Call 911, He Stole My Magic Sword

from the the-sheriff-of-WoW dept

At a gaming conference, Microsoft warned that multi-player online games have significant security vulnerabilities, and that the growing value of in game assets was a juicy target for criminals. As we've seen in the past, MMORPGs are facing more and more real world complications as people invest an increasing amount of money into them. This problem is only going to get worse; as one Microsoft researcher put it, "The police are really good at understanding someone stole my credit card and ran up a lot of money. It's a lot harder to get them to buy into 'someone stole my magic sword.'" But before discussing how law enforcement can address the situation, game developers and players should try to define the border between the game and the real world. For example, most people would accept that if your character is mugged inside a game, then that's part of the gameplay, not a legal issue. But what about counterfeiting gold pieces? What about running a script inside the game that transfers gold from one player to another? Before diverting law enforcement resources to rectify players' complaints, companies running online games need to strive to develop their own security measures that satisfy their players.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2006 @ 4:19pm

    Re: ok... A lot of missed points here

    Me again (forgot a point).

    Although I do think there are real world problems here, I do think it's of the utmost importance for the game publisher to provide a secure environment.

    I'll take Blizzard for an example here.

    They can't MAKE kids use long strong passwords, but they can try to inform them. And they do.

    They can't MAKE kids not share their accounts, but they can try to inform them why they shouldn't.

    However, if they did something stupid, like transmit the account credentials in plain text during the act of "logging in" then there would be hell to pay. It wouldnt need to come in police action tho. They woudl pay merciless for their lack fo security by paying subscriptions getting cancelled left and right.

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