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Play Money by Julian Dibble - Virtual Economies

Updated on July 8, 2014

Play Money by Julian Dibble - A Must Read For Any Online Gamer

This is an amazing book for any online gamer that is interested in the economic aspects of online MMOs (Massively Multi-Player Online Games). Julian Dibble actually quit his day job to become a full time dealer of virtual goods within the Ultima Online gaming community. This book details his decision to quit his primary job to make money from one of his favorite hobbies: playing online games. The author discusses many of the strategies he used to form his own online business, including the buying of other player's accounts and liquidating the acquired goods and gold pieces. Other topics in Play Money include a first hand look into some of the earliest chinese gold farms and loophole exploits that made early discoverers a lot of real world money as well as the author's personal family battle of trying to be a full time gamer as a career. With online gaming become one of the most profitable entertainment industries, we also learn of these in game subcultures of players trying to make a real world living from selling virtual items within these online games. This really is a great book that anyone who plays online games will understand and enjoy, so it makes a great gift for any online gamer.

Image Credit: My own picture, taken by me, of the First Edition copy that I own.

Grab A Copy Of Play Money - Julian Dibble takes you inside his own online economic experience.

Play Money
Play Money

It's a timeless classic about making a real world living by setting up a business trading virtual goods. Who wouldn't want to be able to stop working a regular job and just make money inside an MMO?


The book's first sentence says it all:

On Tuesday, March 11th, 2003, I announced to my family, my friends, and anyone else who happened to look at my website that I was embarking on a new profession: I was going to start a business selling make-believe commodities, and I was going to get rich doing it.

Trading Virtual Goods Online For Cash

Who wouldn't want to make a living off of gaming?

In Play Money, we also are introduced to a variety of other in game businessmen. One of the characters mentioned in the book, was also a character that I had interacted with myself while I played Ultima Online. Mr. Bigg had a character on every server in Ultima Online and he had created a specialty service of moving liquid currency across servers. You could give Mr Bigg all your currency on one server and he would give you back 90% of it on your new server. His service was an excellent way to move your currency to a new server, perhaps to join the server your friends were on. And the 10% fee was well worth it.

Julian Dibble discusses everything in this book. You learn about players that do nothing but craft goods in game, rare item dealers, account brokers, character services, and all kinds of various early up starters in these online games. This was before the black cloud that tends to now follow these types of online profiteers. It's great to go back and learn about the early pioneers who started the online gaming businesses that turned into real world profits.

An insider's view at making real world cash on virtual gaming goods.

What Are Your Thoughts? - Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

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Have You Found Any Other Good Books On Virtual Economics?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This lens is stellar! Nice job :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Squidalicious lens ;)

    • TarahFlesch profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice lens!! :)

    • IssacAlouf profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this :D

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I found this lens very useful...thanks for sharing it

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Superb information, thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for sharing!

    • LonnieMahajan profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • SadSquid profile image


      7 years ago

      The only MMO game I was seriously involved in was EveOnline, where all forms of RL trading was deeply frowned on and bot miners were killed on sight, so I have a rather negative attitude to this, while at the same time being filled with envy and wondering whether perhaps I shouldn't have a go myself, except my corp would expel me!

    • PBJasen profile image


      7 years ago

      You can earn money playing online, no doubt, but playing just for that purpose and not enjoying the game is really difficult.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      7 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Very intriguing review! Well done. Wonder if there is still room for someone to go into those gaming places and profit from it now or if the virtual market is saturated? It is amazing to me that someone comes up with marketing ideas in virtual realities. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting I think I might need to read it

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      7 years ago from Albany New York

      Very interesting subject!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Haven't really read any. Just really getting into trying to make extra money online.


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