The U.S. economy may be in the dumps, but you can find solace in the fact that your Second Life avatar is living the life of the 1%. But what if the virtual economies of video games could be transferred to the real world? We're actually already seeing this in Diablo 3, where axes, swords, and other awesome gear have taken on real world value at the Diablo 3 Auction House. People are buying and selling them with real US dollar bills!!!!!! The idea that a collection of pixels can be sold for actual money might be confusing to some, as they are neither true "objects" you can hold nor "ideas" that can be considered intellectual property. But despite the lack of tangibility, real world economies have formed around these games and real world profits are being made.
Diablo 3 Soundtrack - Overture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy31Kwd0gxI
Derezzed 8bit http://soundcloud.com/toms94/derezzed-8bit
Angry Video Game Nerd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYDuy7wM8Gk
Toast Patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US6080436