Virtual goods are items that are purchased or traded for use in games (especially online) or in other online venues (social networks, communities, etc.). Some games use this as a way to generate income allowing the game to be played for free. Virtual goods can be special weapons, clothing, gifts, or other items that the player purchases. In some venues, these can be traded, sold, or given as gifts to other users.
Common places to find virtual goods are in online games, cellular phone applications, and games on social network sites. Although most virtual goods cost only a few dollars, analysts expected in 2009 that virtual goods would make an estimated 5 billion dollars in the United States.