Sources for “Even Better Than the Real Thing”

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Current virtual world population: Edward Castronova, “Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games,” (University of Chicago Press, 2005); Michael Fatten, Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University. Population of Mexico City: Alphabetical Index of World’s Largest Urban Areas, “City Mayors Statistics;” 2006 population figures.

Primary place of residence is virtual space: Edward Castronova, “Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games,” (University of Chicago Press, 2005); Norath Economic Survey.

MMORPG players average 22hrs/wk: The Daedalus Project, “The Psychology of MMORGS: Hours of Play Per Week,” February 2004. Time spent eating: Amber Waves, “How Much Time Do Americans Spend Preparing and Eating Food?” November 2005.

Pizza Hut orders for role-players: Chris Fuller, Pizza Hut, Inc., Media & Press Kits spokesman.

EverQuest players spend more time gaming than working: Edward Castronova, “Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games,” (University of Chicago Press, 2005).

Buying virtual money: The Daedalus Project, “The Psychology of MMORGs: Buying Gold,” October 17, 2005.

EverQuest players spend more on male avatars: Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research, “Price of Man and Woman: a Hedonic Pricing Model of Avatar Attributes in a Synthetic World,” June 2003.

$1.5 billion on virtual goods: John Maffei, Affinity Media, “IGE, Ltd.,” March 5, 2007.


Virtual Currency Graphs: Game Price Watcher; Linden Lab; Peter Gray, Lewis PR.

Entropia Universe debit card for virtual money: Entropia Universe Card Offer and

‘Advance Limit Increase’ form.

Virtual sword murder: BBC, “Chinese gamer sentenced to life,” June 8, 2005.

World of Warcraft funeral attacked: YouTube, “Serenity Now Bombs a World of Warcraft Funeral”; The (UK) Guardian, “Gamers Don’t Want Any More Grief,” June 15, 2006

84% of Warcraft players are male: The Daedalus Project, “WoW Gender-Bending,” December 3, 2006.

Second Life’s economy is 86 Million: Linden Labs, Second Life Virtual Economy

Key Metrics . Grenada GDP: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, September 2006.

Sweden plans to open Second Life embassy, tax virtual earnings: Svenska Institute, “Sweden to Open World’s First Embassy in Second Life,” January 31, 2007; The Local, “Swedish Taxman Sets Sights on Second Life,” January 31, 2007.

Gold farmers: “Gold Farmer”, directed by Ge Jin, University of California, San Diego.

29% females dated people met in games: The Daedalus Project, “Love is in the Air,” December 3, 2006.

Virtual marriages last one month:, “Going to the Chapel…” February 13, 2007.

Students with divorced parents made Sims divorce: GameStudies, “Self-Portrayal in a Simulated Life,” December 2006.

Chinese couple fights over virtual property: Pacific Epoch, “Game Accounts Take Center Stage in Divorce,” July 1, 2005.

Sluster editor touts “girl next door” effect: Wired News, “Cyberporn Sells in Virtual World,” December 22, 2005.

Cost of an hour with Second Life escorts:, “Female SL-Escorts by price,”, March 2007.

“O Mee Pooba” means “I’m pregnant”: The Sims2 Bulletin Board, “The Big Simlish Dictionary,” May 15, 2005.

Songs in Simlish: The (UK) Guardian, “Pop Musics Turning Into a lot of Nonsense, Says Eva Wiseman,” March 17, 2007; Wired, “No Suit Required,” September 2006.

Celebrities appeared as avatars: Second Life news center, “Interview with Arianna Huffington in Davos,” January 24. 2007; New World Notes, “The Second Life of Governor Mark Warner,” August 31, 2006; New World Notes, “Suzanne Vega and the Second Life of Live Music,” August 4, 2006.

Second Life Liberation Army bombs Reebok, shoots avatars: Second Life Herald, “Clothing-Oriented SLLA Griefers Visit Reebok Custom Shoe Store,” October 2006; Los Angeles Times, “Virtual Loses its Virtues,” February 22, 2007.

Armchair hunters:, “States Ban Hunting of Live Animals over the Internet,” July 7, 2006; Michael Markarian, Humane Society.

Hezbollah video game: Ed Halter, “From Sun Tzu to Xbo: War and Video Games,” 2006; The (UK) Telegraph, “Video Games Attract Young to Hizbollah,” February 21, 2004.

America’s Army: BBC News, “War Vets Feature in US Army Game,” May 18, 2006; Jane’s, “US Armed Forces Invest $120m in Video Games,”. December 13, 2005.

Navy uses virtual reality for PTSD treatment: Office of Naval Research, “Evaluating Virtual Reality Therapy for Treating Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” April 1, 2005.

Half of gamers say they’re addicted: PRESENCE, “The Demographics, Motivations, and Derived Experiences of Users of Massively Multi-User Online Graphical Environments,” 2006.

Gamesterdam: Smith & Jones addiction consultants, “Problem Gaming Treatment,” 2006.


8 Million Subscribe to World of Warcraft: Blizzard Entertainment Press Release, ìWorld of Warcraft Surpasses 8 Million Subscribers Worldwide.î

Price of 1 Sword of the Falcon: World of Warcraft Auction House,Price Database.

Second Life has 4 million users: Second Life homepage, “Total Residents,” 2007.

Price of J-Lo avatar, yacht: Second Life Boutique, 2007.

600,000 subscribe to Entropia: Elina Heng, Account Executive, Terpin Communications.

Cost of two alien sculls:, Price Finder.

Sims Online has 2 million users: Amanda Taggart, EA public relations.

Price of 5,000 office chairs: “The Sims Online Mania,” 2007.


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