economics

Valveconomics: Why We Gift In Team Fortress 2

Richard Cobbett at

It's not simply about being nice, or even generous, explains Valve economist Yanis Varoufakis in his latest blog post, the snappily named TO TRUCK, BARTER AND EXCHANGE? On the nature of our digital economies. In it, he discusses things like the role of gifts as a way of proving dominance, pure vs. impure exchanges, and the role of gifting in the current Team Fortress 2 economy.

It's interesting stuff, if not exactly light reading. Perhaps imagine it read out by the Heavy?


Buy low, sell high in Team Fortress 2's "peculiarly sophisticated barter economy"

Tyler Wilde at

Yanis Varoufakis, Valve's new economist-in-residence, has posted his first investigation into Team Fortress 2's economy. The hat trade is more fascinating than I anticipated. Varoufakis' educational post explains (in terms non-economists can understand) two notable observations: the existence of an unusually complex barter economy in TF2, and the room for arbitrage -- buying low and selling high -- within it.