Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Entertainment Games News

Gamer Killed For Virtual Property 135

Posted by Zonk
from the i-didn't-want-to-report-on-this dept.
The BBC has the story of a young Chinese man who was slain over a virtual property dispute. His killer has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The Guardian Gamesblog has a deeper look at the situation with Terra Novan Ren Reynolds. From the article: "We're becoming a service property marketplace. Is this as good as a manufacturing economy? It doesn't have the moral solidity in a way. You can kind of see that shift in ethical terms. People would think that stealing an album in a shop is immoral, but stealing an mp3 isn't. The idea of property has become more intangible."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gamer Killed For Virtual Property

Comments Filter:
  • ... when it first happened. This just gives the people who think video games cause violence more fuel for the fire.

    So much for, "It's only a game."

    • You shouldn't even give them any idea. I am only saying this because every person I have met who defends the fact video game causes violence is so fucking stupid.

      These are the same people who safeproof their toothbrush so their kids won't stab themselves.

    • Heh, I misread the 'Mr Qiu lost patience and stabbed him with "great force"' part as, "stabbed him with great justice".

      Anyway, it was only a game, except this poor sod didn't realise that.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is just the nature of the human, and has nothing to do with with games.

      I loan you something. You sell it. I'm pissed. I'm gonna do something to you because I'm pissed.

      His choice of action was no different to stabbing someone due to road rage.
  • by GJSchaller (198865) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:19PM (#12770893) Homepage
    "People would think that stealing an album in a shop is immoral, but stealing an mp3 isn't. The idea of property has become more intangible."

    The key difference here is that the MP3 is copied, not removed. The original owner didn't lose his copy of the file / song when the other person took it, whereas in the case of the shop, the owner can no longer sell that physical media. The first is not viewed as theft becasue the owner doesn't lose it, where the second involves actually losing something. (Of course, if the MP3 was erased after it copied, that would be a different story.)
    • by stienman (51024) <<moc.scisabu> <ta> <sivada>> on Thursday June 09, 2005 @03:21PM (#12772593) Homepage Journal
      The key difference here is scarcity. Unless the MP3 copyright holder can control distribution, the MP3 loses any value.

      Decades ago the USA was one of the first nations to disconnect money from gold. US currency is now just as intangible as the MP3's bits, and is becoming moreso as transactions go electronic.

      The value is due to the scarcity perpetuated by the control the Federal Reserve has over the creation of paper and coin currency, and further by the government "backing" the currency with a guarantee - "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."

      It used to be that information was controlled simply by the fact that it was expensive to move it from place to place and process it. Now that information has become almost infinitely liquid, it has lost much of its value because it is no longer inherently difficult or expensive to deal with.

      Just as currency no longer is backed by gold, information is no longer held back by cost.

      This actually leads to stronger intellectual laws to provide the market with a crutch as we move forward. Obviously this will change over time, but if it were allowed to suddenly change too quickly the markets would suffer a minor collapse, instead of a slow fall that can be checked as people and businesses adjust.

      The key difference here is that the MP3 is copied, not removed. The original owner didn't lose his copy of the file / song when the other person took it

      The original owner and the purchasers did lose something, just not what some consider important.

      A problem is that the sellers want to sell one copy to everyone, and remove any possibility of a secondary market. The buyers want to re-sell their property. This is being worked out by turning everything into a service, and the reason the market is going to a service economy is that the producers want it so badly. I suspect a middle ground will be found, but only after a consumer backlash/bubble.

      -Adam
      • Only if you think that the only value is money.
      • Decades ago the USA was one of the first nations to disconnect money from gold

        Actually, the USA was one of the last to leave the gold standard. the UK left in 1931, the USA in 1971.

        Yes, FDR made it illegal for Americans to own gold, but he did not remove the USA from the gold standard.

        Note that the first country to abandon the Gold Standard was China, several thousand years ago. Of course, since then, they came back to it. and left it. and came back. and left....

