Live Gamer, the RMT company that is partnering with MMORPG companies like SOE to bring sanctioned item trading to MMOs has announced that they have brought on Noted Virtual Economist Vili Lehdonvirta.
NEW YORK, NY - July 23, 2008 - Live Gamer, the premier operator of a publisher-supported marketplace for real money trading (RMT) of virtual items, today announced the addition of preeminent virtual economy authority, Vili Lehdonvirta, to the company's advisory board. Lehdonvirta is a respected expert on virtual consumerism, defined as the phenomenon where people spend significant sums of real money on virtual property, such as game items.
Live Gamer, through its publisher-supported marketplace platform, is the leader in real money trading for virtual assets within MMORPGs and virtual worlds. The addition of Vili Lehdonvirta's vast expertise and knowledge to Live Gamer's veteran staff of gaming, entertainment and finance experts expands the company's ability to help guide the growth and impact of virtual economies on game design, player experiences and online communities, in close partnership with publishers and developers.
"I was extremely impressed by Live Gamer's resolve to take control of the RMT phenomenon in a way that respects the nature of each MMO and benefits both players and publishers, and I believe it is the company best poised to do so," said Lehdonvirta. "As member of the advisory board, I will help Live Gamer leverage academic research on virtual economies, player motivations and virtual item market dynamics to best meet this objective. Some of the leading research in the area is conducted at our institute, HIIT. "
Lehdonvirta is a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), a joint research institution of Helsinki University of Technology TKK and the University of Helsinki, which conducts world class research in future information technologies. Since 2004, HIIT has carried on a multi-disciplinary research effort into virtual economies and is today recognized as one of the leading institutions in the area. Lehdonvirta's research focuses on what motivates virtual consumerism and to what extent it can substitute physical forms of consumption in the future. A former game developer, Lehdonvirta is currently also a doctoral student of economic sociology at Turku School of Economics and a visiting researcher at Waseda University, Tokyo.
"We're honored to have Vili Lehdonvirta, a pioneering thought leader in virtual economics contribute to Live Gamer's efforts in developing a safe and secure marketplace for the real money trading of virtual assets," said Andrew Schneider, president and co-founder of Live Gamer. "Vili's experience in virtual consumerism adds a new dimension to our knowledge and skill in this area to the benefit of our publisher partners and gamers."