Two looks into the world of online games that are fascinating for those of us not immersed in them. First, an article about how designers of online multi-player games can combat the ingenious ways people try and cheat. It's nearly three years old, so may be well out of date for all I know, but it's still interesting to see how people try and get ahead in these non-existent worlds.
Second, Julian Dibbell has a weblog. He wrote an article for Wired in January about the economy of buying and selling virtual objects in Ultima Online for real world money, after a study described the world of EverQuest as being the world's 77th richest country. While researching the article Dibbell fell into a "fairly predictable Ultima addiction" and is now keeping a intriguing diary of his attempts to make real dollars by trading virtual goods.