How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy
t3knomanser

More MMORPG brain-hurting...

Ummm... yeah. Can governments prosecute theft in MMORPGs? This is where things get weird. If someone on UO builds a house, and a group of marauding players slip in and ransack the house, stealing valuable items- that have a real world exchange value- is that a crime?

I think the reason for saying "No" is obvious. These are games, even if they involve real prices. And the game itself is structured to enforce certain rules, and so long as none of the players are violating the rules (ie. hacking) of the game, and stepping over into cybercrime, they are not subject to criminal law. When a game has a player class entitled "thief", it's assumed that other players may steal money and items from you. That is an aspect of the game. Now, a well designed game will have a consequence structure. In the real world, someone robs you, and you call the police. Most MMORPGs have something akin to this; SWG allows you to hire (another PC as)a bounty hunter. Generally, you can find a few people in the game who want some kind of law and order, and will help you against theives and other hooligans.
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