        • If memory serves me correctly it was Nixon who did the deed so '71 is about right. Most European contries didn't bother to hold gold because they held US$, which was the same as gold until Nixon. This really fucked over a lot of countries on that side of the pond. I was stationed in Germany from 74-77, and got a 1936 $20 bill from a bank! in the picture on the back of the whitehouse you see how much the trees had grown in 40 years.
      • Obviously this will change over time, but if it were allowed to suddenly change too quickly the markets would suffer a minor collapse, instead of a slow fall that can be checked as people and businesses adjust.

        Presumably this change is going to come after the revolution ? Because it certainy won't happen while corporations - and their intrinsic need for draconian IP laws - are controlling the governments.

      • That's all nice and fine and all... but the problem isn't scarcity here. The original poster compared stealing an MP3 to stealing a virtual sword. Stealing an MP3 is impossible, as stealing an MP3 just involves making a digital copy. In the case reported in the original article, one man sold another man's very very expensive virtual sword. The case you mentioned is applicable for the MP3 case, but in this case, it's like one man stealing another's gold brick.
        • Do you know why it is difficult to clone a virtual sword? I suppose the data it consists of is never actually removed from the game, just some kind of ID code pointer is actually given to the "owner". So, the sword won't work outside of its game environment, unlike music which must work in the real world.
        • Stealing an MP3 is impossible
          I agree but you've also stolen the oppertunity to sell the MP3 to the "theif"/infringer. While oppertunity is an intangelble, it's legaly recognised as "cost of lost oppertunity"
      • Scarcity is indeed a key point. The current record company's business model is based around the scarcity of the physical goods they produce (cds). Thus their business model cannot apply to a scarcity free digital product. DRM technology is just a method to try to create an artificial scarcity where there is none. Their business model should change NOT the technology.
      • by xdroop (4039)
        The key difference here is scarcity. Unless the MP3 copyright holder can control distribution, the MP3 loses any value.
        Nonesense -- the MP3 clearly has value to you, that's why you want it.

        Cost, price, and value are all separate things.

        • I thought about this too... I think there's a flaw in the logic that monetary value drops towards "zero" as scarcity decreases or becomes non-existant. (EG. Anyone who wants that MP3 song can get it for free with ease.)

          If you assign a price to an MP3 (for example) and the public feels some of that price rewards the artist for his/her hard work, a percentage will pay the price - regardless of the ease in obtaining the song for free.

          Control of distribution is a "diminishing returns" game, the way I see i
          • (To use my concert ticket analogy again, it'd be like having ticket takers at the front gate still, but security is lax and there's a back entrance people can easily sneak in. At this point, why not just put out a fish bowl with a sign asking people to please pay as they enter, and get rid of all security measures? Either way, a lot of people will choose to pay - because they just want to "do the right thing", while others won't.)

            One dowside to this model is that it favours people who always cheat - the
      • "This actually leads to stronger intellectual laws to provide the market with a crutch as we move forward."

        The wealth of nations is generated by the evermore efficient production of goods; the ever decreasing scarcity. Creating artificial scarcity where there is none damages the market and destroys wealth by diverting resources to flawed production.

        To the economy and society as a whole, intellectual property has about the same effect as a several hundred percent VAT on shoes which is then used to pay for
    • Another key difference is that most people don't "steal" mp3's. If you have mp3's in your shared folder of kazaa, you are in essence giving them away. The issue in that case isn't stealing music, it's of distributing it without paying royalties to the recording company. But hey, the recording companies never pay all the money actually owed to artists anyway, so if I give the RIAA a penny for every 100th download, I'm just playing by the same rules they are, right?
    • Yes, if you would erase it after copying it would be:

      - Copyright Infrigment
      - Unauthorised and Unlawful access to computer system

      * Subject to clarification by law enforcement agencies.
  • Sad, but . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Leroy_Brown242 (683141) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:21PM (#12770918) Homepage Journal
    It was only a matter of time before a gsamer escalated and arguement to reality, and took it too far.

