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Virtual Muggings in Lineage II 745

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-need-my-widgets-back dept.
electro-donkey writes "A man has been arrested in Japan after on suspicion using a bot to beat up and rob characters in the online computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then exchanged for real cash, according to this report from NewScienist.com. "I regularly say that every form of theft and fraud in the real world will eventually be duplicated in cyberspace," says Bruce Schneier."
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Virtual Muggings in Lineage II

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  • by bigwavejas (678602) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @12:59PM (#13348657) Journal
    This sounds more like an issue with game design. The whole fact you're able to mug someone in-game makes this a non-crime. If the developers are worried about mugging then they should take the "looting other Player Characters (PC)" out of the game. It seems to me the only thing "wrong" this guy did was use a Bot (making his PC unbeatable). Show me where in the manual is says, "If you use a Bot you will be arrested." If they (Lineage II) don't want Bots in-game, then track down the offenders, ban their accounts and give the loot back to the rightful owners.
    • by FortKnox (169099) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:01PM (#13348672) Homepage Journal
      Wow... I come into this discussion and only 1 post is here, which is the parent. I agree on every point. If it is possible to become 'invincible' in the game, its not the fault of the person who used it, its the fault of the gaming company for allowing it to happen.

      The game involves real money and looting, this should be expected and the players know the risk coming into the game. No crime, IMHO, was committed.
      • by Nuttles1 (578165) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:07PM (#13348755)
        I am assumming the poster is not a programmer. Programming is a complex task! I don't think online games will ever be hack proof. It is more like the real world, an arms race between the game programmers and the exploiters.

        A simple solution to this mugging problem that I use is having LAN parties. I think they are more enjoyable because you know who your playing and you don't have to worry about hacking. Well, if someone hacks the game, then you can simply get up and beat his a@@.
        • by FortKnox (169099) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:18PM (#13348882) Homepage Journal
          I'm a J2EE developer, actually.

          Nothing is hack proof, but my main point is that when you play a game that requires you to use real money to buy things and you know it is possible to get mugged, then you are accepting the risk that someone will steal everything from you.

          The developers, on the other hand, should be working dilligently to prevent the ability of bots to happen. They should have watchdog algorithms that detect bot activity.

          What the solution should be is that the developers should ban the guy with the bot, return all the items to their old owners and fix the issue. Instead, they call the cops and claim its a crime.
      • The problem is also with people willing to pay their money for virtual property. What's next, they'll ask their county to issue them a deed and start financing the "virtual" house through their bank? Come on people, if you pay money for "virtual property" and someone steals, then they commit "virtual theft" - that is theft that is not real. It is _you_ that make theh problem real _for yourself_ by putting your "real" cash into it, so get over it.

        Or I like the idea of some Slashdotter that said to put the

    • While theft charge is kinda silly, one could make arguments for fraud charges as he did break rules in order to obtain other peoples stuff.
    • Hmm...If your could figure out how to fabricate the items that are so valuable, it could be a lot more profitable, than having bots running around stealing, just make 20 swords of death or whatever, and sell em. Wow, I'm gonna get to work, I'll be rich!!
    • Exactly, there's really very little difference between doing this and just playing evil on a PvP server. I fail to see why the police should be involved.
       
      Also, that must be one hell of a bot to be able to do this sucessfully enough to get its owner in trouble.
    • by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland @ g m a il.com> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:06PM (#13348741)
      NOW we get into an arena of virtual ethics. Yes, this guy could comit a crime in-game based on the rules (features?) of the game, but what he did is still ethically wrong.

      Now, it is up to the government to decide if an in-game crime is a real crime or not, and THEN they need to decide if the company that built the game can be held responsible for using a rule-system that allowed for the crime to happen. Remember, these are suddenly real-world tax dollars fighting a problem that could be solved through changing the rules of the game. As a taxpayer, I vote for that option.
      • If in game crime is real crime, I hope the cops don't catch me playing GTA. I killed a few hookers in there today.
      • by Phisbut (761268) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:46PM (#13349170)
        but what he did is still ethically wrong.

        Now, it is up to the government to decide if an in-game crime is a real crime or not, and THEN they need to decide if the company that built the game can be held responsible for using a rule-system that allowed for the crime to happen. Remember, these are suddenly real-world tax dollars fighting a problem that could be solved through changing the rules of the game. As a taxpayer, I vote for that option.

