MOGs have a thing called MUDflation (Raph Koster referred to it once as 'database inflation') that seems to have been part of their fabric from the beginning. Now, recently, a website (of dubious origin and with shady claims - not recommended) has created some charts that basically reveal what everyone here knows: the value of almost all game currencies against the dollar falls over time (although through back channels Nick Yee says that the price of WoW gold has stabilized recently; I am in EQ2 these days). Nothing new in this. Yet now that the numbers are posted this way, we get other sites (thanks Jessica) making alarmist (though tongue-in-cheek) analyses, as though something's wrong.
Is something wrong? We've talked about this before. Does this evidence of dramatic inflation indicate that these economies are horribly mismanaged? Or perhaps the universal presence of inflation in MOGs suggests something far more significant from a policy perspective (and also something of a teaser from my book), namely, that inflation may simply be more fun than price stability.
Of course, that's in the context of the game. I am not arguing (yet) that inflation rates of 50 percent would be more fun than price stability in the real world economy. It's a food-for-thought point: If we designed the real world economy to be fun, what would it look like? More concrete: If we managed the synthetic economies 'properly' and got rid of the inflation - which is eminently doable - would the games be less fun or more fun?