I'm not really sure what you mean
sort of a pun. free markets don't actually exist, it's a fallacy. all
markets are controlled in subtle (and not so subtle) ways.
because of that there's no real balance, inequality inevitably grows
and they need a periodical correction or even 'reset' which is usualy
a rather violent event. in that sense i say "they don't work", and the
"invisible hand" idea is just delusion.
I'm not sure how you can claim that the notion of the invisible hand
doesn't work in games when there's a particularly good example of it
working well. I can't think of any game I've played that as an
entirely AI-driven economy that's come anywhere close to creating the
same kind of experience you can get from EVE.
eve's economy is not completely player driven. basic resources are
always available and affordable regardless of player actions, thus
speculative behaviour has no effect at all on the system, which is
closely monitored and corrections introduced as necessary, even
automatically. as a simulation it's not even a valid metaphor, just a
spinning wheel with players jumping on an off. every time a player
quits billions of isk just vanish, but the wheel just keeps
spinning. probably just a handfull players were there from the start
and all their actions become even more irrelevant. prices of some
items go up and down. so what? that's not a model for an economy, it's
more like an animated aquarium. not that i don't like it, i do play
eve, but it's just a game.