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Edward Castronova, an economics professor at Indiana University who has written a book on the subject, calculated that if you took the real dollars spent within "EverQuest "as an index, its game world, called Norrath, would be the 77th richest nation on the planet, while annual player earnings surpass those of citizens of Bulgaria, India or China.
Go to http://www.gameusd.com, an exchange-rate calculator for the virtual worlds, and do a search for the latest rates of virtual currencies against the U.S. dollar, and let your jaw drop open. The rates of some virtual world currencies are even better than that of the Iraqi Dinar! For instance, here is the recent exchange rate of several popular virtual currencies: Everquest Plat ($0.54/1K), EQ2 Gold ($0.17/gold), WOW Gold ($0.098/gold), SWG Credit ($4.40/1M), Lineage 2 adena ($2.80/1M), Guild Wars Gold ($0.12/1K), FFXI Gil ($17.89/1M), etc.