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(Guardian)   Should WoW thieves be prosecuted for real burglary? Of course not, that's idiotic. But here's an article about it anyway   (theguardian.com) divider line 78
    More: Asinine  
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1900 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jul 2014 at 8:58 PM (7 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-24 05:08:23 PM
Sooo, subby understands that game, such as MMO's, have monthly fees.

Subby understands that games such as WoW have some Pay to Play Features.

Subby understands that in the real world one may lose their job for stealing time from a company, and sued accordingly.

But subby believes that peoples time and money, because it's an online game, are not worthy of the same protections.

Ooooook. Makes total sense.

Also, let's all go back to the pyramid scheme we enjoy in first world countries, wherein we keep sending our earnings back up to those that pay us, leaving us with nothing. It, too, is a game.

The derp is strong in subby, once again.
 
2014-07-24 05:14:30 PM
Define 'theft'.


If the theft of items is part of the game, meaning that players are aware that there is a possibility their purchased items could be stolen by other players in the regular course of playing, well, you're sh*t outta luck.

If other players are finding ways to "break the game" in order to steal other items, well, then this idea does have merit.


I sure hope the NPCs in Skyrim don't catch on to this. I'm going to have A LOT to pay back.
 
2014-07-24 05:36:01 PM

Rev.K: I sure hope the NPCs in Skyrim don't catch on to this. I'm going to have A LOT to pay back.


Sounds like you like sweet rolls.
 
2014-07-24 05:40:55 PM
When your imaginary worlds start getting that real, it's time to back away

/and get some therapy
 
2014-07-24 06:24:41 PM
What could he possibly have spent money on in WoW that was of value that wasn't BoE or at least BoA?
 
2014-07-24 07:53:38 PM
So, I steal or guess your account credentials, then I take all your stuff.. Sell it online and make a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.. And I haven't committed a crime?

Subby you have a bright future as a investment banking executive, don't let anyone else tell you different.
 
2014-07-24 08:22:28 PM

Rev.K: Define 'theft'.


If the theft of items is part of the game, meaning that players are aware that there is a possibility their purchased items could be stolen by other players in the regular course of playing, well, you're sh*t outta luck.

If other players are finding ways to "break the game" in order to steal other items, well, then this idea does have merit.

I sure hope the NPCs in Skyrim don't catch on to this. I'm going to have A LOT to pay back.


The somewhat problematic issue here is ownership; do the players "own" the content on an MMORPG such that taking it away from them is taking away  their property?

One comparable situation is tickets to a sporting event. If I buy a ticket for seat A1 in Section 300 of a stadium, and someone else who doesn't have that seat sits there and refuses to let me sit down, it's very hard to allege that he "stole" the seat from me. The seat isn't mine, it's the stadium's, and all I had was a license from the stadium to sit in that particular chair.

Now, in that example, the  stadium may be responsible to me to either eject the other patron who's refusing to give up the seat, or to give a refund. Similarly, if Blizzard allows WoW subscribers to purchase a particular sword, in the event that a hacker steals the sword from a subscriber account, it's hard to argue that the WoW subscriber "owned" anything. The way software licenses work, it's almost certain that all the WoW subscriber had was a license to  use that particular piece of content in-game.

I came into this thread all ready to agree with you, but then I thought it out and realized that the theft metaphor is pretty bad for this particular circumstance. If the MP here wants to pass any law at all, it should be one that requires MMO companies to provide new copies of "stolen" items, or reimburse if an account is hacked through no fault of the subscriber.
 
2014-07-24 08:26:38 PM
"The perception from some people is that if you steal online it's less of a crime than if you steal physically."

i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-07-24 08:44:47 PM

Meesterjojo: But subby believes that peoples time and money, because it's an online game, are not worthy of the same protections.


Their time? Probably not.

I keed, I keed.
 
2014-07-24 09:06:45 PM
Your sword doesn't actually have any real world value. Blizzard, who actually owns it, has made that clear. Sorry. It's not yours, it can't be stolen from you and the guy who owns it says it isn't worth anything.

That being said, illegally accessing someone else's account is a real crime that's really punishable by jail time, so I don't see what the discussion is even about. You even mentioned that little tidbit in the course of your inane my favorite website.

Also, your blog sucks.
 
2014-07-24 09:07:14 PM

Nogrhi: Rev.K: I sure hope the NPCs in Skyrim don't catch on to this. I'm going to have A LOT to pay back.

