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
    Bobloblaw, 15 Aug 2006 @ 4:22pm

    WoW

    I don't know about other MMORPGs but the only cheats I've ever heard of in WoW is people buying gold, and the people they buy gold from have to play the game to farm for materials and sell them legitimately in order to make the gold that they want to sell in the first place. There is no way to "steal" gold or other items from another player in WoW, even if you kill someone you don't get to loot another player. I've never heard of a single instance of someone being robbed in the game. Of course if someone gets ahold of your username and password, that's another story...

    One of the reasons I like WoW so much is that they've purposely made it so that you are protected from other players. In fact if you are on a regular (non-PVP) server you may never get killed by another player ever, and you never lose your items no matter what.

    I used to hate playing Diablo online because you would get ganked by someone before the load screen even disappears, and they would loot all your items and gold. That kind of game is stupid and anyone who plays it hopefully knows the risks. And if a game allows you to be looted then you have no recourse, either go get your revenge on them or don't play the game!

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