        First we start with the idea that even if something is not "physical" or "material", it can still have a monetary value (see "proprietary software", a "patented idea" or even "money" which is nothing more than a number).

        Then you have a definition of fraud that goes something like "using unethical means to deprive someone of something of value".

        Then you have a rule (in the form of an EULA) that explicitely says bots are not allowed.

        Put the three together : He used a bot (thus breaking the rules) in an unethical fashion with the purpose of depriving other players from articles that have monetary value.

        The guy commited fraud. Fraud is a (real-world) crime. Therefore the guy commited a crime.

      • by sTalking_Goat (670565) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:59PM (#13349306) Homepage
        Yes, this guy could comit a crime in-game based on the rules (features?) of the game, but what he did is still ethically wrong.

        Why exactly? I'm not supporting his actions but lets look at this realistically. Video games for there entire existence have been carefully created environments. We as players have always assumed that if a game allows you to do something you should because its a "feature".If it turned out that an ability was not intentionally created then it was determined to be a bug and fixed.

        Does anyone play GTA and not carjack random drivers or mug passerbys etc? No, because that a feature of the game, thats why people play it. There might be consequences but they've always been gamespace consequences for gamespace actions.

        To make a game where its possible to mug someone and then politely ask people not to do it or you'll arrest them (in meatspace) flys in the face of 30 years of game design. It might make sense at some point but we're not there yet.

    • Does this mean I'm going to get charged with murder for killing someone in Battlefield 2? Or would those be war crimes?
    • Most games are smart enough to have a clause in their EULA that says you're not allowed to modify your game or break into the game's network. Of course, if the game was designed well enough, even if someone did break in, the damage would be limited to what they would leagally be able to do in the game anyway.
    • Well, lets take the out of a virtual world and place it back in the real world.

      You state: The whole fact you're able to mug someone in-game makes this a non-crime.

      Your argument is something like this. If I have the ability to do something I must have the right to do something.

      That is not how reality works. Do you really want a system where ability does determines the right to do something.

      How would you take our reality and make this work. Establish a diety which controls all this? Establish the state wh
    • by fm6 (162816)
      The whole fact you're able to mug someone in-game makes this a non-crime.
      Nonsense. The game designers can allow some muggings and not others. If the player agreed not to operate a bot when he signed up for the game, then using a bot to mug other players is a no-no. Not because mugging is illegal in the real world, but because he broke the rule against bots.
    • Playing poker isn't illegal. I believe playing poker for money isn't illegal either, in an informal setting; I'm not sure about that though. Cheating while playing a game is crummy, but not illegal. Cheating while playing a game for money is fraud, and is most definitely illegal.

      Player killing is legal in an online game, and cheating is crummy but also legal. However if cheating leads to financial gain then it is fraud, and is illegal. I wonder if this chain of logic can be used to discourage cheating
  • Idea... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JonN (895435) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:00PM (#13348664) Homepage
    "I regularly say that every form of theft and fraud in the real world will eventually be duplicated in cyberspace,"

    What about vice versa? Because I would love to see someone wall hacking irl

  • by b0r1s (170449) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:00PM (#13348668) Homepage
    It's pretty clever.
    • It's pretty clever.

      How, exactly?

      As best I can tell, he used a bot to cheat at a game. The only remotely 'clever' thing about it is that he turned around and sold the lucre for real money--not exactly something that requires a "Eureka!" moment, that.

      It strikes me as being almost as clever as slapping a digital clock on the front of an otherwise clock-less small appliance.

    • Give the guy some credit

      It's pretty clever

      What would be even more clever is watching him figure out how to make prision rape less painfull. Maybe he can make a nice slippery substance out of soap.

      Seriously, this criminal is not funny. Other people invested time and money in this game, only to be cheated. This guy is a crook. If someone can do a crime on-line, they can do it in real life. It is exactly like when a child beats a dog. You just know in 10 years that kid will become a murderer. The kid lacks

      • Maybe one day the internet can be used to catch people with criminal tendencies. By monitoring the actions of the young, say ages 5 to 12, I am sure an algorithm can be made that can predict with 95%+ certainty which people will end up commiting violent crimes. Society could protect itself by locking these people up before the violence.