Sounds like you like sweet rolls.


You win the thread!

/there's been lots of Skyrim going on lately here
 
2014-07-24 09:12:38 PM
People are still playing WoW? WoW.
 
2014-07-24 09:15:22 PM

skozlaw: Your sword doesn't actually have any real world value. Blizzard, who actually owns it, has made that clear. Sorry. It's not yours, it can't be stolen from you and the guy who owns it says it isn't worth anything.

That being said, illegally accessing someone else's account is a real crime that's really punishable by jail time, so I don't see what the discussion is even about. You even mentioned that little tidbit in the course of your inane my favorite website.

Also, your blog sucks.


This.

If the sword had value then you would have to pay income tax on it.

/imagine the butthurt if the IRS decided that you need to declare phat lewt on your 1040
 
2014-07-24 09:15:26 PM
Furthermore, I demand that 13 year old punk who shot me in the back of the head and then teabagged my corpse last week be hauled in for murder and desecration of human remains!
 
2014-07-24 09:16:33 PM
Did someone say Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker?
 
2014-07-24 09:17:06 PM
This brings to mind a hazy memory of a woman blogging that killing a woman in pvp should be treated as rape based on the emotional stress it causes and the in game behavior it produces in female players.
 
2014-07-24 09:20:03 PM

Rev.K: Define 'theft'.  If the theft of items is part of the game, meaning that players are aware that there is a possibility their purchased items could be stolen by other players in the regular course of playing, well, you're sh*t outta luck.  If other players are finding ways to "break the game" in order to steal other items, well, then this idea does have merit.



Agreed.  If it in scope of the game's mechanics and rules, then it is part of the game.  If it due to hacking, fraud or other activities outside of the game's mechanics, then it should be prosecuted as such.

One problem though is how to define hacking and fraud.  Are you using things like aimbots and other scripts to play the game better than a person (hacking the front-end), or are you looking for exploits in the server software or stealing passwords to accounts (hacking the back-end).  Most people agree that the latter is illegal.  A lot of people would argue that the former is just a terms-of-use breakage.
 
2014-07-24 09:24:49 PM
well there goes my pirate ship design for space engineers
 
2014-07-24 09:29:14 PM
Most account hacking is due to negligence on the account owner's part anyway.  Usually it's due to them using a powerleveling or gold selling service, or because they gave their account info to a friend or guildmate.  So basically they have broken the EULA or are trying to cheat the game in some way.

It's hard to feel bad for people in this case as they brought it on themselves.

Blizzard should be able to prosecute them if they want to, but not the account holder simply because all game content belongs to Blizzard anyway.
 
2014-07-24 09:31:49 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: When your imaginary worlds start getting that real, it's time to back away

/and get some therapy


I had to walk away from WoW for that reason.  I can't play without getting completely sucked into that world.
 
2014-07-24 09:32:22 PM
It WoW players are charged with theft, how many Halo players will be charged with sexual assault for teabagging?
 
2014-07-24 09:33:02 PM
This thread reminds me of

quantumkool.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-07-24 09:41:02 PM
Stealing another person's digital property is ALREADY illegal.  The only issue is that WoW items aren't actually yours.  Beyond that, accessing another person's online account is already illegal most places, as are most of the methods used to acquire login information to do so.
 
2014-07-24 09:41:56 PM
Should WoW thieves be prosecuted for real burglary?
oh heck no

They should be boiled in oil
Flayed alive
disemboweled
Flayed again
You get the idea
 
2014-07-24 09:45:39 PM

Emposter: Stealing another person's digital property is ALREADY illegal.  The only issue is that WoW items aren't actually yours.  Beyond that, accessing another person's online account is already illegal most places, as are most of the methods used to acquire login information to do so.


Yeah, Ithought the real issue is somebody gaining access to your account, not so much what they do with that level 1 fishing pole you leave in your toon's bank simply beacuse you can't bear to part with it.

My account got hacked like 5 years ago, and the guildbank got looted.  The GMs managed to bring back most everything, so no harm no foul, really.  But I can see where some people could get righteously pissed if it happened to them.

/And NO I won't buy that stupid fob.
 
2014-07-24 09:48:15 PM
So like most politicians this guy didn't read shiat? The EU LA covers that all the shiat is Blizzard's you just have a license to use it.

