I highly recommend Brad Plumer's article on economists studying the economies that exist inside big multiplayer video games.
There's just one thing that I want to add to the mix, namely that I really want this field to be called "fake business cycle theory." It's endlessly annoying to me that in economist-ese the opposite of "nominal" is "real" as if nominal quantities are somehow fake. Fake economies are very much a thing. They're right there in Eve Online and Second Life and the Valve and whatnot. And they have business cycles. Fake ones.
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.