Archival Consumed: The Buying Game

Station Exchange

Back in 2001, a professor named Edward Castronova began to study the way markets worked in a place called Norrath. Norrath does not exist in a physical sense but is the name of the “virtual world” where the online computer game EverQuest is set. EverQuest is filled with half-elves, castles, sword fights and such, and also involves a fairly complex internal economy, whose currency is platinum pieces used to buy weapons, food and other goods. Although the goods are digital, it’s not quite right to say that they don’t have real value; pretty much from the earliest days of Norrath, Castronova discovered, game players found ways to pay real-world dollars for fake-world things. Read more

Archival Consumed: Stop Snitchin’ T-Shirts

[ Silent Treatment ]

The adoration of the outlaw is a durable feature of American culture, giving us romantic images of authority-defying individuals from Billy the Kid to Tony Soprano. And maybe this attraction has something to do with the recent and rather controversial success of a Boston clothier called Antonio Ansaldi, which has sold more than 10,000 T-shirts featuring a big red stop sign and the slogan “Stop Snitchin’.” Read more