You can't have stolen from you that which isn't yours.
 
2014-07-24 09:56:56 PM

Bonzo_1116: Emposter: Stealing another person's digital property is ALREADY illegal.  The only issue is that WoW items aren't actually yours.  Beyond that, accessing another person's online account is already illegal most places, as are most of the methods used to acquire login information to do so.

Yeah, Ithought the real issue is somebody gaining access to your account, not so much what they do with that level 1 fishing pole you leave in your toon's bank simply beacuse you can't bear to part with it.

My account got hacked like 5 years ago, and the guildbank got looted.  The GMs managed to bring back most everything, so no harm no foul, really.  But I can see where some people could get righteously pissed if it happened to them.

/And NO I won't buy that stupid fob.


The smartphone/iPod Touch app is free.
 
2014-07-24 09:59:51 PM

Emposter: Stealing another person's digital property is ALREADY illegal.  The only issue is that WoW items aren't actually yours.  Beyond that, accessing another person's online account is already illegal most places, as are most of the methods used to acquire login information to do so.


Exactly. there really is not any way for getting into someones account without their permission and changing things to NOT be a crime
 
2014-07-24 10:02:14 PM

PillsHere: Blizzard should be able to prosecute them if they want to, but not the account holder simply because all game content belongs to Blizzard anyway.


But how would they demonstrate loss when everything remains in-game and they can simply delete the items from the thief's account and restore it to the victim's account?  It's not like someone broke into your house and stole your TV where it's gone and, unless the police find it, shall never return.  I think the only crime that could reasonably be pursued is the crime involved in accessing someone's account without authorization.
 
2014-07-24 10:23:13 PM
Good golly this dude doesn't seem to understand that when you go on-the-line, you are not engaging in real life, it is farking make believe, especially when you are playing games.  one piece of advice, "lighten up Francis."
 
2014-07-24 10:27:18 PM

RogermcAllen: If the sword had value then you would have to pay income tax on it.


No.
I bought something yesterday.
I own it today.
I won't be paying income taxes on it tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, or April 15th next year.
 
2014-07-24 10:30:22 PM

RogermcAllen: skozlaw: Your sword doesn't actually have any real world value. Blizzard, who actually owns it, has made that clear. Sorry. It's not yours, it can't be stolen from you and the guy who owns it says it isn't worth anything.

That being said, illegally accessing someone else's account is a real crime that's really punishable by jail time, so I don't see what the discussion is even about. You even mentioned that little tidbit in the course of your inane my favorite website.

Also, your blog sucks.

This.

If the sword had value then you would have to pay income tax on it.

/imagine the butthurt if the IRS decided that you need to declare phat lewt on your 1040


Funny you should mention that.. They've been looking at this very issue since 2006.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2006/10/7997/

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/irs-taxation-of-game-assets-inevita bl e/1100-6162654/

Haven't heard anything about it too recently, as I think they've started focusing more on virtual economies like BitCoin, Dogecoin, etc., but taxing virtual assests is definitely something they've considered.
 
2014-07-24 10:30:34 PM

Callous: PillsHere: Blizzard should be able to prosecute them if they want to, but not the account holder simply because all game content belongs to Blizzard anyway.

But how would they demonstrate loss when everything remains in-game and they can simply delete the items from the thief's account and restore it to the victim's account?


It wouldn't matter whose account the items are in.  Every item in every account, including the accounts of thieves, belongs to Blizzard.  Moving it from the victims account into the "thief's" account isn't a loss for Blizzard, regardless of if they move the item back or not.  They had the item prior the move, they have the item during the move, they have the item after the move.
 
2014-07-24 10:47:53 PM

DoBeDoBeDo: So like most politicians this guy didn't read shiat? The EU LA covers that all the shiat is Blizzard's you just have a license to use it.

You can't have stolen from you that which isn't yours.


The problem with that comes when you start getting into real-money transactions for virtual goods.  Those EULAs can have some interesting interactions with consumer protection laws, in some countries.
 
2014-07-24 10:53:31 PM
If there's real world damage, then there may be a real world crime.
Now if the loss of something in a game caused real world damages, but it can be rectified by replacing it in game, that could be the remedy instead of replacing the real world value.
 
2014-07-24 10:54:35 PM
Imagine if this guy played Eve....he'd probably be calling for the death penalty by now.
 
