Well, at least in S. Korea it’s legal. It came about when South Korean Supreme Court
found not guilty two Lineage players of charges regarding trading in-game money for
real world money. It’s known as Real Money Trading, (RMT), and up to now it’s been
a activity of the black market in S. Korea and all around the world.
Finally, with this ruling, S. Koreans can rest easy and sell or trade their in-game
monies and game-assets without worry of going to prison.
On the other hand, game developers and game administrators definitely forbid RMT in
their End User Licensing Agreement, (EULA), in their Terms of Service, (TOS), and in
their Acceptable Use Policy, (AUP).
If a player is caught, the game administrator could actually sue that player for breach
of contract, but that is unlikely because lawyers are expensive, especially with players
all around the world. More likely is that player would be banned from that game and
forfeit all credits.
Malware from online gaming has increased over 600% in the last 12
months! Games are becoming the number one target due to their
widespread popularity. China alone is estimated to have over
65 million gamers.
A few of the most commonly attacked games are:
- World of Warcraft,
- Lineage 2,
- Perfect World,
- ROHAN Online,
- Seal Online,
- Lord of the Rings,
- Maple Story,
- Reign of Revolution,
What does the malware do? Most often some sort of spyware or
keyloggers. They want access to your account. Once they have
it, they transfer your game ‘assets’ to their own account and
sell them on the blackmarket.
Some experts say there are up to 40,000 new malware applications
hitting the internet daily around the world.
But, it’s not always keyloggers. Sometimes the hacker will do some
social engineering to get your password or to get your secret question
which he can then use to reset your password.
Costa Rica, Panama, Belize or where ever, running your illegal online gambling
business offshore will not hide you from the law. Reportedly, an organized
group of dozens of men took in over $178 million dollars in three years.
Not just bookies, but also collectors and agents were arrested across five
states: Nevada, Louisiana, Florida, New York, and Arizona. All this was
done by the New York Police Department’s organized crime division with some
help from customs officials.
Three of these men were residents of New York City. One a firefighter,
another a sanitation worker, and another a highway repairman
The charges are very serious including money laundering, promoting gambling
and conspiracy. The Queens DA said the gambling operation consisted of two
nationwide rings taking bets online mostly for sporting games.
After running their operation for years and years, I guess they thought
they would never be caught. The prisons around the world are filled with
people that thought: “They’ll never catch me”.
- the violence,
- the gore,
- the questionable ethics,
- the racism,
- the misogyny,
- and the homophobia.
what’s wrong with Massive Multiplayer Online games?
What’s wrong is the anonymity factor. When no one knows who you
truly are in real life, you can say what you want and do what you
want without consequences. But anonymity in a large group is the
gamers ‘opium’, so it’s not going away. It’s the freedom to act
and speak like a true idiot.
One other factor is the gang syndrome. Most MMO’s, if not all,
encourage players to team up; they call it clans or guilds. Sometimes
these gangs attack other players not with the game-weapons, but with
rude comments in chat.
While teamwork is great in school, the workplace, and society, violent
gangs are not a really good idea. Some services like Xbox Live allow
you to mute a player and if things are very hostile that player can
be reported. That sounds like it would work, but it doesn’t.
Simple, no one wants to be a squeal-pigeon or “a rat”.