        I would much rather have a couple of strangers floating in a tank to decide whether or not I'm going to commit a crime. Now if only they would make a movie about this...
      • Seriously, this criminal is not funny. Other people invested time and money in this game, only to be cheated. This guy is a crook. If someone can do a crime on-line, they can do it in real life.

        To be fair, I'd actually be pretty impressed if someone built a robot in real life that could beat people up and take their money and valuables....

  • How is this illegal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by th0mas.sixbit.org (780570) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:01PM (#13348673)
    How is this illegal?

    Certainly he broke the EULA by using a bot.

    Certainly he broke the in-game rules by beating up and robbing people.

    But.. it's a game. They didn't get mugged, their characters did. I can see how the company could, say, return the items to the original owners.. but charged?
    • Now that selling items can be a full time job for some people i could see it heading down the "loss of profits" routes to charge this person.

    • This is Japan. They have the lowest crime rate in the world and tolerate alot less than US would.

      • Actually, while true, not as true as you think it is. Japan has much lower stats because they don't report the same way as other countries do. For example, Domestic abuse is not really considered a crime there (it is, but it's largely ignored).
    • by ebrandsberg (75344) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:11PM (#13348800)
      On point 1, yes, he broke the EULA by using a bot.

      On point 2, NO, he did NOT break in-game rules, it's part of the game.

      On the last point, agreed, if he broke the EULA, he should be banned and items returned, but that's it.

    • Players who played by the rules were cheated of their time and that means money.

      Just because it happened on-line does not lessen the crime. There are victims.

      If some real person spent 20 hours working to get an item from a quest, and then someone used a BOT to steal that item, that is theft. The first person is out the 20 hours of work it took.

      It is the same as if I work 20 hours at a store to save up enough to buy a watch, and someone steals the watch.

      The RIAA taught us that theft is not just physi

  • by myheroBobHope (842869) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:03PM (#13348699) Homepage Journal
    If he was allowed to steal from the characters, as it was part of the game, and then other people gave a value to the item, doesn't that cloud the issue? The items have no intrinsic value, yes they represent hard work and dedication, but really they can just be created out of thin air by the game designers. The items are not supposed to have real world value, and that is why they can be stolen in the game. It's an interesting collision of worlds, and might eventually leave a precedent for the value of goods in an MMORPG. Law is coming to the New Wild West.
  • Reminds me of an article posted about how MMORPG's [pointlesswasteoftime.com] will eventually take over the world. If the object has real world value and takes time and work to obtain, shouldn't it be a crime to steal it?
  • by pin_gween (870994) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:04PM (#13348715)
    Didn't fall for the "PayPal" or "eBay" scams? Watch out for the "Lineage II" phish

    "Please take a few moments out of your online gaming experience to buy the Sword of Invinciblity"
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kaellinn18 (707759) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:05PM (#13348716) Homepage Journal
    What exactly was the crime here? The article is slim on details. Was it the fact that he was using a bot? Is that against the TOS (would be my guess)? Surely, it can't be the fact that the bot "beat and robbed" a player character. If it's something you can do in the game, then how can you be arrested for that? Or was it the selling of the items online? Was that illegal? It just seems to me the article doesn't say much to perpetuate discussion.
  • Civil? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:05PM (#13348725) Homepage
    I don't know if this falls under civil or criminal code. On one hand, its just a game. On the other hand, so is blackjack, but its a crime to cheat someone out of money.

  • "I regularly say that every form of theft and fraud in the real world will eventually be duplicated in cyberspace," says Bruce Schneier."

    So, Mr. Schneier? Do you often get robbed by robots?
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:06PM (#13348730) Homepage
    I have played Lineage II. It's a game _about_ beating up other players' characters and taking their lunch money. That's the whole point of the game.

    What's next? Will a man be sentenced to community service for turning over cards in Solitaire? Arrested for playing Minesweeper in an airport? Sued for using the "Undo" feature in Spider?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    if some guys buys a Real Doll [realdoll.com], and he's married, has he committed adultery?

