Unveiling a socio-economic system in a virtual world: A case study of an MMORPG

Selin Chun, Deajin Choi, Jinyoung Han, Huy Kang Kim, Taekyoung Kwon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding socio-economic systems in MMORPGs can provide an important implication on how people participate in the economy and how people interact with each other. In this paper, we model the socio-economic system of an Aion, a popular MMORPG, as a multi-layer graph. Using the dataset consisting of 94,870 users and their activity records spanning three months, we examine how economic activities are associated with social interactions, and find that social interactions like participating in a party or exchanging messages are highly correlated with the trade activities. We also find that virtual economy in Aion is heavily inclined to a small number of upper-class userswho play a crucial role in virtual economy. Our analysis on the upper-class users reveals that a significant portion of them reach at the max-level and tend to either (i) have many social interactions with others or (ii) play extremely much time with no social activity. We also reveal that there are some low-level upper-class users who gain much money but hardly socialize with others. Lastly, we show how upper-class users who are at low-levels, play the game extremely much more than others, or rarely interact with other users, are associated with the Real Money Trade (RMT), which may be an illegal behavior that gathers in-game money for exchanging into real-world money. We reveal that more than half of total money exchanged through the trade are associated with the upper-class users who involve in the RMT.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1929-1938
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356398
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 10
Event27th International World Wide Web, WWW 2018 - Lyon, France
Duration: 2018 Apr 232018 Apr 27

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018

Conference

Conference27th International World Wide Web, WWW 2018
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period18/4/2318/4/27

Keywords

  • Aion
  • Mmorpg
  • Real money trade
  • Socio-economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Chun, S., Choi, D., Han, J., Kim, H. K., & Kwon, T. (2018). Unveiling a socio-economic system in a virtual world: A case study of an MMORPG. In The Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018 (pp. 1929-1938). (The Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3178876.3186173