    This guy had to have other issues besides just gaming, if he was willing to kill a man.
    • Obviously his other issue was playing too much GTA... err wait... I mean Doom. No wait, that's not it either.

      What game is the root of all evil nowadays?

      I'll call my congressman and ask him.
    • God, not again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Friday June 10, 2005 @05:09AM (#12778226) Journal
      It was a piece of virtual property, yes, but it was worth (and actually sold for) nearly $1000. By Chinese standards that's more than a family can save in a year.

      The fact that it's just bits on a hard drive is irrelevant. Let's say that you wrote a novel on your laptop. Then let's say I copy it off your laptop (e.g., while you're in a meeting at work), put my name on it, and sell the rights to it for some $50,000. (So the monetary value is sorta in the same proportion to what you earn, as that virtual sword was for the Chinese guy.)

      Wouldn't you think: "WTF? It was _mine_, not his! Who the fuck gives him the right to take and sell _my_ stuff?"

      Now say you came to talk to me about it, and I basically told you "fuck off, sucks to be you, the money is mine now." Because that's what happened between those two people.

      Now maybe you'd just gnash your teeth, decide to just hate me now and avoid the christmas rush, and control yourself enough to not commit manslaughter. But then realize that a lot of people don't have _that_ kind of self-control. People get into a homicidal rage for a lot less money every day.

      And anyway, the fact remains, virtual or not, Person A took something owned by Person B, sold it, and pocketed the money. A lot of money. Very _real_ money. It wasn't over virtual property, it was over _real_ _money_. Period.

      Now I can see how two-bit hack journalists would love to hammer on the "man killed over virtual sword in a game" idiocy. That's the kind of a crap sensationalist headline that sells subscriptions. Whereas "man killed over a shitload of real money" doesn't quite have the same edge.

      But seeing the number of responses that treat it like some continuation of an in-game feud, completely ignoring the amount of _real_ _money_ involved, gets depressing at times.
  • WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rokzy (687636) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:22PM (#12770919)
    >The idea of property has become more intangible.

    er, no thanks.

    this is about someone who killed someone else. the reason isn't too relevant and certainly doesn't demand redefining property.
    • Re:WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mausmalone (594185) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:43PM (#12771236) Homepage Journal
      People would think that stealing an album in a shop is immoral, but stealing an mp3 isn't.
      Yeah... I'm glad someone tried to associate this with a murder case. Sonofa...

      Downloading a copyrighted mp3 isn't stealing. Stealing necessitates depriving someone else of property. Downloading a copyrighted mp3 is copyright infringement.

      And, no, copyright infringement isn't stealing. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. That's why there's different laws for it... and why it has its own name and stuff.
      • Funny, every time I try to pose this exact argument or make this point in some kind of article about the RIAA/MPAA, I get lambasted.

        Kudos :-)
      • If you tape a song from a friend, that's copyright infringement (or is it? I think it may be legal, as long as you loan the CD to the friend to make the copy and don't make the copy yourself then give it to them). Stealing the CD from them is theft as they no longer have the CD.

        So what is this case? The "property" is virtual, but by selling it he deprived the rightful owner of the use of that object.

        • I hate to burst anybody's bubble here, but you've got it all wrong. The ToS of 99% of online games say you do not own anything. The game, the service, and all digital content therein is owned by the company itself. It may have been a loss to this guy to lose his prized sword, but he merely lost something he didn't own in the first place. This is a plain case of murder and it has nothing to do with the game itself.
      • Downloading a copyrighted mp3 isn't stealing. Stealing necessitates depriving someone else of property. Downloading a copyrighted mp3 is copyright infringement.

        You get a haircut and don't pay the barber, you've stolen from him. You get your house painted and don't pay? You've stolen. Stealing is taking something, a physical object OR A SERVICE or anythign else of value without paying for it. Taking things without paying for them is stealing, therefore, downloading an Mp3 that would otherwise cost money to
      • I don't want to appear to be defending the murderer, but he in effect was swindled out of $1000, the real world value that was established in a real auction. The auction sets up an equivalence in real money. But, he acquired his sword in a virtual world. Should that matter? Is it any less real than the crimes committed by Enron?

