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Forza Auctions: A Study of an Artificial Economy

Wednesday 24 November 2010, 4.00pm-5.30pm
NAB 2.06, New Academic Building

Dr Peter Key
Principal Researcher
Microsoft Research Cambridge

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Abstract:

Forza Motorsport is a racing video game for the Xbox. Players can win virtual money and cars by racing, and also modify cars. They can also use the virtual currency to buy and sell cars through an auction house. From real data, comprising millions of such auctions, we present findings on user behaviour, the structure of the interconnection or social graph, and the wealth of traders . Many of the relevant distributions are heavy tailed, and can be approximated by power-law or log-normal distributions. We derive novel constructive probabilistic models to suggesting how such distributions may arise, and give preliminary results on validating the models.

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Peter Key