because they allow players (or “consumers”) to behave in a way that is realistic but uninhibited by social norms.”

      Drennan and Keefe

    • Piracy common in EVE

    • Exception: Pyerite, used in the Bio-Chem industry for conduits. While common, it has a highly specific use.


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Virtual Economies Can Provide Insight

    • In EVE, Isogen, Tritanium, Mexallon, and Megacyte showed a correlation with the DJIA

    • There are distinct trends that change almost immediately on October 6, 2008

      • Some Headlines from this Day

        • Bush Signs Wall St. Bailout After House Passage

        • US Loses 159,000 Jobs in September

        • Bailout Spending to Begin in November

    • There is definitely some connection between the real world economy and the virtual economy of EVE Online


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