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Real money for virtual realty

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Sure, it's nice to own a house on Planet Calypso. But savvy real estate investors know that the real money is in shops, spaceship hangars and castles. And we are talking about real money. In "Project Entropia," an online videogame that features a virtual world – complete with real estate sales, purchases and virtual deeds of ownership – actual money can be exchanged for Calypso's "Project Entropia" Dollars, or PED, at a rate of 10 PED for every $1 U.S. The game is available for free download, though players can pay to acquire and amass virtual items, including real estate. Marco Behrmann, community relations director for Swedish company MindArk, which operates "Project Entropia," said, "The unique real cash economy means that every item has a set value in (PED) that has a fixed exchange rate to the U.S. dollar. To acquire PED, a participant needs to transfer real life funds onto his virtual avatar, which is used to purchase virtual items. The funds acquired while partaking...