This is a picture of part of my Runescape merchanting lists. Merchanting, also known as 'merching' in Runescape, involves buying and selling huge quantities of in-game mythical goods in order to turn an in-game profit. I started merching for a set of articles I'm writing about Runescape's economy, but it was a few days before I fully realized that I was making a detailed excel spreadsheet in order to play a computer game-- sort of missing the forest of entertainment for the trees.
In many ways, though, I do find merching entertaining. I've always liked the idea of investing money, and buying and selling virtual items on a market gives me an investment sandbox with no real risk. In the space of a month, I've accumulated about 14 million gp (the Runescape currency), and as I acquire a larger investment base, profit comes more quickly. Merching isn't too time-absorbing either-- after posting a buy or sell order on the market, I do homework or write, occasionally checking to see which deals have gone through.
There's a lot more I could say, but the price of cosmic runes just crashed down to 285 gp each and I need to run some damage control.