        Using a writing program to create a book and using a gaming program to create a sword seem to be similar acts that would introduce copyright into the mess, but unless swords c
      • While I agree with your direction, people could use the same argument to say "well intellectual property is property - that's why it's called intellectual *property*". Whereas in fact the idea of ideas as property is a con.
    • It has something to do with property because the guy actually tried to bring the case to court first, but didn't get any help because there were no laws for virtual property.
      • So the court said it has nothing to do with property. Further assurance that virtual property isn't property.
        • Well, yeah. I just wanted to point out that the article was in some way connected to property. I didn't mean to state if virtual property is property or not.
    • This isn't so much about a murder (which we all certainly agree is a crime), but about the killer's motive, whether he was reacting to a crime himself. Some killings are more justifiable than others, but I doubt the "realness" of this property should matter in this case.
  • Service Property (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The problem I have with this concept is that it doesn't have any firm basis, as far as I can tell. Manufacturing creates real value in the economy by mining raw materials or farming and providing for essential needs. Entertainment is completely tenuous and everyone can drop it as soon as money gets tight or as fashion dictates. It just seems that service economies could hit bigger highs but much more massive recessions, but I am not an economist and this is all just my impression of the whole thing.
    • "Entertainment is completely tenuous and everyone can drop it as soon as money gets tight or as fashion dictates."

      While this is true, what does that mean? Candy falls into the same logical family. Note: tenuous != virtual.

      • The point is that some companies add value or "wealth" to the economy("creating new things that people can use"), while others don't (typically either entertainment or 'maintenance' jobs such as replacing a blown light bulb). Candy falls under "entertainment", even though it is tangible. The difference between tangibles (real manufacturing) and "virtual property" is that tangibles have a much higher variable costs to fixed costs ratio, i.e. they cost an amount of money to produce that is (generally speaking

      • To answer your question though, I don't know what that means :) Because as you suggest, an economy that produces primarily candy is going to be just as susceptible in the next global recession, as candy is also one of the first things to go when things get 'tight'. And this has nothing to do with whether the products are virtual or tangible.

        I guess the ideal theoretical economy is one that magically shifts it's production resources instantaneously to automatically adjust to shifting global demands to maxi

  • by yotto (590067) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:25PM (#12770971) Homepage
    How did a murder morph into a moral arguement on if digital "property" is as good as solid property? Dude's dead. Someone murdered him. That someone should get serious time or death for it.
  • In other realms (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro@gmail.TOKYOcom minus city> on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:26PM (#12770979) Journal
    Neighbours shoot each other over fence posts , Wives kill husbands for working too much ,People kill each other over football games ,people kill themselves over exams ...
    people some times take things far too seriously , so lets just hope people realise this and don't call for the banning of games due to the lunatic fringe who can't grasp reality
    • Not a dupe. The original story reported the crime and the arrest. This is reporting on the sentencing.

      It's a shame they didn't leave the death penalty as an option. He certainly deserves it.
  • "The idea of property has become more intangible."

    My people had no idea what ownership was until the White Man came over and started tricking us into things that we now regret. Further, we know not of this 'internet' or 'virtual property' that you speak of. We smoke'um Peace Pipe.


    note: I am of legitimate Cherokee descent, and feel safe in making fun of my heritage.
  • by supersocialist (884820) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @01:42PM (#12771230) Journal
    I imagine killing a man over an imaginary object makes the insanity plea a little easier.
    • I imagine killing a man over an imaginary object makes the insanity plea a little easier.

      I'm not so sure. Money is an imaginary object especially when there is no gold to back it up. (US currency since 1970) Imaginary things that can be traded for real things are not a strange concept to most people and I'm sure the prosecuting attorney would mention this.

      Robert.

