Stand and deliver your virtual goods and money!

I spied this story about the real world harassment of a young RuneScape player to make them drop their in game loot.

“The Dutch Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the theft conviction of a youth who stole another boy's possessions in the popular online fantasy game RuneScape. Judges ordered the offender to perform 144 hours of community service.

The suspect's lawyer had argued the amulet and mask "were neither tangible nor material and, unlike for example electricity, had no economic value." Yet the punk held a knife to the kid and made him drop his loot in-game.

These ‘virtual world’ economies are nothing new in the digital sense, people often trade money in the real world for items in the digital realm.

The story did make me think about Bungie’s new game, Destiny. Mooted to be set in world where players can come and go, it’s been hinted that it will have some kind of in game economy (this was through a job advertisment's call for persons with experience in virtual economies).

One can only image what will happen if Destiny is the success we all want it to be.  Given the stories that have abound such as kids shooting because they took their Halo away, or people travelling miles across the country to beat up someone who has offended them in game, there’s likely to be ample room for such shennaigans to result from taking part in Destiny.

While there’s no doubt Bungie is tuned into these problems of in game scammers and loot stealers and the like and they will make Destiny’s economy a robust one,  let’s hope their Federal Reserve is a strong one.

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