by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 6th 2009 5:09am
A couple years ago, there were stories about how there was a "run" on the virtual banks of Second Life. Later on, some reporters tried to suggest that the Second Life "credit crunch" was a predictor of the real world's credit crunch. That wasn't even close to true. Yet, with yet another story about a virtual world, we're once again hearing in-apt comparisons to the real world. The latest is a run on a bank in the game EVE Online. In this case, it looks like one of the guys involved in running the "bank" simply took some of the virtual currency out of the bank and exchanged it for real world cash (about $5k). The BBC headline calling it "billions stolen" is inaccurate, since it was only "billions" in the meaningless virtual currency. In the real world, it translated into not very much at all. The BBC article also calls it a "virtual version of the credit crunch." Again, this is quite inaccurate. In both the Second Life bank run and this bank run the problem was simply outright fraud by the "virtual banks" or those who run them. That's quite different than what has happened with the real world credit crunch, and it does little good to pretend otherwise.
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