In the past, we've written about how unclear the law is as it relates to virtual worlds such as online games. How do the laws of the real world that you live in impact what happens within a virtual world? For example, if stealing from a character is part of the game, but virtual goods can be transferred outside of the game for real money... the law can get tricky. Someone could claim that even if stuff was stolen in the playing of the game, it cost real economic value. Over in Japan, a woman has been charged with a crime for breaking into an ex-boyfriend's online video game account and deleting various weapons he had collected. She's being charged with illegal computer access, for logging in as him, but you have to wonder where the line gets drawn. What if she, in the character of the game, had managed to take away the same items she deleted from within his account? This case is a bit more clear cut, but there are going to be a lot more cases where the line between the laws of the real world and the terms of service of the game itself get very blurry.
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