(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Virtual Dibbell Dollars: It's A Living

Last year Julian Dibbell set out to prove that you kind live on the profit from virtual goods. He began buying and selling within the Ultima Online MMRPG and declaring his sales and income, as well as lodging the appropriate forms and paying taxes to the IRS. Well, the project is over and Dibbell seems to have made a healthy living of around $47,000 (US) which Terra Nova points out is more than secondary teachers earn in the US. Wired points out the Dibbell didn't quite make his target of making more money using virtual goods than he has from writing, but he did come close. It's a curious thing when you can make 'real' profit off 'virtual' wares, but, then again, isn't that how the stock market works sometimes (can anyone say dot-com crash). Of course, Dibbell does leave a world of questions on the table about how real the virtual can seem to some people (Utlima players in this case), and whether the real/virtual distinction is as rigid as many people would like to think...


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