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The Almighty Buck Games

Virtual Bank Woes 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-iskamins dept.
bobmorning writes "EVE Online's largest player-controlled virtual bank, Ebank, just can't seem to catch a break these days. A few months after it was revealed that the company had been defrauded of a staggering amount of virtual cash, it turns out that the institution's digital vaults are far more barren than many realized, leading to an in-game freezing of accounts for any individual or organization that happened to have invested any InterStellar Kredits (ISK) with the bank. Early this summer, it came to light that a veteran EVE player (known only as 'Ricdic') had embezzled — and then sold in the real world — over 200 billion ISK from Ebank, causing a run on the virtual financial institution. However, this was just the beginning of the problems for the player-owned bank. Recently-installed Ebank Chairman Ray McCormack admitted that the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced. As a result, it's been revealed that Ebank is 380 billion ISK poorer thanks to a number of defaulted loans. Because of the aforementioned mismanagement, it apparently took the bank's new officers a while to figure out just how far in the red their institution is."
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Virtual Bank Woes

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  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:22AM (#29240513)
    We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.
    • ...the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced.

      And the outcome is a surprise because...?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178)

        Because you'd think a virtual bank would be managed better than a real life bank. Apparently, they're managed the same way.

        • Because you'd think a virtual bank would be managed better than a real life bank. Apparently, they're managed the same way.

          Would you?

          The only reason real bankers aren't stealing billions is because they don't want to go to pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison.

          Take that away and bingo, everyone's a Christopher Skase.

          • Real banksters don't steal billions, they steal trillions.
            • Stealing trillions is safe enough. You've become too big to fail. It's the small fry who only steal billions that get put away.

          • The only reason real bankers aren't stealing billions is because they don't want to go to pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison.

            Correct - as long as they stick to only stealing millions they get to go to pat-you-on-the-back federal reserve and get a nice big bailout so they can do the same again.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Fourier404 (1129107)
              They're not stealing money, they're just asking for it. You guys are the idiots giving to them. I keep my money in my mattress [huffingtonpost.com].
              • by AP31R0N (723649)

                All but the last sentence should be tagged as Insightful. Banks aren't stealing, we're giving them money. Most people just don't know what our currency is, how it's made or what to do with it.

                My solution:

                Make all banks non-profit credit unions that provide a service, rather than run as a business to make people who do nothing rich.

                And/or phase out interest (paid and earned). If we did that we wouldn't need to go back to gold or some other crap.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)

      We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.

      What for? This "ricdic" guy already did their job.

      -jcr

      • No, Ricdic's actions amounted to what seems more by the day to that of a Madoff, rather than a Bernanke.
        • by jcr (53032)

          No, Ricdic's actions amounted to what seems more by the day to that of a Madoff, rather than a Bernanke.

          The difference between Madoff and Bernanke are merely a matter of scale.

          -jcr

    • by jo42 (227475)

      Since these days money, in the real and virtual worlds, is just a bunch of numbers in computers anyways, why didn't they just add a few zeros on the end of the moneies - just like in the real world?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.

      Actually, what they need to do is get rid of fractional reserve banking.

      You want to put your money somewhere safe? Put it in a full reserve bank (a bank that is NOT allowed to loan out your money) in exchange for a small storage fee.

      You want to make money by loaning it out? Buy bonds. You can always sell your bonds if you need the money immediately. Sure, there is a risk that you'll lose some money, but investments always involve risks. Risk
      • I just want to point out that the admins are not doing anything -- the virtual banks in eve are being run by regular players, and the admins only provide a playing field.

        When they have virtual business cycles and virtual bank runs (these things already happen in EVE), they watch with glee -- the point of eve is a very in-depth economic simulation that mimics the real world, not the perfect economic system.

