The yuletide overflow of wrapping paper and astrology books prompted me to think about the giving and trading of virtual objects. Trade in digital objects took off when gamers began buying and swapping swords and other symbols to increase their playing power. eBay became the trading post for such items, though it was illegal to take game content outside of the game itself. The practice was banned in 2007, yet this did little to quell the practice, said to be worth $US2 billion ($A3 billion) annually. Developers of social network sites recognised that virtual goods were a way to add value, with many taking a percentage for brokering the arrangement. Most now supply graphical items such as flowers or hearts which friends give to one another.