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Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon

Yanis varoufakis greek greece finance minister syriza valve

UPDATE: No longer just a tip or rumour, Yanis Varoufakis is now Greece’s Finance Minister. Sky News’ political editor Faisal Islam broke the news on his Twitter feed

Almost three years ago Valve hired an economist to analyse and direct the Steam Market. Yanis Varoufakis was going to chart the sale of Dota 2’s vanity items, the purchase of Counter-Strike weapon skins, and try to understand why the hell everyone was buying hats.

Varoufakis is now tipped to become Greece’s new finance minister.

All fear the coming hat event horizon.

This weekend saw Greece vote in Syriza, an anti-austerity party, who plan to end government cuts and Greece’s financial crisis by investing in growing the Greek economy. Varoufakis has been named as the most likely candidate to become Greece’s finance minister.

In 2012, Gabe Newell invited Varoufakis to visit Valve to help them link Steam’s virtual economies together. Newell had been reading Varoufakis’ blog and realised that creating a shared currency between real money and the steam wallet was similar to Greece and Germany’s problems with the Euro.

Shortly after, Varoufakis visited Valve to learn more about Steam and he’s been working as a private consultant since.

Back in 2013 Varoufakis published an article in Greek paper Lifo which described an experience with a VR device like we’ve never seen.

In a strange case of going full circle, it now looks like Varoufakis will play a part in solving the problems of Greece and Germany’s shared economy with experience he gained working at Valve.

We can only hope that Varoufakis wasn’t too influenced by Team Fortress 2’s hat-based economy. As we learned from Douglas Adams, when a society invests in a single clothing industry – shoes, say – then the economy can build to what he called a ‘shoe event horizon’.

In the shoe example, the entire population evolve into a race of bird creatures.

So, beware the hat event horizon.

Cheers, Chris Thursten.