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Jun 03, 2007



I don't understand the validity that one can state with substituting one experience with another. Yes the surrogate ability may help one with the primary ability, but is not very indicative of the total package, i.e. a football wide receiver may be a fast runner, but that doesn't say how well the can run routes or catch balls.

Or with auto-racing, a racer may use a game simulation to become familiar with the course to set up breaking points and shift points, but winning the game simulation doesn't necessarily mean a real world race win.

I would argue that such ability provides ancillary information as much as being treasurer at the church would. Yes the person has some exposure to money but usually not the way the will see it will be used at any particular company, so it would be at best a secondary or ternary point for consideration/evaluation, unless the potential company is a competitor to bizworld.


FT Article

In taking this question into consideration, you really have to make sure you acknowledge the difference between character skills, and player skills.

Your ability to run a guild, or whatever organization in a game, is usually going to be largely determined by your player skills, not your character skills. Many player skills, like the skills you gain in counterstrike (for example), are non-transferable to the real world, because they involve your reaction speed and accuracy using a *mouse* (pay heed please Jack Thompson).

However, there are skills that are regularly put to use in these games that *are* transferable skills, and they're frequently nothing to do with guns, but to do the ability to plan, motivate and organize people. The more a game emphasizes personal interaction, group efforts, planning (including financial) etc, the more likely those who rise to the top in those fields in the game are likely to have applicable skills and talents in real life.

Of course, I would think that.


My position is that very little present day pretend-finance is applicable to real world high finance. In fact much about SL in particular is contrary to market effects, business custom and regulatory requirements present in the real world.

The idea that a high finance simulator might yield an interesting platform for training is interesting, but I'm not sure whether it is required. Present day systems allow for extensive paper trading, back testing and complex model simulations. The real truth on Wall Street & other financial nexuses is that there exists a deep, personal network which drives much of business. Although it has been argued this is exactly what drives SL's markets, I discount that as a very weak simulation for real world style business & finance networks. Mainly because of anonymity and lack of deeply meaningful accountability. If I screw up my SL bank I can just poof and reappear as a newly minted (as it were) banker. In the real world, if I screw my investors I'm done, forever, and will have to find a new career or settle for life as a second-rate deal broker.


Your speculations about the applicability of virtual business experience parallel the end of my article "Biz Sims" in The Escapist #99 (May 2007). In the comment thread to that article, someone speculated that EVE Online is, or might become, useful as a business simulation.


I'm doubtful about specific qualifications, but I think it's very possible that someday that kind of a resume will become acceptable most places. Of course, the key word then is when. I doubt it's going to happen soon.


I'm sure the people who offer power-levelling facilities will be all too happy to sell their services to people who want a qualification but are "time-poor,



>>Allen Varney says:

>>Your speculations about the applicability of virtual business experience parallel the end of my article "Biz Sims" in The Escapist #99 (May 2007)


Both of which seem to parallel the thrust of the 2004 book: Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever by Beck.


I strongly reminded of a news story I read a while ago now of a guy who wrote to a real football club who where searching for a manager citing his abilities on the computer game "Championship Manager". Apparently he thought his skills of turning a Conference-League Team into a European Cup winning side was sufficient to at least put him in the running... Unfortunately his application was politely declined. "With such skills we think this person will obviously quickly move on to a team like Real Madrid and we are looking to make a longer term appointment" or something along those lines was the response from an obviously highly amused Chairman.

I think doing virtual world things, in a virtual world is not quite ever going to be a glowing report on any resume.


You cite Anshe Chung, quite rightly, as maybe doing real-world things (i.e. making real world gains) from a virtual world, may indeed be quite impressive to a prospective employer.

If you'd put:

World of Bizquest, 35th level commercial banker, with certificates of achievement in credit analysis (Gold), interest rate risk management (Gold), financial instruments (Silver), and fixed income investing (Platinum). Taxable declared income from virtual world activities in 2006/7 tax year $20,000.

Then, I think, then, a commerical bank might be much more interested in your activities, and indeed it might be a very interesting job interview.