  • Maybe they can get $25 billion, just like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
  • Ok, I knew EVE was a deep game. But honestly, is it basically a scifi Second Life with fights?
    • Re:jeez (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Majik Sheff (930627) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:16AM (#29240721) Journal

      No, it's a giant economic sandbox with spaceship fights. Eve's economy is almost entirely player-driven, so the layers of complexity are almost impossible to measure.

      That things like this don't happen more often is the real surprise. The most successful organizations in the game are either pathologically paranoid, real-life friends, or sociopaths like goonfleet.

      • Re:jeez (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:06AM (#29241943) Homepage Journal

        The most successful organizations in the game are either pathologically paranoid, real-life friends, or sociopaths like goonfleet.

        What a shock; the most successful organizations in the real world are the same way(s). Sadly, our government is all three - pathologically paranoid cronies bent on controlling society to their own ends. Thank goodness there are competing factions within! (Just like Eve)

    • Re:jeez (Score:5, Funny)

      by SupremoMan (912191) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @01:42PM (#29244619)

      My understanding of EVE is not perfect. But what I managed to piece together from years of coverage on slashdot, it appears to be a virtual recreation of the country of Nigeria.... with lasers...

  • ... to access the REAL world.

  • Don't trust anyone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Useful Wheat (1488675) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:43AM (#29240595)

    I used to play Eve-Online, and the only rule that was absolute, was that you should NEVER trust people that you are not in real life friends with. Almost every person in the game would rob you at a moment's notice with no remorse, and brag about it afterwards. There's stories where people joined companies and rose to the ranks of massive alliances, just so they could close the alliance and screw everyone ever. To top it off, there's not a single thing you could do about it. That's why the banks have always baffled me. I've never been able to understand how giving your isk to somebody else could ever possibly turn out to be good. One other major example of this was the lotteries they used to run, somebody ran a lottery giving out massive prizes for weeks, until he was trusted enough to get a few billion isk in lottery ticket purchases. Then he ran off with the entire thing and vanished.

    This seems very cynical, and I'm sure many of you are members of successful corporations where you trust the random people you meet on the Internet. However, I was in the Phoenix Alliance, and I remember the first Dreadnought stolen because somebody has the password to the damn space station and gave it out.

    So yeah. In summary, trust nobody that you can't go beat up in person.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The irony here is that this is like a microcosm of everything that happened with the real "financial institutions". If more people thought critically and didn't so easily give in to simple temptations then most crap like this wouldn't happen (in the real world that is, asshattery will always persist on pseudo-anonymous media)

    • by physicsphairy (720718) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:18AM (#29240725) Homepage

      In summary, trust nobody that you can't go beat up in person.

      It seems to me that it would be sufficient to know somebody who could beat up the offender in person. The two of you could form a reciprocal agreement to enact violence, and of course at the root of it you are willing to exact violence against each other if one of you reneges on exacting violence on those in his sphere of effect.

      But you can continue adding tiers to this, creating an entire network of violence, to greater and greater effect. Pacifists (dead nodes) are a problem, of course, but we'll just classify them as rule-breakers and have them beaten up until they leave or become violent.

      • by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:32AM (#29240765) Homepage Journal

        What they need is this in the game.

        Have an enforcement division of the bank that is there to make an example of players wishing to steal from them or people who default on loans, grief them over and over.

        This could be simply a money fund that pays corps/individuals to do their dirty work (lots of work, as they would need to be monitored for performance levels and paid accordingly) or you could actually put the thugs on retainer and they log in each day, look up their list of targets to shake down and clock in like it was a job.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ArtemaOne (1300025)
          Griefing is against the Terms of Service and you can be banned for it. Scamming and taking things to which you were given access is not.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by KDR_11k (778916)

            How is griefing defined though? Is repeated hunting included or does it only account for out-of-gameplay stuff like DoSing someone?

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by ArtemaOne (1300025)
              I don't have the definition, but out-of-gameplay stuff is illegal in most countries, I wouldn't worry about only CCP if you were doing a denial of service attack.
          • by dushkin (965522)

            Killing them and their friends isn't, though.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by bmorton (170477)

          It's been a while since I played, but I believe players can place a bounty on players that's visible to all players.

