Ramin Shokrizade is a lifelong gamer, having started as a competitive chess player at age 5, then moving to play-by-(e)mail, table top role playing, and computer games as they became available. In the late '80s and '90s he took a detour from gaming to become an exercise physiologist and US Olympic track coach and trainer. By 1999, he had returned to games, and was an early professional cyberathlete, selling virtual goods and currencies in EverQuest.
Virtual Loot for Real Cash (Los Angeles Times, April 20th, 2000), coauthored with Ashley Dunn, was the first mainstream paper written on the subject of virtual goods and currencies. Four years was spent as a journalist at www.unknownplayer.com under the pen name of Sarcerok before dedicating himself to creating the field of applied virtual economics in 2005, in support of the online game industry.
Four years of research, including two years back in school studying traditional economics, yielded the 35 page proprietary Sustainable Virtual Economies and Business Models paper in 2009. This paper proposed a model for the elimination of real money transfer activity from complex virtual economies, in addition to analyzing all existing monetization models and proposing more effective ones.
All of Mr. Shokrizade's work since 2009 has focused on the creation of advanced monetization models for online games, and the writing of papers explaining the fundamentals of applied virtual economics. His hope is that his work will lead to healthier, more profitable, and more sustainable virtual economies and business models world-wide. For more information see his profile at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=2833343 and his public papers at http://gameful.org/groups/games-for-change/forum/.