Neopets is a great way to teach kids how to earn and manage money.
that will be 39.4 million dollars, please.
just like art school
One of the major limitations of economics as a science — as with any social science — is experiments can’t really be done in a controlled environment. An economic system consists of the production, distribution or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents (or so sez Wikipedia).
The big issue with the economy in Neopets is users literally make money appear magically. You earn money by playing games. It’s just generated. This is why you can’t just print more money, because when you do, it loses its value.
And of course, the people who run Neopets don’t know how to fix this problem. I can remember being 12 years old and seeing the little calculator showing Neopian inflation. I can only imagine what the inflation rate is right now.
(I just logged into my account for the first time in maybe eight or nine years. Everything looks so different. I can’t find the rate of inflation, but holy hell, that was a trip.)
People a lot smarter than me in this subject can tell you where the usefulness of this case study ends, but I still think it’s interesting to think about.