Well, no, not really. But it’s getting closer. A totally fictional country has a real world GNP per-capita only slightly behind that of Russia. New Scientist has a report on the real-world economic impact of Norrath, the fictional landscape that frames Sony’s EverQuest on-line game.
I find this interesting on several levels. My magical worldview is based in large part around ideaspace, the notion that our hopes, dreams, desires and gods exist on a “plane of concept and idea, where thought is form” (Alan Moore). The fictional worlds of MMRPGs (Massively Multiplayer RolePlaying Games) like EQ strike me as interesting, as a shared “unreal” space that has real and concrete impact in the “real” world. They don’t spring from the more abstract reaches of ideaspace that give birth to religion – they’re closer, more tied to reality, but they’re occupying some of the same bits of psychic real estate.
And y’know, more concretely, I’m just pleased to see that a country that doesn’t exist is worth so much.