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musical_hog78 karma

I have to assume you mean a 7-year-old on an iPad. Because that would be adorable.

musical_hog63 karma

Is regenerative braking what it sounds like? Returning energy generated from braking into the system?

musical_hog43 karma

/r/tf2trade mod and /r/dota2trade head mod and former student of Professor Castronova here. I obviously do not have the academic background or experience that he does, but my experience is specific to these games and these economies, so maybe I can share my insight.

I think one of his previous answers accurately sums up how intricate and complex virtual economies can be, as well as how perplexing they can appear to those who are not intimately involved.

According to Valve, none of the items within the games you mentioned have any actual real-world value other than the arbitrary prices in their respective in-game store. Even then, many of those items are only accessible through a gambling system in the form of opening crates. As a result, players created what I call "perceived value" for many items. In TF2, the best example would probably be how the Mac OSX Earbuds went from being a freely-accessible item to a currency piece overnight; players recognized their rarity and overall aesthetic appeal and, soon, savvy traders would not accept anything fewer than 20 keys for them.

Basically, there's a rough formula for determining the approximate value of an item.

> Rarity + popularity + aesthetic appeal = value

rarity x (popularity + aesthetic appeal) = value, with rarity carrying the most weight in the equation

Sometimes certain variables in that formula have greater weight, but typically, a rare, popular, aesthetically pleasing item will be highly valued. In the case of last year's famous Dota 2 item sale, it can be worth up to several tens of thousands of dollars to the right buyer. Conversely, a rare item that nobody wants and is relatively ugly will carry some value, but will not be a hot commodity.

The way that many of the items commonly bought and sold rose to the values they are now is (for the most part) an organic process. Items with high variables of value were initially purchased by interested parties, which drove the supply down, which, in turn, drove the demand up. The process repeats itself until there are no more buyers and a natural ceiling is reached. Typically, at least. Lots of times, these items fluctuate in value, and savvy traders will recognize these trends to buy low, sit on the product, then sell when they rise again. Notably, the "Elder Timebreaker" item in Dota 2 was common at one point, then became "immortal" in quality, which drove demand way up, so the price rose dramatically. Eventually, demand dropped because other items became more highly sought-after (the Battlefury item, for example). Now, the price is high again because many traders bought as many as they could at a low price and artificially altered the supply vs demand ratio.

I'm obviously not an expert, but I have made a lot of observations through the years I've spent babysitting these economies.

musical_hog15 karma

Thanks, that is more or less what I thought!

musical_hog9 karma


A small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual's primary residence. It may be an apartment or condominium.

So, which is it, Jim? An apartment or a condominium? The people demand answers.