Valve Software has enlisted the expertise of famed economist Yanis Varoufakis, who will work in a variety of roles for Valve related to the virtual economies of its line-up of games that feature micro-transactions. Varoufakis will mostly serve as a consultant to Valve as it shores up its virtual economies. He will also use the various economies in Valve's games as test beds for various economic analysis that he claims are not possible in real world economies.
"My academic curiosity blended nicely into Valve's burning desire to serve its gaming community better, through the development of services that are in tune with the community's needs as gamers," claims Varoufakis. He sees Valve's customer base as "traders, developers, participants in something much bigger than just video games."
Varoufakis also plans to out Valve's internal management structure under a microscope and discuss it all at length in his blog with weekly updates. You can get an introduction to Varoufakis at blogs.valvesoftware.com. In his first post he explains how a strange email from Valve founder Gabe Newell started this whole endeavor.