          I'm not really sure why the bank wouldn't do this.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Because the bounty system won't works. It will simply be abused. The bank put a bounty on the frauder head, the frauder get one of his friends to kill him or even use an alt to do it, and simply share the bounty money with him. The bounty system is more a bragging system. The more on your head, the more you are supposed to be "hot". Most people with a large bounty on their head try to not get kill because they are proud to have that bounty on them, it's not really because they car about dying and loosi
            • by ptbarnett (159784)

              The bank put a bounty on the frauder head, the frauder get one of his friends to kill him or even use an alt to do it, and simply share the bounty money with him.

              I've suggested that the EVE bounty system be amended. If I put a bounty on someone's head, then when the bounty is collected, some fraction of the bounty amount will be deducted from the player's skill points.

              For instance, if you have a 1,000,000 bounty and are podded, then 100,000 skill points are deducted from your total -- as if your clone wasn't up-to-date. This will impose a real penalty on pirates, and prevent them from collaborating with an alt or a buddy to collect the bounty.

              Of course, this

        • Part of the problem is they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want a 'real' economy without all of the baggage of a real economy. In a criminal fantasy world like EVE you would think one of the most important aspects of dealing with people is the fear of getting whacked because you pissed someone off. But that's not really a problem in EVE (or any MMO). The worst that can really happen is you get podded. Oh well. You pull out a clone, buy some new implants, get a new starship and you're bac

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        But you can continue adding tiers to this, creating an entire network of violence, to greater and greater effect. Pacifists (dead nodes) are a problem, of course, but we'll just classify them as rule-breakers and have them beaten up until they leave or become violent.

        Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whuffie [wikipedia.org]

        Of course, such a system probably wouldn't work in practice, and would be as badly exploited in real life as it would in EVE. Th

        • by d3ac0n (715594)

          Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?... Of course, such a system probably wouldn't work in practice, and would be as badly exploited in real life as it would in EVE. There's entire networks of people (cough, Goonfleet) dedicated to griefing and breaking the system.

          Naturally it doesn't work in real life. Hell, it didn't even work in that godawful tinfoil hat leftist's wet dream novel he wrote. (Yes, I read it, no it wasn't any good.) All you need is someone with

          • Yes, because there are not vast multi-billion dollar drug distribution rings.
            You are correct, the MOB doesn't exist and all of the CIAs black-ops have come to light.
            .
            Eve and computerized economies (including the real one) can only work when authority is distributed, and rules can be enforced.
            The idea that one person could actually control a Dreadnaught, battleship, or anything much larger than a dingy is ludicrous. The idea that a single password would be used to control access is equally silly although con

        • Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?

          Actually, its more like the notion of government in the real world (though experience has shown that they can get by tolerating a certain level of pacifism, so the rules that many of them have that compel their members to engage in direct violence often have exceptions for "pacifists" within certain bounds.)
           

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ildon (413912)

        And we shall call this theory "Government". We'll make millions.

      • if i had mod points, i'd mod you up. no idea what category, but i'd do it.
      • by EdIII (1114411) *

        I have learned two things from this thread and your post.

        1) Even virtual economies are failing.

        2) Apparently we need all start watching OZ from HBO to figure out how to survive in this brave new world.

        P.S - Just to let you know... I am not a "dead node". I got no problems slappin' a bitch.

    • by rednip (186217)

      There's stories where people joined companies and rose to the ranks of massive alliances, just so they could close the alliance and screw everyone ever. To top it off, there's not a single thing you could do about it.

      Just like a real life company, isn't that cute. ,

    • by khallow (566160) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @09:01AM (#29241925)

      I used to play Eve-Online, and the only rule that was absolute, was that you should NEVER trust people that you are not in real life friends with.