Stepping back and asking what games are good for might be helpful.

Here are two examples:

Games can speed up time

Games can simulate dangerous situations without creating real risk to the life and property of the participants

Of courses these tie together.

Speeding up time is valuable because it allows us to test real world decisions and see outcomes much faster than in real life. For example my wife ran an athletic shoe company as part of a finance course in her MBA program. In a semester they played 8 years of business and learned about the long term effects of financial decision making.

In 1991 the Australian air force did some flight testing of a Boeing 707. They decided to turn off both two of the 4 engines, both on the same side of the plane. As the accident report put it “the plane entered uncontrolled flight” all 5 of the crew were killed. A game (flight simulator) would have been a better choice.

The French Ministry of finance recently produced a game that allows anyone to run France’s finances. Normally the only person who gets this perspective is the minister of finance himself, now the number of people with perspective is higher.

Randolfe’s comments make a great deal of sense to me, though I am certain we could use a game environment to teach this kind of finance I am not certain that it would be an great improvement on current practice. Financial firms have a substantial interest in training people to be really good at credit risk analysis, and since it pays well individuals have an equally substantial interest in learning it. Both groups have well developed systems to get this knowledge into the heads of the people that need it, and for screening out those who are unlikely to be successful.

Speeding up time is likely to have some value if you allow people to explore the consequences of strategic decisions in the areas you mention. Addressing David Grundy’s point more directly if there was an industry standard simulation of fixed income investing and a player got the highest rate of return over a 4 year period that might really be interesting.

Likewise training people to handle the financial equivalent of the 707 engine shutdown might have real value. Most people will only be on deck for a very small number of genuine financial crises in their life. One of the things that make these events such a disaster is that people have very little experience with them and don’t know what to do. A VW that runs at X times the speed of life would have X times the financial crises and if it was well built the people who did well out of these situations could legitimately argue that they were skilled practitioners of the art.

This could be approached either by building a VW that was designed to melt down early and often, like an FAA flight simulator where the pilot knows that the instructor is going to start breaking the plane. Or the VW could be built to simulate the real world but run faster and meltdowns would occur naturally because evolution is happening very quickly much like fruit flies in the lab or disk drive companies in the business world.

Also building an industry standard game is a concept worth exploring. Several of the more interesting serious game projects that I am aware of are trying to do this. It might be worth looking at it for the financial industry as well.


Are you kidding?

Are some still trying to argue that simulations/games/VWs aren't useful for learning? Really??? Tom Hunter said it well, so I won't really elaborate.

This is obviously already happening (e.g., flight sims, military sims/wargames, medical, disaster preparedness, etc.), and it's certain that it will only proliferate.

A year ago I had high school seniors spend a month looking at economics in World of Warcraft, and it proved an effective "lab" for the theories they had learned. That was a novel example, but it makes a point.


This is an interesting topic, but doesn't it basically ask the question, "Can we build a game that teaches real-world concepts, that people will play?"

At the end of this, it seems that what you'd end up with is a (virtual) environment that hopes to serve as a self-motivating course of education (in this example, high finance).

Listening to a podcast (Brent, from Virginworlds.com) from the Austin Game Developers Conference, I heard reference to a project (don't recall the name just now) that will use actual mathematic equations as the source of power in the game.

If you want your character to create a "wall", then you (the player) have to learn about planar geometry, and so forth. Clearly to the extent the player has to learn the mathematical principles involved, there is the potential for transference.

What's interesting in this thread is not whether the player learns transferable skills, but whether the environments *in which those skills were learned* become valid references.

Mr. Bartle's comment about power-leveling points up one obvious potential issue. Unlike today's games, where anonymity is at least attempted, for a simulation to be reference-worthy, identity would have to be verifiable. Did little Joey play to 90th level of Virtual Tycoon, or was it his sister/mother/father/some third party he paid to level him up?


Indeed many people are living this reality in Real Cash Economy Virtual Worlds such as Second Life and Entropia Universe. The boundaries have already been broken, it just is not mainstream or widely known yet.

