It was once a goal of mine to create a basic economic simulation. I wanted to recreate the process of actual markets. I never got to the point where I realized how difficult this would be. Luckily for me Ryan Safner had a similar vision, and had worked much longer than I had to create a world with an integrated economic system. He realized, and I have come to realize, that to create a working economy there has to be an efficient, effective, and motivated feedback mechanism. The easiest way to achieve these goals is to introduce a human element to the system.
It is very easy to fall into a modern form of the fatal conceit when programming. You can have near perfect control over your creation to the limits of your ability. It is tempting to think that you can create a balance or order within a system, but this strays into the fatal conceit. We can create a basic equation that takes some simple inputs and gives us simple outputs. What we cannot easily re-create is the bottom up processes that exists in evolution, markets, and other forms of spontaneous orders. By introducing a human element into the system you can get complex results out of a simple rule set.
Each human within a system represents an additional complexity. They bring with them a set of unique preferences, a different way of viewing the world, and different methods for achieving their desired goals. With just a few people in a system you can begin to see specialization, and trade. This simple process has produced all the technologies and wonders of the modern world. I want to see that process unleashed to create a new virtual world.
The long-term goal of Sporder is to recognize, study, and create frameworks for the emergence of systems of trade and specialization in virtual settings.