Forget about spending $1.50 on clothes for your digital character. A player by the name Buzz 'Erik' Lightyear
recently purchased an in-game item for the Swedish-based MMO Entropia Online for over $300,000 real-world dollars.
Entropia has been around since 2004, and since has used a complex system of micro-transactions to translate into real dollars totalling more than $400 million in 2008 alone. Many people may think that this kind of virtual purchase is crazy, but 'Erik' no-doubt sees it as an investment and business opportunity.
The Crystal Palace Space Station controls a huge sub-system of in-game sales, and it's owner gets to regulate what is sold, when, how much taxes are paid, and various other aspects of the game's economy.
It's hard to justify the purchase of ANY virtual item, but if past experiences with virtual players become real millionaires are any indicator (Second Life anyone?), then Mr. Lightyear will be quite pleased (asuming the game and its servers stay functioning long enough to turn a profit).