2014-07-25 12:28:13 AM

jpo2269: Good golly this dude doesn't seem to understand that when you go on-the-line, you are not engaging in real life, it is farking make believe, especially when you are playing games.  one piece of advice, "lighten up Francis."


Good golly, we're all talking on-the-line by commenting on this thread so I guess we're not engaging in real life either! We can act like farksticks and do whatever we want because there's no way it can backfire on us! That's why people who make online threats of violence against political figures never end up Gitmo'd! Because it's not real life!

/realize it's a troll
//taking it in an illogical direction
 
2014-07-25 12:51:56 AM

Dagrin: Imagine if this guy played Eve....he'd probably be calling for the death penalty by now.


Came here to say something along these lines. Petty WoW theft pales in comparison to what CCP encourages players to do in Eve.
 
2014-07-25 02:18:09 AM

jpo2269: Good golly this dude doesn't seem to understand that when you go on-the-line, you are not engaging in real life, it is farking make believe, especially when you are playing games.  one piece of advice, "lighten up Francis."


Says the moron on-the-line. Why don't you go engage in some real life yourself and learn some self awareness.
 
2014-07-25 02:44:20 AM

Dagrin: Imagine if this guy played Eve....he'd probably be calling for the death penalty by now.


cdn03.tmcdn.org
 
2014-07-25 02:52:01 AM
Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though
 
2014-07-25 03:10:59 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though


It's simple, it is what the market will bear.

What the digital item does in the digital game could simply increase someone's win potential.

Take someone's desire to win, at their entertainment hobby, and that's how they value the object.

Of course the digital item has an artificial scarcity enacted by the owners of the game.  The scarcity could be from randomness/time invested.


The question comes down to: "will you spend 5 bucks to increase your win% this much, or have your character compete at a different level and play through entertaining content, or finish off an aesthetic collection."

Some people will pay it!  Some people will do other things like grind for it with time.  Others will simply do without if there's no way to do it without money.

People already pay money to play games, paying more money for more "game" or a different "game" or an improvement to the "game" doesn't seem that strange.

But I play MTG king of moneysinks.
 
2014-07-25 03:27:19 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though


The intrinsic value of online items thst cannot be exchanged for real-life currency is driven by:
- Player's personal time-investment in obtaining it (rewards from labour)
- the expectation of future usage of the items stolen, reducing or easing his future labour to obtain future rewards (think "toolsfof the trade")
- and in certain cases, pure emotional attachment (that level 1 fishing pole), not too different than real world junk we keep around for the same reason.
 
2014-07-25 03:27:19 AM

Esc7: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though

It's simple, it is what the market will bear.

What the digital item does in the digital game could simply increase someone's win potential.

Take someone's desire to win, at their entertainment hobby, and that's how they value the object.

Of course the digital item has an artificial scarcity enacted by the owners of the game.  The scarcity could be from randomness/time invested.


The question comes down to: "will you spend 5 bucks to increase your win% this much, or have your character compete at a different level and play through entertaining content, or finish off an aesthetic collection."

Some people will pay it!  Some people will do other things like grind for it with time.  Others will simply do without if there's no way to do it without money.

People already pay money to play games, paying more money for more "game" or a different "game" or an improvement to the "game" doesn't seem that strange.

But I play MTG king of moneysinks.


Ok... my magic rock is worth a lot more than I thought, then, right?

/and just WTF do you "win" in WoW?
//how is that worth real money to an objective observer just because some yokel wants an advantage in a game that has no winners?
///seriously... this is insane
 
2014-07-25 03:50:52 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Esc7: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though

It's simple, it is what the market will bear.

What the digital item does in the digital game could simply increase someone's win potential.

Take someone's desire to win, at their entertainment hobby, and that's how they value the object.

Of course the digital item has an artificial scarcity enacted by the owners of the game.  The scarcity could be from randomness/time invested.


The question comes down to: "will you spend 5 bucks to increase your win% this much, or have your character compete at a different level and play through entertaining content, or finish off an aesthetic collection."

Some people will pay it!  Some people will do other things like grind for it with time.  Others will simply do without if there's no way to do it without money.

People already pay money to play games, paying more money for more "game" or a different "game" or an improvement to the "game" doesn't seem that strange.

But I play MTG king of moneysinks.

Ok... my magic rock is worth a lot more than I thought, then, right?

