Julian Dibbell is an author of numerous books and articles about virtual worlds. Our discussion emphasized his recent writings, and his exploration of “ludo-capitalism.”
On October 1st 2007, Julian Dibbell joined us for an overview of his thoughts on culture and economies in virtual worlds.
Julian made his name with A Rape in Cyberspace
Many people know Julian from his recent book Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot
Julian Dibbell has, in the course of over a decade of writing and publishing, established himself as one of digital culture’s most thoughtful and accessible observers. He is the author of two books about online worlds Play Money: Or How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot (Basic, 2006) and My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World (Henry Holt, 1999) and has written essays and articles on hackers, computer viruses, online communities, encryption technologies, music pirates, and the heady cultural, political, and philosophical questions that tie these and other digital-age phenomena together.
Julian has focused a lot of attention on gold farming (harvesting valuable game assets in a methodical fashion, perhaps even using teams of employees), partly through his New York Times Sunday Magazine article The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer.
Gold farming leads naturally to questions about taxation, so you might take a look at Dragon Slayers or Tax Evaders?
Finally, our pre-session talk included a surprisingly lengthy discussion of The Communist Manifesto, with particular attention to the line “all that is solid melts into air.”
Julian Dibbell is a journalist exploring online communities. In addition to his books My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World and Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot, Dibbell was a founder of the blog Terra Nova), and also writes for Wired magazine, where he recently published an influential article on griefing, entitled Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: Put the Blame on Griefers, the Sociopaths of the Virtual World.