      As I see it, it's more subtle than that. Even in a hardcore minimal rules environment like Eve, you can trust enough some people to a profitable extent. For example, I managed to find a group of people that I'd trust with assets in the hundreds of millions to few billion range. Certain people (particularly Chribba and most EBank directors, past and present) have pretty good reputations and are trusted with tens of billions of isk routinely. That allows for certain types of business opportunities that you can't get in a true zero trust environment (suppose for example, you can't tell other players apart).

      Everyone starts with no trust, but you can build on that (say by visiting each other in real life).

      As has been mentioned before, what makes games like Eve remarkable is that you get large successful organizations even though trust is so hard to come by.

      • Certain people (particularly Chribba and most EBank directors, past and present)

        Chribba, sure. But I think at this point most people involved in management of the growing fiasco that is EBank have been tainted, and rightfully so, with the dirty brush here.

        Those that weren't skimming one way or another, or outright stealing, were absolutely asleep at the helm of oversight. When I started my account there, unsecured loans were nigh on unheard of, but apparently nearly half a trillion ISK (at least, that we

        • by khallow (566160)

          Those that weren't skimming one way or another, or outright stealing, were absolutely asleep at the helm of oversight. When I started my account there, unsecured loans were nigh on unheard of, but apparently nearly half a trillion ISK (at least, that we know of) have gone to BAD unsecured loans. How many of these are to management's friends and alts?

          There are several things to note here. First, they were trusted too much and operating well outside their experience. This business failure doesn't say anything about whether they could be trusted (and what "trusted" really means in this sense) with fewer assets than well over a trillion isk. Second, most of them didn't have the opportunity to sleep at a helm of oversight, because they weren't in such a position. Much has been made, in particular by Shar Tengral who attempted to serve for a time in an overs

    • by MattGWU (86623) *

      I had the same thought when the big Second Life bank fell: Why did anybody trust this? Besides the obviously unsustainable interest rates, which should have raised a red flag with any thinking person, consider this: It's a bank in a computer game. It's a BANK in a GAME run by PLAYERS. Why would anybody with that understanding want to give their game money, which is bought with real currency (or earned with quite a bit of effort) to some 'bank' in a game? And then they're mad when the whole house of cards

  • So how much was the 200 billion in imaginary money worth to the insanely retarded people in the real world who forked over real world cash for it?

    The Darwin awards are a grand invention but they can only be awarded posthumously. We need something to mock world-class (but less-lethal) stupidity like this as well. Maybe the "PT Barnum Awards". They could be given out in televised public ceremonies and the "winner" plastered all over the internet for the amusement of the less-stupid.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well if he sold it for the going standard rate, which is unlikely... about 4 thousand USD. Though if he bided his time he could get 6k in afew months at his own isk selling site.

    • Re:How much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:12AM (#29240707)

      I've been playing EVE since 2004 and the current going rate for 1(one) billion ISK is around $50, although if you purchase 10 billion or more there are discounts to be had. So, all in all 200 billion ISK is around $10,000 in real US currency.

    • by d3ac0n (715594)

      Maybe the "PT Barnum Awards". They could be given out in televised public ceremonies and the "winner" plastered all over the internet for the amusement of the less-stupid

      I LIKE IT!

      Ok, who's gonna set up the website?

    • The Darwin awards are a grand invention but they can only be awarded posthumously.
      Not strictly true, unable to procreate is considered sufficiant.

  • The bank CEO's mother called and was wondering when he was going to clean the dishes.
  • Get a life? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:10AM (#29240697) Homepage

    Every time someone posts a story about an MMO, people always make comments about players needing a life. It sounds a lot like there is real drama with real people happening in Eve, and the players get a chance to do things they would never do in real life (such as run a bank).

    It doesn't seem that bad. It's real human interaction, real relationships and drama. It's not the sort of thing I'd want to do, but I can see why people get a lot out of it.

    • by Barny (103770)

      Shit, this just gave me an idea, start running 419 scams in eve, its a sure fire money maker.

    • Every time someone posts a story about an MMO, people always make comments about players needing a life.

