What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Playing the Market

Oh Great Internet Brain,

I need your help. As part of research for the WIP I'm trying to find if there is any market out there that functions in a peculiar way.

So, let's say there's this market and it has only one commodity. This isn't something necessary, nor is it something tangible. But there are a lot of people who are in the market (something like the percentage of people who participate in their 401k program). The items are exchanged through online transfer.

Here's the market. While the commodity is exactly the same for everyone, it's value is variable based on the person. While this is how all markets work (the buyer values the item more than what the seller is asking, and this is also true when the buyer "needs" the item), and the seller is the one who sets the price, in this case the price is based on the seller's profile, but isn't under the "control" of the seller. And the price can vary by a large amount. Think of a widget that is worth $10 to one person, but is worth $1000 to another.

Now here's the game. I haven't decided if the price paid is based on the seller's or buyer's value (again, this value is set by an external agency who isn't accountable to either party, but the values are known to both parties). There's no negotiation, and the decision to sell is solely the seller's option. Which of these make more sense?

Here's the wrinkle, once you're in the game there are only 3 ways out. The first way is death, that you die of natural or other causes unrelated to the game. The other two ways are based on the total value of your portfolio of commodities (either at an arbitrary number on the top end or bottom end). There's some belief that exiting at the top end is highly desirable (joy, bliss, enlightenment, whatever) and exiting at the bottom is exact opposite. People who exit aren't heard from again (for any of the 3 reasons). So it would be possible to exit the game with a low amount of the commodity, as well as exit on the bottom with a large amount of commodity depending on your rating from that external arbiter (your rating doesn't change very fast, so you can see overall trends and respond to them).

The value is based on your actions outside of the game (in case you needed to know).

I haven't been able to find any analog for this game to see a real world model for behaviors. Do any of you know anything like this?



Dr. Phil (Physics) said...

Your initial criteria sounds like BitCoin and BitCoin mining. With teeth.

Dr. Phil

Steve Buchheit said...

Thanks, Dr. Phil. I guess that first part is pretty close to BitCoin (and some of it's competitors).