      • Why is gold less imaginary than pieces of paper (or bits in a bank computer)?

        (Seriously, I've been wondering this. Is it because the supply of gold is fixed? Or what?)
        • Gold has longer standing as something of 'value'. For centuries it has been held as one of if not the most valuable substance to possess. Entire civilizations were decimated in order to steal their gold. The European Presence in the Americas was mainly due to gold.

          Now, thousands of years ago, gold had very little intrisic value. It has plenty of applications in today's technology, but as a soft metal that would dent easily, gold had little value in military applications or for nearly anything else. The on
          • The only thing that gives it value is that everyone agrees that it is valuable.

            Yeah, that's what I was getting at. It seemed to me that that was the same reason gold is valuable (in fact, that's basically the definition of "valuable"), so I wasn't sure why a lot of people are so enamoured with the gold standard.
        • Why is gold less imaginary than pieces of paper (or bits in a bank computer)?

          Because it has real (not abstract) value. People WANT it for its own sake. (Yeah, yeah. Some people want money for its own sake. This should be viewed as insanity.) People want money because it can be traded for other items. People want gold because, well, they want gold. It's pretty. It's malleable. It can be stretched into incredibly thin wires. It is corrosion resistant. It serves practical and aesthetic purposes.

          Money is

          • While gold is certainly useful, these uses aren't really attractive to most consumers of money ( who have little use for soft, ductile metal ). So while I agree to a point, if you want the currency to be centered around something that is intrinsicly valuable and limited in supply, you'd need to skulk around a little more to find a good candidate. I can't think of one that works well off the top of my head.

    • you should try the lazy-brain defense.

      clearly you missed the part where the item WAS NOT imaginary.

      it exists, in the game and people can interact with it.

      i think the word you are looking for is intangible or non-physical.
  • Not News (Score:1, Redundant)

    The REAL story here, not a couple of week old dupe, is that the man was found Giluty, and sentenced to Life in prison. Let's not water down something like this with an argument over "virtual" property.

    This guy CLEARLY had other problems - lets not tie it into games. We get enough bad press as it is.

  • So where is the line drawn and who gets to draw it?

    Imagine killing someone for stealing virtual property - simply some bytes of code.

    Now imagine imprisoning someone for stealing virtual property - bytes of code in the form of music or video. Or fining them hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for something that "doesn't exist".

    Would MGM demand the death penalty for copying some movies? Why not? Would it be okay for them to "fine" people by using the police for non-criminal acts? Sure. S

    • "Imagine killing someone for stealing virtual property - simply some bytes of code."

      A truly bogus comparison. The killing is at issue here, not the theft.

      "Would MGM demand the death penalty for copying some movies?"

      And, this is why it's a bogus comparison. The killing is at issue.

      "Would it be okay for them to "fine" people by using the police for non-criminal acts?"

      And, yet a further tread from the path. The issue is murder , which is very much a criminal act. How, pray tell, did you wand
    • Imagine killing someone for stealing virtual property - simply some bytes of code

      You could make the same argument for art. Imagine you owned the Mona Lisa, and someone stole it from you. You'd probably be extremely angry, quite possibly angry enough to consider killing the guilty person. But, "simply some bytes of code" = "simply a few strokes of paint on a piece of canvas", right?

      No, the painting has a very high $ value, and this is true regardless of the validity of the reasons why it has such a high

  • by jasonmicron (807603) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @02:25PM (#12771797)
    I can only imagine the online chat for this...

    OMG U stole my LEWTS!

    No I didn't, you never gave me the full amount

    I am going to PWN U

    *BANG BANG*
  • by ultramk (470198) <`ten.llebcap' `ta' `kmartlu'> on Thursday June 09, 2005 @02:36PM (#12771961)
    what pisses me off about all the coverage of this that I've read...

    I can't find ANYONE who'll say what the stats are on the damn sword. This is obviously the most critical bit of information about the story, and no one will report it.

    1h? 2h? +9 for ogres? What?? GAH!