      Doesn't apply to EVE players, because EVE is already like real life. Except it's missing all the good and interesting parts.

      • It has pew pew! Real life doesn't have pew pew. Apparently, though, it has too much graft and mismanagement and not enough pew pew.

    • Re:Get a life? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by iYk6 (1425255) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @03:52PM (#29245893)
      To be fair, people say the same thing about any hobby. Stamp collectors, model airplane builders, open source developers are all told to get a life by people who don't particularly like their hobby. Enlightenment such as yours, where you say something along the lines of, "I don't particularly like that hobby, but I have no disrespect for those who do" is unusual.
      • I don't think it's that unusual. I think in reality people who can respect the hobbies of others just don't speak up. Thus, our perceptions are skewed.

      • by dushkin (965522)

        To be fair, people say the same thing about any hobby. Stamp collectors, model airplane builders, open source developers are all told to get a life by people who don't particularly like their hobby.

        The story of my life.

    • by IonOtter (629215)

      Every time someone posts a story about an MMO, people always make comments about players needing a life.

      I dunno about you, but $200k sounds like a pretty damn good life to me?

  • by religious freak (1005821) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:12AM (#29240705)
    ... I find these stories interesting. How is the online world coping with the new institutions it must create with the added complexities of fast growing virtual worlds? Will it find a new way of doing things, or just repeat the same mistakes (this looks like repeating the same mistakes that were made a few hundred years ago). I have no idea how much a billion ISK is, but this is pretty big news to those that had their "money" in these institutions, even if it was just for play.

    In a world of massive real world bailouts and ~10% unemployment, this may not "matter" much, but it's definitely news for nerds.
    • by Barny (103770)

      An idea of how much that is to a "normal" player.

      I farmed missions for isk to pay for my account (when I was playing it that is), and would clear about 20-25Misk an evening with about 4hrs work, this was 100% safe farming, no chance of being PvP ganked, little-no chance of losing a ship (for those wondering Gallante command ship + second account running a logistics ship with a battleship class remote armour repper on it).

      So 300Bisk is quite a bit of money, but it is still pretend money :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)

      How is the online world coping with the new institutions it must create with the added complexities of fast growing virtual worlds? Will it find a new way of doing things, or just repeat the same mistakes (this looks like repeating the same mistakes that were made a few hundred years ago).

      They will evolve more or less the same rules as in the real world, for the same reasons. Then the next of idealistic young libertarians will get frustrated with all the rules, which they don't really understand, and set

  • Oh well (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @04:32AM (#29240761) Homepage Journal

    at least everyone's accounts are eFDIC insured up to $100k fake dollars.
    Good thing, too... this sort of thing could spark an virtual bank run resulting in an imaginary depression. Next thing you know, everyone would be forced to ride the rails as hoboes in Railroad Tycoon.

  • Recession (Score:3, Funny)

    by BountyX (1227176) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @06:21AM (#29241175)
    Yeah the economic crisis is pretty bad here in virtual world. I can no longer afford my second life prostitutes. I even lost my job as a store owner in WoW -- they outsourced it to AI where all the bots do the work. I can't even afford my mana potions, I have to connect to a Canadian server just to buy them on the cheap...
  • Sounds like ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    the Icelandic bank meltdown. They turned out to be a Ponzi scheme [wikileaks.org], with the bank's major shareholders taking out loans into the billions of dollars, investing that in other companies, which in turn went bankrupt, taking Iceland's money with them.

    • Hm, you are confusing ISK with ISK.
      • Hmmn, maybe this is like Charles Stross novel "Halting State:" the players think they are playing a game, but in fact they really are managing Iceland's monetary supply.

  • by Briden (1003105)

    Just like real banks!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That EVE world adopt a virtual gold standard.

    • by hurrdurr (1626151)
      ISK4Gold.com?
    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      Oh, it's an AC post.
      Well, having opened a Reply window, I might as well anyway.

      adopt a virtual gold standard.

