Posted by: hobbesonafob | July 7, 2009

And by the way, #%$! your virtual online bank!

In my personal life I have been known to show contempt for people who invest more time and energy in massively multiplayer online role-playing games, than the “real world” (i.e. when friends don’t return their calls because they’re trying to upgrade their mage). If only there were a way to show my contempt through actions. Well, somebody else has been able to reveal their true colours to an online game called Eve Online: the online bank for the game was robbed by one of the bank’s own controllers. Here is the BBC article on it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8132547.stm

In the BBC’s words:

The theft was carried out by EBank’s chief executive, a player known as Ricdic, now known to be a 27-year-old Australian who works in the technology industry. His full identity has not been revealed save that his first name is Richard.

And what does one do with stolen e-money? Trade it for real money of course and use the cash in the real world:

It has now emerged that Ricdic used the cash to put down a deposit on a house and to pay medical bills.

And here’s Richard’s comments on his actions:

“I’m not proud of it at all, that’s why I didn’t brag about it,” Ricdic told Reuters. “But you know, if I had to do it again, I probably would’ve chosen the same path based on the same situation.”

I love how he has no regrets over this – not unlike those working in the real banking world who have made off with more than their share.

What I find interesting about this, is that Richard’s real world needs outweighed his online needs (ranging from social status or whatever Richard found fulfilling from his time in Eve). If there are others who have a greater incentive to plunder virtual banks (I’m thinking Prisoner’s Dilemma without repeated games), then one would expect more e-looting to come. As well, depending on the demographics who play these games and how the financial crises/recession affects them, there could be a rise in players selling off online assets and e-looting.

Perhaps, we can expect to see e-Bernie Madoffs in World of Warcraft or Second Life…

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