Caught up in the international drama facing Greece's perilous financial situation is a man who used to work for Valve and, until today, was the nation's minister of finance.
Gamers may remember that at one time Valve hired on a bona fide economist to help the company better understand the in-game economies it had created, particularly as their user bases and the variety of goods they were trading and selling mushroomed. That gentleman was Yanis Varoufakis, who joined Valve in March 2012.
But late last year, Varoufakis left Valve to become the minister of finance for his native Greece, in an attempt to help it recover from a debt crisis that this past week seized international attention anew.
Greece failed to meet a billion-euro loan payment at the end of June and this weekend, its citizens rejected bailout terms set by the European Commission and the country's creditors.
That's what Varoufakis wanted them to do, actually, and the former economist for Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 vowed that he "shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride."
Varoufakis had developed a reputation as difficult to deal with, particularly for the level of office he held. In his resignation he mentioned Greece's creditors and negotiating partners had preferred he no longer participate in negotiations. "For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today," he wrote. It appears his resignation was requested by the Greek prime minister.
Greece is running out of money. On Monday the government extended bank closures an extra day, to Wednesday, and capped ATM withdrawals but bank runs seem not to have abated. The country is poised to exit the European currency unless it comes up with a plan suitable to both its creditors and voters.
"Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup's June 25 ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached," Varoufakis wrote on his personal blog. "It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution - to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favor of the needy, and real reforms."