      Why gold? It's an interesting industrial metal (second best conductor ; most malleable ; reasonably corrosion-resistant), but not tremendously rare. As a mineral, it's pretty, and it's found in the native state. But when you're asteroid mining, you're going to be feeding it all into the grinding mill anyway.

      There's a historical association with whatever the "gold standard" was. So?

      So, if "gold" doesn

      • by AP31R0N (723649)

        i'd use something that had intrinsic in-game value, like fuel or building materials. In a fantasy game i'd have it be Mana or Karma. In Eve i'd have an Energon like fuel type. i hand you a note with 1024 Ton AU {TAU} (it could move 16 tons 64 AU). You could use that note to buy other stuff, or take it to the gas station to fill your tank. Or maybe it's a note for 340 Liters of Vespene Gas.

        Once you use it, it is destroyed forever. Use currency to represent these materials and allow fluid trade. The serv

        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          I think that's probably a sensible answer to my question, but I'm not terribly sure.
          "Mana"?
          "Karma" (something different to what I've got on SlashDot, whatever that is?)?
          "Shallow power curve" (it's hard to stall your car, but it doesn't accelerate terribly fast?) ?
          "Ganking" (is it legal, in private, between consenting adults? Or doe it require too many consenting adults to be private?)

          Is that English, some arcane dialect of Albanian, or mispronounced Klingon?

          But linguistic puzzlement aside, you're saying to

          • by AP31R0N (723649)

            >I think that's probably a sensible answer to my question, but I'm not terribly sure.
            "Mana"?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana_point [wikipedia.org]

            >"Karma" (something different to what I've got on SlashDot, whatever that is?)?

            In the context of games, karma could be the same as mana, but with the implication that it was divine in origin.

            >"Shallow power curve" (it's hard to stall your car, but it doesn't accelerate terribly fast?) ?

            Words and phrases have different meanings in various contexts. In the case of RPGs a

            • by RockDoctor (15477)

              gank = steal (including life). OK, got that. Don't see the point of inventing yet another new word. Oh well, if it's still around in a century, maybe it'll have proven it's utility. The same question stands for Klingon.

              Do you need me to explain what it means to put a verb between asterisks, or can you look for it yourself?

              Nope, I learned that on a horrible excuse for a word processor on a Beeb-micro when I was doing my degree. it means "make the daisy-wheel printer take even longer to print out your final

  • by Biswalt (1273170) on Saturday August 29, 2009 @08:00AM (#29241591)
    I'd like to posit that the money in Eve Online is just as real as a dollar bill. I mean, you can buy ISK on Ebay, so there's an exchange rate [gameusd.com] of about 12 cents per million ISK. It's measurable, it's real, because ISK can be purchased for real money. What makes ISK less real than the Hungarian Forint, or the Chilean Peso, or even the US dollar? Currency very simply is people placing value in something that is not really intrinsically valuable. IE. paper dollars, little metal coins, huge stone wheels, bits of code relating to ISK, etc. So b/c it's valuable to these people we have a situation where the currency is very real. At least as real as any other form of currency has been.
    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      All money is virtual money toch?

    • I'd like to posit that the money in Eve Online is just as real as a dollar bill.

      Eve ISK relates to $$ the same way that game tokens in an arcade do -- or "store credit" in a store does.

    • by AP31R0N (723649)

      Yup. Except for one aspect, perhaps. That currency is subject to the caprice of one company who can flood the market or end it. End it, as in make it become non-existent with the flick of a switch. Just as my Uber1337 sword of fiery death is not mine, it's Blizzard's. With "real" currency there's a greater sense of permanency. Plus if someone steals my money or screws me over to get it, i have some recourse.

      Yeah, it's currency alright. But i'd still call anyone spending "real" money on it to be an idio

  • by Anonymous Coward

    second life had people bilking citizens out of money too. only a fool would hand over their money to an anonymous person in a simulation or game.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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