The virtual economy
DOI link for The virtual economy
The virtual economy book
I turn in this chapter to the virtual economy as that which is least familiar yet potentially most crucial to adequately analyzing today’s global political economy. In terms of technology and material practices, the virtual economy resonates particularly with the electronics revolution and the instantaneous, worldwide communications it enables.1 As so many have noted, globalization is most visible when we consider the transborder ﬂow of information, symbols, and communication through electronic and wireless transmissions that defy territorial constraints. On the one hand, it has always been true that symbolic goods – abstractions, ideas, information – “cannot be constrained within geographical and temporal boundaries in the way that material goods can” (Waters 1995, 93). On the other hand, today’s information and communication technologies have both dramatically reduced the costs of transmitting symbolic goods and exponentially increased the speed, volume, scope, and complexity of such transmissions.