    Obviously, there are some circumstances where such a killing would be perfectly understandable. Without the stats, how will we ever know?

    m-
  • by borkus (179118) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @02:40PM (#12772027) Homepage
    Interestingly, "virtual" property seems to only be traded between someone in an economy with low wages to someone in an economy with high wages.

    The value of the theft was about $850-900 USD. Guessing that you have to play for 40 hours to acquire the weapon, that makes the "wage" about $22 an hour (before taxes). For a buyer in a major American market (LA, New York Chicago) that could be easily be below his hourly earings; I imagine that Japan would be similar. For someone in China - even a major city like Shanghai - that is a significant sum of money. Average household income in Shanghai is less than $1,500 USD (11,718 Yuan in 2000 [unescap.org]). 40, 80 or even 160 hours of play for over a half year's income would be an incredible opportunity.

    So the game item has no value. However, the difference in labor costs creates a value in the time spent to produce the item [wikipedia.org].

    • Yes and no. The Labor Theory of Value is an economic term and not a legal one. If a man takes twice as long as another man to produce an identical item. (And let's say those items are exactly identical down to a molecular level for the sake of argument). Both items are usually (yes, there are rare exceptions as with some works of art) worth the same amount.

      Theoretically a gamer could acquire that item quickly -- or never at all.

      Markets determine prices. Not labor. Its sale price on eBay is a good
    • "Its just a game, sad people would kill over this" -- Look, its grand larceny, a stupid thing to kill over but it happens every bloody day. Somebody jacked a friend to the tune of what would be in the US $40,000. The friend killed him in a fit of rage. If it were even physically possible to remove $40,000 from someone in the US (short of, say, divorce), people would get killed over that, too. Heck, sneakers and drug deals end up in violence all the time at far smaller absolute dollar amounts than $900..
      • they are 13 years old and have no sense of the big picture or reality.

        wait 10 years till they grow up.

        in the meantime, ignore them. they know nothing.

        and on the small chance that you are in your 20's with the mentality and maturity of a teenager... that's just pathetic.
  • by NetCynicism (792366) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @03:22PM (#12772608)
    People would think that stealing an album in a shop is immoral, but stealing an mp3 isn't.

    That's because stealing an album in a shop is immoral, but stealing an mp3 isn't. An album is a physical good; if I steal it from you you can no longer use it. An mp3 is what economists call a non-rival good; if I 'steal' it from you you may never notice and have not been harmed in any way, unless of course you believe in Marx's labor theory of value.

    That last gives rise to my personal IP motto - 'intellectual property is Communism.'

    • well marx didn't realize how much labor a computer can do... like copying bits.

      it can copy tons of gigabytes every day on even the slowest computer.

      so that digital representation of music you try to sell people for 1 dollar, in effect is worth less than 1 penny by using the theory of labor.

      clearly, someone is overcharging by 1 million percent.
  • pants (Score:2, Funny)

    by Flunitrazepam (664690)
    "My son was only 26 when he died. He was sleeping when Qiu broke into his home. He was barely able to put his pants on before Qiu stabbed him," said his father, Zhu Huimin.

    Well, thank god I sleep with my pants ON
    • You know, if someone broke into my place with a sword while I was sleeping, putting on my pants wouldn't be my first, second, or even third priority. My first priority would be to avoid getting impaled on the sword. My second would be to find something with which to defend myself. My third priority would be to get some help, say by running out into a public place.

      Besides, if someone broke in with a sword while I was sleeping, I think I might need to change my underwear before putting on my pants.
  • by popo (107611) on Thursday June 09, 2005 @03:47PM (#12772913) Homepage

    The article failed to mention that Qiu Chengwei scored a +5 critical hit when he stabbed Mr. Zhu in the chest.

    It should also be mentioned that while Mr. Zhu's death was of course due to stabbing -- other factors included his low armor class and a failed saving throw.

