Insights · October 3rd, 2022
If people can inhabit virtual worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete?
In this episode of The Small Print, Think Tank member Brownyn Williams speaks to professor Edward Castronova about the phenomenon of virtual realities. They discuss VR’s rising relevance, how economies inside these worlds can affect real-life financial systems, and what sort of impact these new technologies can — and will — have on business, culture, and society at large.
About Edward Castronova
Edward “Ted” Castronova is a professor of media at Indiana University Bloomington and is best known for his work on virtual economics. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the top economics programs in the country. There, he studied statistics and cost-benefit analysis, fields that provide the tools necessary to put real dollar values on virtual goods. His research as a mid-career professor – four books and dozens of articles – shows that people in virtual worlds are economically rational, and that virtual macroeconomies operate like real ones. Now a senior professor, Castronova serves as a consultant and board member for a wide variety of enterprises.
About Bronwyn Williams
Bronwyn Williams is a futurist, economist, trend analyst and host of The Small Print. Her day job as a partner at Flux Trends involves helping business leaders to use foresight to design the future they want to live and work in. You may have seen her talking about Transhumanism or Tikok on Carte Blanche, or heard her talking about trends on 702 or CNBC Africa where she is a regular expert commentator. When she’s not talking to brands and businesses about the future, you will probably find her curled up somewhere with a (preferably paperback) book.