Follow-up from game night:
Project Entropia is a virtual universe with a real cash economy. It is set on the distant colony of Calypso, the first habitable planet mankind has ever found. The players take the roles of colonizers that strive to build a new world together, under the threat from various enemies that wants to destroy the colony.
What does this mean?
It means that Project Entropia is a large multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). The normal way such games operate is by purchasing the client software in a store and then pay a subscription fee every 30 days, while the internal game economy is just that –- a game economy.
Project Entropia does the opposite! The client software is free to download over the Internet and there are no subscription fee associated whatsoever. The real cash economy means that the internal Project Entropia economy is linked to the real world economy, by using a currency called the Project Entropia Dollar (PED), which have a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar (10 PED equals 1 USD).
You as a player use PED to acquire virtual land and equipment in Project Entropia to invest in your avatar’s (Player representation in the virtual universe) growth and abilities. A unique aspect of Project Entropia is that a player may elect to transfer PED back into real life currency, thereby enabling them to earn real money while playing an online computer game.
It is a neat idea, as anyone can play since it is free, and if you are good at it you could make real money at it. So I think it's worth checking out. Somebody recently bought a new space station in the game for 100,000 US dollars, which is crazy that someone would invest that much money into it. At the least I'll check up on this from time to time to see how things are going.