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9:22am on Friday, 25th July, 2014:

It's the Lore


MMO players all have gripes and know What Must Be Done to address them. Of course, as all players are different, one player's fix is another player's fracture, so it's as well that the decisions on what changes need to be made to MMOs lie in the hands of designers and developers.

Some players, however, have power. The designers may control what can happen in the game world, but these players have some control over what happens in the real world.

From Hansard (via BuzzFeed), the record of proceedings of the UK Parliament, 21st July 2014:

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that cyber criminals who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value received the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value. [205872]

So the Member of Parliament for Hove, a Warcraft player himself, wants people to be prosecuted if they steal items with a monetary value. That sounds fair enough.

Well, it does for some games, but not for others. Plenty of games have stealing built into the gameplay. EVE Online would cease to exist if stealing things with monetary value was a criminal offence. The items don't even have to be convertible into real-world money, they just have to have a real-world monetary value.

I used to think that the more politicians we got who played games, the better it would be for game developers. It seems I was wrong: the more politicians we get who play games, the more people in power we'll have who want to use their little knowledge to do dangerous things.

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).