Posner seems quite interested in our little corner of the metaverse. He invited our own Edward Castronova to his Rational Models colloquium to give a whitepaper that we co-wrote on Dragon Kill Points.
I think the paper, although meant to be a fun exploration of the phenomenon, could eventually have some serious use. DKP systems route around the new fad in online regulation, which is to target trade by targeting the money supply. In virtual worlds, this can be as extreme as making items non-tradeable. But DKP systems show that even where goods are "soulbound," and therefore not tradeable at all, we find a strongly functioning market in points that allocate the resources quite nicely.
Also, the piece at least raises serious questions about "soft law" (sometimes called norms, although that's a term of art in a lot of disciplines, and therefore loaded) in virtual worlds: DKP systems are community generated, self-enforcing rules. Courts that think they can import law from the outside and not consider the laws generated inside the virtual world had better think twice.
For those disinclined to click, here's the abstract:
This piece briefly describes the self-enforcing and non-pecuniary resource allocation system used by players in virtual worlds to allocate goods produced by a combination of player effort (the effort required to organize a group and overcome challenges) and the game itself (which "generates the good" – the input here is the time of the design staff). For historical reasons, these systems are commonly called DKP – Dragon Kill Points. The following is an attempt at a fun, not a thorough, discussion of the subject and some of the puzzles it raises.
Comments, either here or to the authors privately, would be wonderful.