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Users of online worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft transact millions of dollars worth of virtual goods and services every day, and these virtual economies are beginning to draw the attention of real-world authorities.
"Right now we're at the preliminary stages of looking at the issue and what kind of public policy questions virtual economies raise -- taxes, barter exchanges, property and wealth," said Dan Miller, senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.