I was reading an interesting article about virtual money. The concept seems to have started with the popularity of virtual worlds and role playing games and the need to trade within them. A few examples spring to mind such as the QQ coin, a virtual currency created by a Chinese company. The currency allows you to buy and sell things such as magical swords for use in online games. Other online communities use similar currencies for example Second Life uses Linden dollars and World of Warcraft uses something called warcraft gold. It’s interesting that the idea has now become so popular that people are prepared to spend real money in order to obtain virtual goods for use in these various role playing games. World of Warcraft for example now has over 9 million players worldwide who seem happy to spend their money on these virtual goods. With online role playing games becoming more and more popular the market for virtual goods and services is predicted to rise to $4 billion by 2008. There are even companies that specialise simply in selling these virtual products such as GameGoods a European based company that sells among other products World of Warcraft Gold. It is certainly a very interesting concept, although personally I prefer real money.