prostoalex writes "MSNBC points to the court cases spawned by virtual worlds. Recently, Tom Loftus notes, a virtual island in one of the MMORPGs sold for $30,000, enough to attract commercial attention. Apparently, some businesses create third-world sweatshops, where low-wage laborers are being paid to play and accumulate enough virtual merchandise, so that an eBay sale of it makes the operation profitable. 'One such business, Blacksnow Interactive, actually sued a virtual world's creator in 2002 for attempting to crack down on the practice. The first of its kind to center on virtual goods, the case was eventually dropped,' MSNBC says." Update: 02/06 18:59 GMT by Z : We ran a story about the sale of the virtual island, and Terra Nova has a lot of commentary on the sale of virtual goods. For comparison, the economic impact of this phenomenon is roughly equal to that of Namibia or Macedonia.