Will Roblox's thriving virtual economy make it the next meme stock?

The kids are into it, just as they were into GameStop , an ailing bricks-and-mortar gaming retailer whose share price soared earlier this year.

Unlike GameStop, though, Roblox is all the rage with venture capitalists, Wall Street bankers and other supposedly hard-headed investors.

The company makes money by issuing Robux, which players buy with real dollars and spend on extras such as avatar outfits and accessories.

Creators like Alex Balfanz, a student who made millions and paid his college fees with “Jailbreak”, a hit game, plans to create for Roblox for a decade or more.

They want to see if the firm really is, as Mr Baszucki describes it, a shepherd for the “metaverse”, the idea of a persistent virtual world in which people meet, experience things together, make money and more.

The firm may look like child’s play, says Herman Narula, co-founder of Improbable, a virtual-worlds company, but platforms like it may soon become “the primary way that many of us earn a living”.

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