    I mean, c'mon -- everyman just wants a girl who will let him watch an entire season of Stargate in one uninterrupted sitting.
  • Is this a crime? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Transcendor (907201)
    Well that's the question.
    There are three crime scenarios one could apply to this:
    1. theft
    2. mugging
    3. fraud

    As far as I'm concerned, theft means to me taking someone's possesions without asking. Mugging is like theft, but instead of simply not asking you use or threathen to use violence against your victim or a object /subject of special value to the victim. Actually, using a bot to automatically slash RPG-Characters cannot be called voilence because it does neither include physical violence nor a form of psy

    • I've read my comment and came to the conclusion that there could be a crime. The selling of property, virtual or physically present, you have no right to possess could be judged as crime under certain circumstances - and judications. (I don't know how it is for example in the US or here in Germany)
      So if there is a civil process in which it is decided that the botter actually took advantage of the lack of ability / knowledge to do something against his bot (however that trial could work), it'd be a case of
  • by The_Spectry (900377) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:06PM (#13348743)
    What doe sthis say about how advanced a country is when even their police departments understand cyber life well enough to grasp the thought of an MMPORG mugging . Can you imagine calling the Police in say Kansas City and explaining to them how Zoltare the Unmerciful is repeatedly muggin your character Meri the Fancy . I'm sure you get a few laughs or maybe just complete silence . Whats next ?
    • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:31PM (#13349016) Journal
      ...which is in itself a hilariously patronizing view of middle america from what I'm guessing is one of the coasts?

      Of course, if you called up the KCPD and said that you were being stalked/harassed in an online game they would immediately understand what you meant; whether they would/should care is another matter. that's clearly unresolved here in this forum, I don't see why it would be cut & dried for them either.

      But hey, if it's easier for you to /point and /laugh at "them dumb rubes in the hicks" hey, go for it.
    • by pilkul (667659) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:56PM (#13349266)
      Japan is not more advanced than the US as far as Internet usage goes. (You might be thinking of South Korea, which is.) What this event shows, rather, is how draconian Japan's police is when it comes to cyber-crimes. Last year they arrested the person who created Winny, a filesharing program --- an exceptional crackdown considering that he did not commit piracy himself.
  • by ivanjs (801614)
    Guild Wars [geekronomicon.com] instances each area to each player (except towns and communities where you can't carry weapons anyway), making it impossible for cyber thugs to pull these ridiculous stunts.
  • Who runs the game? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TurdTapper (608491) <seldonsplan&gmail,com> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:07PM (#13348746) Journal
    What kind of a game is this where the creators/admins can't just take the things away from him and give them back? How hard could that possibly be rather than spending the money/manpower to arrest him?
  • In case we beat up New Scientist Web site.. http://www.newscientist.com.nyud.net:8090/article. ns?id=dn7865 [nyud.net]
  • Virtual Killings in Counter-Strike!

    Story at 11.
  • Pretty soon we'll games where you gotta score some bot growth hormone or other anabolic steroid to get pumped up, bot tae-kwan-do classes. My bot is a black belt!

    Actually.... that's a pretty good idea. A MMORPG where you play a thug, but firearms are outlawed or unavailable. Maybe post-apocolypse. You use your controller like a fighting game, and you pick up chains and bats and lead pipes, and maybe a bonus item from a quest is a chainsaw. Instead of the keystroke attack like all ORPG are now, you'd need
  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:08PM (#13348768)
    Case in point, I'm watching real police arresting real people who are protesting the real pullout of the Israelis from the Gaza Strip. Nowhere online will you find anyone so attached to items, parcels of land, or characters that they are willing to risk their real lives to protect them.

    It is foolish to think that anything online is in any way reflective of real life. There is an offensive, yet quite insightful comic strip which shows a normal guy+anonymity+audience= a troll. Put someone in a video game where there is no real punishment for actions which would get them in trouble in real life, and you'll end up with a bunch of people willing to kill, rob, join gangs, and a host of other activities that are frowned on in real life. It doesn't help that the games themselves promote this sort of activity.

    One of the obvious concepts that arises from that view is that online "crime" ought not be policed with real life authorities. This arrest is wrong, and sets a bad precedent. The game companies themselves ought to be up in arms against this action. It takes away their authority to enforce in-game rules, and gives excessive power to the police.
  • Not only do you get beaten up by bullies in real life, but they follow into cyberspace and beat you up in the virtual realm too!
  • By performing tasks within a game repetitively or very quickly, bots can easily outplay human-controlled characters, giving unscrupulous players an unfair advantage.