/and just WTF do you "win" in WoW?
//how is that worth real money to an objective observer just because some yokel wants an advantage in a game that has no winners?
///seriously... this is insane




.. Or go by the cost of in-game currency from gold sellers, and compare it to the in-game vendor price or the typical price on the AH.

On Wildstar, they have it set up so that you can buy account sub time with in game currency. Or buy a credit for game time to sell in-game for currency. So it's fairly common for people to talk about the real life value of items like the farking Trigger Fingers amp. Which goes for as much as 20p right now. One month of game time ($15-20, I forget) is worth somewhere around 5p. People constantly compare it to the real world value when whining about it.
 
2014-07-25 06:08:45 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Ok, gamers... here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone can give me a rational explanation: how do you assign a real world value to something that doesn't exist in the real world?
You see, I don't get how someone being willing to pay X for an imaginary thing translates to intrinsic value

/I can sell some idiot a dinosaur repellant rock if they're willing to pay for it
//and it comes with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work
///no refunds, though


if you paid for a movie ticket online you would consider yourself to own the right to watch a movie. There is no physical item but you would insist most strongly that you owned something.
 
2014-07-25 06:45:42 AM
Spending meatspace money for cyperspace equipment (which has no value outside a game) is a clever idea.

/Fool.
//Money.
///Parted.
 
2014-07-25 07:16:41 AM

KellyMG: Dagrin: Imagine if this guy played Eve....he'd probably be calling for the death penalty by now.

Came here to say something along these lines. Petty WoW theft pales in comparison to what CCP encourages players to do in Eve.


Yeah but in Eve the theft is part of the game mechanic. They aren't illegally obtaining account credentials and committing fraud to gain access to those items they are using their own account to gain access in game and them backstabbing opponents.  It's a completely different situation.

I played Wow up until just before they added the Lich King content to Wrath of the Lich King. Account theft was a major problem back then and it really could mess with you.  I mean when you spend hours trying to get the best stuff one one day you log in doesn't work then you get your password reset and you log in only to find your character naked on the street outside of the auction house, nothing in the bank and the guild bank raided and 50 or so angry letters in your mailbox from guild members asking why you raided the bank....well it's infuriating.  It never happened to me but It happened to at least two people I played with.
 
2014-07-25 07:30:26 AM
If you've spent £500 building up your armed forces, then you're an idiot

/
ftfm
 
2014-07-25 08:03:03 AM

diaphoresis: Spending meatspace money for cyperspace equipment (which has no value outside a game) is a clever idea.
/Fool.
//Money.
///Parted.


Begs the question.  Its value is what's (slowly) getting hammered out, as public policy gradually tries to catch up to the notion of online digital property.  And it's not just games, or things within them.

If you spend real-world money on a good or service, you've purchased a real thing, regardless of where in meatspace that thing can or can't be said to exist.  If, for example, I spend five bucks on a month's worth of TF, and I somehow get screwed out of that, it doesn't matter that the TF subscription only "really" exists as a squiggle of information tagged to my account on Fark, and has no effect outside of their virtual space or what gets displayed on my screen.

And for online games, and MMOs in particular, you also have to keep in mind that there's been a move towards formalizing the idea that a player's time is worth a certain amount of money.  (The gamer population getting older means we tend to have less of the former and more of the latter, and the latter's what companies want from us anyway.)  Once that step was taken, all that's left is to settle on an exchange rate, and value determinations become fairly trivial.

Our money, itself, is mostly virtual these days.  It's not like the bank is holding "your" dollar bills in a suitcase somewhere in the vault, and they take them out and mail them somewhere when you use an ATM or a debit card.  But for some reason, people's brains seem to be wired to think of the virtual-to-real exchange rates only going one way.  That's going to be less true, the longer we go on.  We see pay money to buy access rather than buy a physical itemaccepted most thoroughly in entertainment media first, probably because people are used to thinking of entertainment as inherently trivial.  But entertainment is a massively big-money business that also happens to dominate a lot of time and headspace; so this is where the legal and social standards of the phenomenon will be set.

"Virtual" just means "it lives on a computer somewhere."  Think about how much more of our lives have been relegated to somewhere virtual in each of the last few decades.  And prepare to marvel at just how many things you can be charged a fee to maintain access to, as the notion of a rent-seeking society starts to get uncomfortably literal.

/That...  was more of a rant than I planned.  Sorry.
//moar coffee
 
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