As to the original post, I believe what we are more likely to see is the new form of economy, the RCE Virtual World continue to develop becomming established and relevant. Once it does that the bankers and taxman will want in. Rather than us (the VW investor) going to them (the RL bank) they will be needing our services.

Nate Randall
RCE Universe


I'm sure mr.Bloomfield have a lot of economics to learn , playing SL and Entropia. The corruption, the threats and the bribe , also the false advertising are usefull tools on WallStreet too.
But even if there's no VW suited for his needs yet, he still have a lot to learn.

Nate, i never saw your boss asking for an apologize here at TN. You do really have some nerve , showing your face ....should i call it " lack of decency , civility and common sense " ?

Or it's about exactely the skills MindArk teached you ?


Nate, can you tell us why that Canadian Bank broke the contract with MindArk ? Can you tell us why MindArk is on the " black list " of all and any serious bank , not to mention many other financial govts institutions ? Can you tell us why is the FBI monitorizing MindArk's financial activities pending on Cayman and Belize Islands Banks involved in money laundering ?


@ Amarilla

I think you may have my organization, RCE Universe, confused with MindArk, makers of Entropia Universe.

RCE Universe is a news and discussion site dedicated to reporting on Real Cash Economy virtual worlds like, Second Life, There.com, Entropia Universe and others. We are not affiliated in any way with MindArk or Entropia Universe.

As for your accusations towards MindArk, I would be extremely interested in hearing more. Please feel free to contact me directly.

Nate Randall
RCE Universe


Amarilla, do you have any proof of your allegations or is this just the old and tired routine of Internet hatred? It sure sounds like it... The only place Mindark appears to be blacklisted on is this site...

It is easy to point the accusing finger while hiding behind a keyboard...


I don't confuse your site , the same as i don't confuse Jon Jacobs. He wasn't affiliated to MindArk, either . Say hi to Neomaven there at your site , from Belize. And i don't feel free at all, considering MindArk's EULA wich clearly states that one may not " spread rummors potentially damaging to MindArk's interests ", under the penalty of cancelling its account.
Notice , it doesn't say anything about if the " rummors " are the pure truth or not, also it doesn't mention any criterias of evaluation of that " potentiality ", but it says : using any media of communication, including but not limited to internet ". So, at tis momment i'm at Dan's mercy :)


This has stepped outside the bounds of my expertise, but I feel compelled to comment, since I commented on Robert's previous posts.

In principle, I don't see the same kinds of problems with this as I mentioned previously with experiment-oriented projects. Since I'm not into the training serious games field, there's likely to be other problems I don't see. I imagine the devil's in the details for this kind of thing.

randople>>Present day systems allow for extensive paper trading, back testing and complex model simulations.

So, there's a big question. What does doing this sort of thing via a VW accomplish that isn't available via paper-trading? Or via a banking-specific single player sim?

Now the overall *economy* of a VW is real, while in a sim it's not. If that aspect is critical to your sim, then there might be a benefit, but also other problems.

Richard Bartle>>I'm sure the people who offer power-levelling facilities will be all too happy to sell their services to people who want a qualification but are "time-poor, cash-rich".

I don't know how they do it, but there's quite a number of colleges offering online courses these days, so I guess there must be accepted techniques for dealing with the "muling stats 210" problem.

OK, the above is about what might be offered in terms of training. If a VW was designed which had a persistent economy, but detailed hooks to make it more applicable to specific legal systems of banking/accounting/etc., then that would certainly be of interest as an experimental platform.

I would be wary of taking everything in the game as face-value corresponding to its RL finance counterpart until it could be observed for a good time. The game metaphor can easily obscure the underlying economic reality, but I trust economy-oriented players to dig down to the reality after a little while.


Tell me more, Jingo :)


Nate and Jingo , feel free to ask a lawyer and to use Google; this is not a tabloid , nor a place for free ads , nor a fanbois forum.


