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Valve economist Yannis Varoufakis becomes Greek Minister of Finance

Artem Uarabei

With the election of Syriza party in the elections of January 2015, Yannis Varoufakis will take the wheel of the Greek Ministry of Finance. Varoufakis is known in the gaming world for his work with Valve, as he helped shape Steam's digital economy as we know it today.

The winds of change are blowing for the Greeks since Sunday, January 25th, as the left-wing party Syriza managed to win the national elections, giving the promise of the "Great Escape" from the former government's exhausting austerity measures.

While Greece's situation may be of little interest for the gaming world, the name of the new Minister of Finance will surely ring a bell. Yannis Varoufakis, Valve's former in-house economist and now private consultant, has been charged with the task of handling the country's seeming endless financial issues. Being an experienced political economist, Varoufakis was approached by Gabe Newell back in 2012 to fully analyze and eventually calibrate Steam's complex digital economy.

Varoufakis's work in the field of economics has been rather extensive, as he has taught in several universities around the world and published important papers. However, it was his interesting blog posts that drew the attention of Gabe Newell. While not a gamer himself, Varoufakis's research aimed to explain the true nature of the millions of digital exchanges taking place each month between gamers, through the numerous market logs provided by Valve.

His posts on Valve Economics offer a general look on his findings and his thoughts on Valve and the economy they had forged through their games. 

While Yannis Varoufakis surely had a major impact on Valve's community market, it is uncertain if his research findings can have an actual application in the real world. What is certain is that Greece is in dire need of fresh ideas, and it will be interesting to observe the country's situation with Syriza and Varoufakis in charge. And who knows, maybe us Greeks will get a discount on future hat sales, yey!