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reality - virtual problems

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I saw there is a game (maybe it's not really a game, however) Second Life where you can buy virtual currency, buy/sell stuff then reconvert to real money if you want. If there would be a MMORPG like that, where you can actualy attack/loot other players, would that be ok? I mean you could just go on a rampage, kill a bunch of players, take their virtual money and then cash in the real money - wouldn't that be a illegal? Or there would be no problem because that world is virtual, you agree with an EULA at the start and it would be like winning/losing money on a coin machine? Cheating in such a game (assuming there would be a flaw, bug etc) wouldn't be like robbing a bank? Could the company that made/runs the game declare that virtual realm a real independent state (with taxes, flag and so on) with no obligations to the rest of the world?

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If playing the game can result in a transfer of (real) wealth from one player to another in a significant number of cases, no matter how it would happen and whether it is the principal point of interest of the game, it can be made subject to local laws about gambling. This might lead to it being forbidden or heavily regulated depending on the country.

In essence, local laws tell the game makers "you can use this kind of rule, but not this one", and then the game makers implement the rules they are allowed to use. So, while a tribunal will not rule that stealing real money from players in-game is illegal, it might rule that allowing players to steal real money from each other in-game is illegal.

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Original post by LeChuckIsBack
If there would be a MMORPG like that, where you can actualy attack/loot other players, would that be ok? I mean you could just go on a rampage, kill a bunch of players, take their virtual money and then cash in the real money - wouldn't that be a illegal? Or there would be no problem because that world is virtual, you agree with an EULA at the start and it would be like winning/losing money on a coin machine?
It may or may not be legally defined as gambling but it would certainly be covered by the local laws that apply where the company is based (and probably in the countries where the service is offered).

Provided you comply with those laws then it would be legal - as you say, players agree to be bound by the rules when they join up.

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Cheating in such a game (assuming there would be a flaw, bug etc) wouldn't be like robbing a bank?
I expect that it would be illegal. Probably more akin to fraud than robbery.

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Could the company that made/runs the game declare that virtual realm a real independent state (with taxes, flag and so on) with no obligations to the rest of the world?
No something that is virtual can't be real.

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[quote]Original post by LeChuckIsBack
I saw there is a game (maybe it's not really a game, however) Second Life where you can buy virtual currency, buy/sell stuff then reconvert to real money if you want.

If there would be a MMORPG like that, where you can actualy attack/loot other players, would that be ok? I mean you could just go on a rampage, kill a bunch of players, take their virtual money and then cash in the real money - wouldn't that be a illegal? Or there would be no problem because that world is virtual, you agree with an EULA at the start and it would be like winning/losing money on a coin machine?

Cheating in such a game (assuming there would be a flaw, bug etc) wouldn't be like robbing a bank?

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Could the company that made/runs the game declare that virtual realm a real independent state (with taxes, flag and so on) with no obligations to the rest of the world?

I suppose they could declare pretty much what they like... Good luck getting the rest of the world to recognize it (not least the country housing the developers and the servers)

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Original post by LeChuckIsBack
If there would be a MMORPG like that, where you can actualy attack/loot other players, would that be ok? I mean you could just go on a rampage, kill a bunch of players, take their virtual money and then cash in the real money - wouldn't that be a illegal? Or there would be no problem because that world is virtual, you agree with an EULA at the start and it would be like winning/losing money on a coin machine?


This is maybe the best example of the virtuality fallacy form of argument.

The statement is as so:

X exists in cyberspace
cyberspace is virtual
therefore x (or the effect of x) isn't real

Because it's a fallacy, obviously, it's false.

Just a heads up... you'll get pwned in court.

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> I mean you could just go on a rampage, kill a bunch of players,
> take their virtual money and then cash in the real money - wouldn't
> that be a illegal?

Sorry, I don't see where's the entertainment value in that type of game. It's like school bullying, only that you also have to pay a monthly subscription for it.

-cb

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Original post by cbenoi1
Sorry, I don't see where's the entertainment value in that type of game.


The same as the one behind most gambling games (Poker, Craps, Roulette and so on) where you pay in the hopes and for the thrill of earning some at the expense of other players.

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Gambling is a game of chance where your are up against statistics. Here you are up against other players with the same motives as you: earn money by ganking. If you think gold farmers are a pest, think one minute about how those guys - who'd do this professionally, mind you - would go about farming players for money. Fun indeed.

-cb

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Original post by cbenoi1
Gambling is a game of chance where your are up against statistics.


Poker.

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