    This is cheating.

    These hackers are causing more problems than they realize. They ruin the game for everyone else.

    There should be new rules. #1, no selling of characters or items. That would take care of the cheaters who do it for money. These people are the same people who would make spam, just to make a few bucks off everyones misery. Ru

  • I think Japan has just won the stupidest laws ever award.
  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:11PM (#13348796) Journal
    This should not be a matter for the law to get involved in, plain and simple. At worst, the guy is breaking the game's TOS (in which case it's an issue for the GMs).

    Lineage II is a PVP game which lets you take items from characters you defeat. It seems to me that, aside from the botting aspect, there's nothing in this guy's behaviour that's wrong. The botting aspect, if a TOS violation, should probably be punished by the suspension of his account.

    You shouldn't outlaw the theft of property, or even murder, in online *gaming* worlds. Some of these games, such as the Lineage series, EVE Online and World of Warcraft are designed specifically with PVP in mind. Some, such as Final Fantasy XI, aren't. If you don't want to take the chance of being robbed and murdered, don't play a PVP RPG. It's not as if any sane games designer is going to make a PVP MMORPG (or any MMORPG aimed at making a profit) permadeath anyway.

    In real life, I am a good, law abiding little citizen. Hell, I don't even do software/music/video piracy, because I still believe in the ideal that if you justify spending money on something inessential, then you shouldn't have it. However, when I play games, which are ultimately a form of escapism and release, I sometimes want to be a bit nasty. I want to beat people up and loot their still-warm corpse. If you're going to bring the law into stuff like that, then you're taking the whole point away and soon virtual worlds will be as heavily constrained as the real world.
    • Argh... noticed a critical typo moments after hitting post.

      Should read "Hell, I don't even do software/music/video piracy, because I still believe in the ideal that if you CAN'T justify spending money on something inessential, then you shouldn't have it."
    • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:56PM (#13349272) Homepage Journal
      This should not be a matter for the law to get involved in, plain and simple. At worst, the guy is breaking the game's TOS (in which case it's an issue for the GMs).

      The guy sold the virtual stolen items for real-world money. That makes the whole thing no longer purely virtual as it had real-world ramifications. That means that the real-world cash was earned by taking something without authorization from someone else, virtual or not.

      If he simply took the item and left it with his character, I would agree with you 100%. However, he did not do that. He brought his virtual theft into the real world by getting real money. I don't see how real laws are not applicable in some way. It's now up to the Japanese court system to determine how/if real world laws can be applied.
    • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans&gmail,com> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @02:08PM (#13349385) Homepage
      This should not be a matter for the law to get involved in, plain and simple. At worst, the guy is breaking the game's TOS (in which case it's an issue for the GMs).


      Lineage II is a PVP game which lets you take items from characters you defeat. It seems to me that, aside from the botting aspect, there's nothing in this guy's behaviour that's wrong. The botting aspect, if a TOS violation, should probably be punished by the suspension of his account.


      Okay, I agree with you up to a point. PVP means PVP, hack and slash, loot and plunder. I have no issue with that. Just like a poker game is PVP, and a good poker player can take my money without it being a crime.

      That said, the bot was cheating. He cheated at a game to take things that had real world money value. If somebody cheated at poker to take things of value, that would be a crime. I don't see why this game would be handled differently from a card game. He didn't win the things, he cheated them. He sold the things he got by cheating, and made money.

      I don't care about the "theft" angle. I care about the bot. That is what made it fraud. Online or card game, it should be handled all the same, IMHO.
  • by Bethor (172209) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:11PM (#13348799)
    He was arrested for "hacking", not for mugging people in game.
  • by canfirman (697952) <pdavi25@ y a h o o .ca> on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:18PM (#13348878)
    ...welcome our new mugging bot overloards.

    Now, where's my wallet?

  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @01:44PM (#13349153) Homepage Journal
    Look, we are now in a society where our virtual "possessions" can garner real-world cash. If I own something in a virtual world, and someone offers me $500 in real-world cash to "sell" it to him virtually, does that now make the transaction a virtual one or a legal one? I believe that it now makes it legal because actual money was involved.

