TechSpot

Virtual stuff stolen

By agrav8r
Jan 4, 2004
  1. I don't play these types of games so I see this as foolish, and a waste of the courts time, but i may change my view if I had played that long, but Massive Multiplayers developers haven't created one that can beg 10/month out of me.
    Anyway, Considering the way everyone is looking towards global precident, this could be the case that all others are based on.


    Gamer wins back virtual booty in court battle


    14:37 23 December 03

    NewScientist.com news service

    A court in China has ordered an online computer games company to return virtual belongings to a player whose account was hacked and looted.

    The Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing ruled last Thursday that the company must return the player's virtual stash because it had allowed the theft to take place in the first place.

    Li Hongchen, 24, spent two years and more than 10,000 yuan ($1,210), amassing a cache of virtual money and weapons in the online game "Hongyue", or "Red Moon".

    In February, however, Hongchen found his belongings had been pilfered by a hacker who gained access through the game's central servers. The software firm behind the game, Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development, responded that his possessions had no real world value and represented only "piles of data". Hongchen took the company to court requesting 10,000 yuan in compensation.

    "I exchanged the equipment with my labour, time, wisdom and money, and of course they are my belongings," Hongchen told the Chinese news site Xinhuanet.




    The court ruled that the games firm must return Hongchen's virtual belongings. The company was found liable because flaws in its servers had allowed the hacker to gain access to Hongchen's account. It has not been revealed whether the company must also pay out damages.

    The court battle is the "first virtual property rights dispute case" in China, says Xinhuanet. But the case is just another example of how the line between online games and the real world have begun to blur. Some gamers already trade game goods and characters for real money through online auction sites like eBay.

    Edward Castronova, an economist at California State University at Fullerton, calculated that those playing the popular US game Everquest could make on average $3.42 an hour by simply playing the game.

    Some companies have sought to exploit this phenomenon by developing games that integrate real money. Project Entropia, launched in January 2003, lets players buy equipment with money and exchange goods acquired through the game for real cash.


    Will Knight
     
  2. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 170

    I read a big article on this sort of thing over on stratics (ill try and find a link for ye later) and man its turning into a massive global economy.
     
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Internet crime and stuff is getting out of hand if you ask me. Credit Card theft is one thing, some guy losing stuff in a game is another.
     
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