    Rumours are currently spreading that Mr. Chengwei was wearing +3 boots of stealth when he broke into Mr. Zhu's apartment giving him a distinct melee advantage.
  • An extreme example of what happens when otherwise intelligent adults can't put away the trappings of childhood.

    Psychological maturity is inhibited. You get a baby in an adult body, who has a tantrum over a trivial problem that only a child should have, (except that a very grown-up sum of money was involved) reacting in a manner that rational human beings reserve for only the most severe of situations.

    And it wasn't even about the money! This dude wanted his toy sword back and not even a shitload of m
    • I find it amusing that someone who seems to have a great deal of immature social skills (I mean, christ sake's, you are posting on Slashdot and flaming gamers)... is commenting on the immature social abilities of gamers.
      • Heh. Well what good would it do if I flamed gamers on a board where everyone agreed with me?
        • Well, what I really mean... is that I am sure someone with your sophisticated social skills can go out and talk to REAL friends. =P No need to hang out with us social rejects.
          • Not sophistacated, but somewhat balanced. Somewhat unbalanced too. I said I'm a geek; I still spend too much time in front of a computer and sometimes have IM conversations with people in the same room. I have nine-hour marathon sessions in front of a PC too, forsaking sleep, friends, food... But usually at the end of it I have benefitted in some way other than gaining levels and magical items.

            I really seem to have touched a nerve with this post. No surprise. Let me just clarify that I think it's c
    • From the geek/gamer/engineer parental viewpoint:

      Two 15 yr old male geek Gamers. One 8 yr old girl gamer.

      Psychological maturity is inhibited. You get a baby in an adult body,

      No way, very bright, very lazy, but mature beyond their age.

      Good, smart, valuable people - yes.

      Absolutely.

      Socially fucked-up? You betcha.

      Hmmm, all three different. None fscked up, but not especially graceful either.

      These guys sometimes ignore reality for a game, but many people try to make reality a par

      • Hey, no need to bring out your probably well-practiced defense against people who say you're a bad parent for letting your kids play video games. I agree with everything you said, and if I was talking about kids you'd have a very strong point.

        I don't think you're a bad parent because you let 15 year olds and an 8 year old spend a lot of time gaming. Even when you let it interfere with life a little so that it teaches them something. It's completely normal and positive that you play video games with yo
    • So, what activities do YOU do to have fun?
  • Making information hard to copy does not make it property. Laws control the right to copy or transmit information, but information cannot be owned.
    • Property rights are, fundamentally, the right to exclude. If you own something, you can exclude others from its use, if you can exclude others from something's use you own it. Laws which control the right to copy or transmit information, which is a prerequisite for using it, do indeed confer ownership over the information under any rational interpretation of "ownership" which is not a quasi-spiritual "Information must be free!" hacker aesthetic.
      • Laws [] do indeed confer ownership over the information

        FALSE.

        You'll find court cases cited in the second half of my post, but first I'll just give general coverage of the subject in my own words.

        Whether we look at copyright or patents or trademarks, the law NEVER grants "ownership" of the information entity itself. It is the legal copyright rights which are owned, not the work itself. It is the legal patent rights which are owned, not the invention itself. It the legal trademark rights which are owned
  • It's about some young guy so addicted [slashdot.org] to the bloody online games that ends up killing people in the real world. What's wrong with the virtual property right stuff? It's a mindset problem. Even it is not valued for £480, he would probably do the same thing. Of course, as taweili [slashdot.org] pointed out, there may also be economic reason that caused this kind of tragedy. If that so, there could also be an organized crime based on that, then whom we can blame for?!
  • Property is Theft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday June 10, 2005 @08:20PM (#12785835) Homepage Journal
    If the killer could have copied the virtual sword his friend "stole", he probably wouldn't have killed the guy. Having backups makes such thefts less damaging, so probably will reduce the violence associated with propery transfers. People get violent upon property loss, which is less necessary with virtual items. But of course no mass media corporation is going to use an event like this to evaluate our disporportionate value of property over human life. Even when the theft and murder are committed in Communist China.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

Working...