Is taxation of commerce in the virtual space inevitable? We've been hearing more and more about this coming out of China
, South Korea, and Sweden, but a recent piece on BBC News -- "Slapping a tax on playtime" -- hits a bit closer to home for many of us. Flora Graham, a technology reporter for BBC News, spoke with Professor Edward Castronova
of Indiana University, well-known for his research and commentary on virtual economies
over the years, and game researcher Dr. Richard Bartle
about the impact of taxation on games and virtual worlds.
Castronova points out the idea of taxation of virtual goods exchanged for virtual money, saying, "... it's an extraordinarily dangerous development... It's as if every time I played soccer in my backyard and scored a goal, I would have to pay the government three euros. It takes away from the game's contribution to human happiness."