Nice Work Retrieving That Magic Sword... But Now You Need To Pay Uncle Sam For It

from the oh-please dept

We've discussed, at length, the many, many reasons why it's a bad idea to start taking in-game crimes and putting them in real world courts -- even if people are getting scammed out of things that have real value. Because the game allowed it, it's an in-game issue and should be taken care of within the game. Otherwise where is the line? Some games allow for stealing and crime -- or even encourage it. If that's the case, then what happens when a player in one of those games takes a dispute out to court? It seems silly since the point of the game is to set up a world where those actions are acceptable. In almost every case, there should be some sort of way that the issue can be handled within the game. However, as people continue to take such disputes outside of the game, while talking up how much value there is within the game, it has apparently attracted some interest of politicians who are wondering if it makes sense to tax in-game proceeds. By taking any aspect of the game and connecting it directly to the real world, the games have only brought this possibility on themselves. Note that the politicians aren't talking about virtual items in the game that have been converted to real dollars or other assets. That's already taxable as income. Instead, they're looking at actually taxing the items within the game based on the perceived value of those assets. This opens up a huge set of issues that aren't likely to go away very easily -- while also making it a lot more expensive to spend much time playing online games.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    |3331373|3|_||3, 18 Oct 2006 @ 8:08pm


    If they send virtual IRS men out onto MMOs, they will have to go so far undercover to stop temselves from getting killed off by the players who don't want to pay taxes. Then the governeemnt would have to create regiments of warriors and wizrds to protect thier IRS men, and I would work there faster than you can say WoW. If they diod this, they would find nothing b/c no-one would be stuopid enough to tell them anyting, and if they go out alone they die every few seconds once thier usernames cover is blown.

    Would the Gov. have to pay the company for the accounts they use, i so when ppl find out about the identities of the players, they just imprison tham in a room with no windows or doors and leave them there to waste the rest of thier monthly access. Players would make monkeys out of governement officials so fast it just wouldn't be funney.

    What next, the US gov paying ppl to play BF2 to stop us stealing equipment form the US army, or taxing us on what we take, or sending us to Gitmo for loading up a jeep with C4 and sending it into the enemy base? How do they decide what to tax - D&D 3D? some ancient MUD? RTS online games, where your country has money - do you own the money even if you just set up the server for a few hours?

    You could go on forever.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.