They’re Games, But The Monopoly Money Is Real

Real money is being spent on virtual goods–estimates put the outlay at a cool $1 billion this year. Some say the pixel dust industry could grow to $17.3 billion in 2015.
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Alex Pham of L.A. Times reports that about one in 10 Americans reached into their wallets last year and spent an average of $30 on pixelated swords, outfits and other non-real items used in online games such as Habbo, Pet Society and Club Penguin.
Why waste real money on intangible items? According to a researcher with the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology Vili Lehdonvirta, people buy intangible items to gain status, identity, membership, class and performance.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.