I've long tinkered with the thought of a game world that presents itself differently for different genres. A VW that attracts the WOW hoi polloi, with another path in for the casual match-three gamer who likes the views of mountains in the background while they play, to a historical life simulator marketed or provided free to schools. Simply segregate those groups in space, but give them a thematic connection (like "national identity") and the ability to benefit the society as a whole. Your monster killers provide raw materials that appear for the match-three gamer to craft, and then give it to the educationals to market or distribute.

In the latter example, you could easily teach basic economics to children and young adults with the variability of a VW, plus you can teach genetics and life cycles such as basic ecology.

Back when I was a teacher, I had a student playing on my server in Star Wars Galaxies. As time went on, he became disatisfied with his Creature Handler. Further discussion revealed that we had just covered some material on genetics, and he wasn't seeing the connection between the lesson learned in class and what he was seeing in the game.

Seizing the teaching moment, so to speak, it was a simple web search that revealed a breeding game that from what I understand pretty much consumed the kid alongside reading everything he could on the subject.

What if SWG had a sort of basic genetics system involved? One-stop educational shopping, in a fun wrapper.

I guess my point is I see a lot more potential in the nearest term for the younger set than as a resume builder as suggested in the topic.


Timothy Dang>I don't know how they do it, but there's quite a number of colleges offering online courses these days, so I guess there must be accepted techniques for dealing with the "muling stats 210" problem.

Either they bring them in for the exams, or they offer worthless qualifications.

Of course, this isn't purely an online phenomenon anyway. Are you finding your coursework isn't much of a challenge? Do you need a 2:1 so you can get a job with people who have your same high standard of education? Is grinding out an essay costing too much of your valuable time? Why not pay someone else to do it for you?

"Completely original and non-plagiarised"!



Steve Williams: "I guess my point is I see a lot more potential in the nearest term for the younger set than as a resume builder as suggested in the topic."

Can I vent about a pet peeve for a moment?

Steve is (judging by his post) a person who educates adolescents and sees more potential for the younger set here.

Robert Bloomfield is a B-School Prof. and sees potential to educate B-School students.

Tom Hunter is a business person and sees potential for business.

Edward Castronova is an economist and sees potential for the study of economics.

Anyone see the trend?

I think the right answer is that there is huge potential here, otherwise we would not spend so much time on Terra Nova.


"I think the right answer is that there is huge potential here, otherwise we would not spend so much time on Terra Nova. "

I think each of those you mentioned , already have a lot of online environments offers exactly on their points of interests ; including games and VWs.
To integrate them into an unique/complete - in all senses- VW , it's a nice goal , but i doubt it's feasable right now. The RL have a lot to say yet , the makers / owners too , and so far i dont see a dialogue between games-makers and laws-makers. The VWs are in a stage of very very young childhood and are like the first child to a family wich never had /saw a child before .....that family being the RL.


Tom said:

"Can I vent about a pet peeve for a moment?"

I can recognize that as a pet peeve, certainly, but I was trying to approach this strictly from my experience. On further reflection, I would certainly agree that a business model "done built right" could provide an equal or better teaching and accreditation tool than playing ecology or math games with kids on a computer.

Incidentally, as you guessed I have a background in elementary and secondary education, but I left that to design computer games. My first goal was to go for the edutainment set, but decided to concentrate on my true love - virtual worlds and the act of bringing them to life in a person's mind. Which brings me to agree with:

"I think the right answer is that there is huge potential here, otherwise we would not spend so much time on Terra Nova."

That is indeed what I feel drives many of us, especially the primary writers of Terra Nova.


Been thinking about this post. Blogged it at the URL above, rather than hogging space here.


Some of the people who've held more senior positions in our volunteer program in Furcadia (which is pretty involved and has some layers of "middle management") have listed that experience on their resume', particularly when seeking jobs in areas like customer service, web page development & scripting, or other fields where the work they did in Furcadia would be directly relevant. Several of them have also listed us as references. Most recently one of our former volunteer group heads got a full-time job doing customer service at Blizzard for World of Warcraft.

The future may be closer than it appears in your car mirrors. ;)

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