The $500,000,000 Illusion
Terra Nova clued me into this fascinating expose of the Asian sweatshops that underpin the market for virtual goods in massively multiplayer online games.
Virtual sweatshop owners pay people $150 per month to farm virtual gold and other treasures; then they turn around and sell those virtual goods for as much as $60,000 per month.
The estimated global market in virtual items? $500,000,000 per year.