    Let say that a +2 jewelled sword of ogre beheading in the virtual world goes for $500 on eBay. The agreement is that after the payment takes place, your virtual buyer meet up in the virtual world and you give your virtual sword to the virtual buyer and virtually part ways. But you still have real-world $500 in your bank or PayPal account.

    Someone else sees that transaction on eBay and decides to sell his +4 jewelled sword of ogre beheading. But before he can do that, some asshole comes in and steals that sword virtually. If in the real world that sword could have fetched $750, then stealing that sword virtually might be accountable as theft in the real-world because there is now a real-world precedence (of at least $500) that virtual items cost real money.

    When someone steals something in real life, a crime has been committed and insurance will pay for it based on its market value. If that virtual item has real-world, market value, is it still strictly a virtual value because there was no physical, tangible item? The theft of those items could have cost their "owners" real-world cash if they decided to sell.

    That's really what the Japanese court needs to decide. The thief did sell for real-world money, after all, so the whole theft is the theft truly virtual? I would say that once it was sold for cold, hard cash, it lost its "virtual" status and was then subject to applicable laws - in this case Japanese laws and possibly the laws of the country where the victim resides.

    Just my two cents. Convert that into your currency as necessary.
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @02:35PM (#13349667)
    A company called, Wizards of the Coast put out this little game called, "Magic the Gathering".

    Played with little rectangular bits of cardboard imprinted with color images, each unit cost well under a cent to make.

    Can you see where I'm going here. . ?

    As it happened, these little bits of cardboard proved to be immensely popular. People were willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for single cards at the height of Magic's half-decade rule of high popularity. --Thing is, you couldn't eat 'em. You couldn't build much of a shelter with them. In fact, they were pretty much useless. . , except as a means of holding a little bit of information by way of printed text.

    As printed text is worthless to anybody who hasn't got a functioning and integrated human brain, all the value contained on those bits of cardboard existed entirely because everybody agreed at the same time that those little bits of cardboard were valuable. It was an huge act of group imagination filling a dead artifact with pretend value. --But that by itself is interesting, because it creates the reality in which people were willing to shell out hundreds of dollars, (more printed bits of paper, BTW).

    So what gives?

    Simple. Imagined value is just as powerful as any other kind when everybody agrees to participate in the illusion. Heck, it has been said that the health of the economy is entirely, (100%) dictated by people's belief in what the health of the economy happens to be.

    Thus, Cybercrime, if enough people agree that matter-less bits of coded data, (which you can't eat or build a shelter out of), are worth something, then yeah, people are going to go to dramatic extremes to acquire said bits of imagined 'property'.

    Physical property is usually just a place-holder for imagined value. In the digital world, the place holder for the illusionary value just happens to be made of the same stuff as the illusionary value itself. Thin air and the spark of imagination.


    -FL

  • real world crime shouldn't be decided in virtual courts

    virtual crimes shouldn't be decided in real world courts

    so what is called for here is a virtual court

    populated with individuals of good karmic standing from various games

    and whose decisions should have one and only one real world punishment: banishment from the realm of the virtual

    that is: a legally binding injunction against the offending real world individual from having any internet access at all for a period of time commensurate with their virtual crime
  • Racketering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeeSnider (899643) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @02:44PM (#13349755)
    Friends and I used to debate this all the time in Ultima Online. What if we sold someone a virtual weapon, say, on e-bay, exchanged it in-game, but had a gank squad waiting to mug him seconds later for the same weapon? After asking lots of pre-law friends, we came to the conclusion that, while definately a grey area, that it probably was illegal, and could be charged as racketering. Basically the problem lies in whether or not he intended to deprive someone of real world assets before hand. My guess is that was exactly his intent, and if so, I'm not sure he'll get off as scot free as we might think. Personally I'm suprised it took this long for such a well publicized case to come up.
  • by neo (4625) on Thursday August 18, 2005 @02:46PM (#13349771)

    Quoting the article:
    The Chinese exchange student was arrested by police in Kagawa prefecture, southern Japan, the Mainichi Daily News reports.

    I bet if it was a Japanse kid this wouldn't have happened. They're just using some Chinese exchange student as a scape goat.

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