Seminar on quantitative research in virtual economies – programme details

'Projector lens' by libraryman
UPDATE: seminar programme details, including the presentation topics, available below.

On Monday, 2nd June, the AVEA project at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) organizes an open research seminar on so-called virtual economies.

In the seminar we focus on the following question: “Why should economists and social scientists be interested in virtual economies?” Through discussion and presentations by academic researchers and industry representatives, we investigate the potential of conducting quantitative research on virtual economies that is of interest to mainstream, “serious” researchers.

Virtual economies are economic systems that take place in online services. Potentially millions of Internet users produce, consume and trade so-called virtual property: scarce online resources that are similar to physical goods in that they can be controlled by only one person at a time. Online services containing virtual economies include massively-multiplayer online games such as EVE Online and World of Warcraft, and similar persistent social environments such as Habbo Hotel and Second Life. Together, virtual economies attract millions of unique users.

Details and programme

Date: June 2, 2008
Time: 9:45 to ~17:00
Place: HIIT premises at Spektri Business Park, Pilotti building, Espoo, Finland (contact)

9:45 – 12:00 Coffee & welcoming words
Vili Lehdonvirta, Researcher, HIIT
“Virtual worlds as platforms for economic and social interaction”
Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, Lead Economist, CCP Games
“Modeling an online game economy”
Jyri Partanen, Sulake

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 – 16:00 “Virtual economies and economics – two-way contribution?”
Tuukka Lehtiniemi, Researcher, HIIT
“How do virtual identities and virtual properties challenge conventional survey methodology?”
Dr. Pekka Räsänen, University of Turku
“From hypothesis testing to hypothesis formation: data mining in virtual worlds”
Antti Ukkonen, Researcher, HIIT

16:00 – ~17:00 Application demonstration: EcoIsland
Hiroaki Kimura, Waseda University, Tokyo

Coffee and snacks will be served.

Please confirm your attendance by Friday, May 16, by emailing Tuukka Lehtiniemi, tuukka.lehtiniemi{ät}


Tuukka Lehtiniemi
Vili Lehdonvirta
Kai Huotari

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT is a joint research institute of the two leading research universities in Finland, the University of Helsinki (UH) and the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK).

AVEA (Advanced Virtual Economy Applications) is a 2.5-year Tekes-funded research project that started in late 2007. HIIT’s financiers and corporate partners in the project are Nokia Research Center, CCP, Playdo and SWelcom. Main topics addressed in the project include measuring and investigating economic activity in large-scale virtual economies, virtual asset sales as revenue model for online services, and virtual economies for mobile and ubiquitous platforms. HIIT’s research partner in the project is Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.