The Gamers That Were Prosecuted For Stealing Virtual Items

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Remember those two idiots that were busted for robbing other game players in Diablo III last year? This article tells you how the whole thing went down, how they were convicted and why. It's actually pretty interesting stuff.

Last year, in a first-of-its-kind legal case that has not previously been reported, two men pled guilty to misdemeanors in California and Maryland that stemmed from their robbing video game characters of gold, weapons and armor.
 

Kaitian

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Last month, a Canadian newscaster reported that some advocates would like to see people charged with virtual rape when they modify games like Grand Theft Auto so that their characters can simulate sexually assaulting other players.
LOL WHAT? Are these SJW serious about this crap?
 

Smashing Young Man

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The only reason anything has value is due to the time and effort it took to acquire it. In that sense, a virtual item is no different than a tangible item.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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LOL WHAT? Are these SJW serious about this crap?

It could make people think twice about how they act online. Besides that, there are a lot of people out there who take video games very, very seriously so they have a ton of emotional investment in their game and their characters. For people like that, they probably need some legal recourse for being abused in-game to act as a deterrent to psychological harm that other people inflict on them.
 

Wierdo

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I don't know how I feel about this. I dislike trolls but I don't know if it's to the point of perusing legal action against someone yet. I don't know about the virtual rape hack either, I'd probably be more amused than scarred by it, and unlike RL I can just close a program or turn the PC off if I chose to.

Strange times we live in man, I guess the importance of this depends on person(s) involved and context. Some people may live in RL and others may technically be living in those series of tubes nowadays, so what do I know.
 

Wierdo

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I should add that these guys deserve to be perused for the hacking charges though, that one's easier to go along with. Just not sure about the rest, kinda chaotic neutral about it.
 

Demon10000

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The real crime doesn't have anything to do with stealing virtual items. They used malware to inject remote access tools onto a remote computer that didn't belong to them. Then they remote controlled the infected computers to give their characters the high end items, which the supposedly never sold.
 

ChoGGi

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It could make people think twice about how they act online. Besides that, there are a lot of people out there who take video games very, very seriously so they have a ton of emotional investment in their game and their characters. For people like that, they probably need some legal recourse for being abused in-game to act as a deterrent to psychological harm that other people inflict on them.
Bravo on the trolling? (I hope)
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Bravo on the trolling? (I hope)

Read a thread about a video game cutting features (like that Witching 3 one where the graphics were downgraded or the one about Nvidia Gameworks) and you'll see how emotionally-attached people can get to their games. This stuff matters more than most other aspects of some peoples' lives and they treat games with that level of importance. The proof is pretty much all around you.
 

EchtoGammut

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The only real issue is that they used a remote access tool to mess with people's computers. The Diablo part of the equation is a big meh. If the kid's story that he never used the RAT is true (I don't believe for a moment he didn't know about it), I am wondering why his partner in crime got the lesser sentence.
 

Ducman69

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Besides that, there are a lot of people out there who take video games very, very seriously so they have a ton of emotional investment in their game and their characters. For people like that, they probably need some legal recourse for being abused in-game to act as a deterrent to psychological harm that other people inflict on them.
True, that is an option.

That, or you could involuntarily institutionalize those easily butthurt nut cases, citing that they clearly have mental problems and are potentially a danger to themselves and others since they can't distinguish a video game from reality.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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True, that is an option.

That, or you could involuntarily institutionalize those easily butthurt nut cases, citing that they clearly have mental problems and are potentially a danger to themselves and others since they can't distinguish a video game from reality.

Institutionalization generally only happens if a person is a danger to themselves or others (like in a physical "he's got a knife" kinda situation) so though people like that probably should get treatment, there aren't enough resources to identify the large number of people that have this sort of problem and provide them with counseling. The implications of a lawsuit acting as a deterrent might have a broader positive impact at a lower societal cost.
 

evilsofa

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The only real issue is that they used a remote access tool to mess with people's computers. The Diablo part of the equation is a big meh. If the kid's story that he never used the RAT is true (I don't believe for a moment he didn't know about it), I am wondering why his partner in crime got the lesser sentence.

It's pretty clear that the kid was not the brains of the operation, and you can be sure that extended to his interactions with the legal system.
 

Fanattic

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It could make people think twice about how they act online. Besides that, there are a lot of people out there who take video games very, very seriously so they have a ton of emotional investment in their game and their characters. For people like that, they probably need some legal recourse for being abused in-game to act as a deterrent to psychological harm that other people inflict on them.

Up next on Fox News: "Should Video Gamers be arrested and charged with murder when their virtual avatars kill the virtual avatars of emotionally unstable players who can't distinguish between a game and actual reality? Tumblr certainly thinks so, stay with us to find out more."
 

Galvin

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When you bring real money into a video game it can have real world consequences. Only reason these guys got in trouble. If real money wasn't involved would of never heard anything about it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Isn't part of the game that you can loot stuff from other players though?

This seems kind of ridiculous.

That being said, anyone dumb enough to spend real money on in-game items really has it coming :p
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Up next on Fox News: "Should Video Gamers be arrested and charged with murder when their virtual avatars kill the virtual avatars of emotionally unstable players who can't distinguish between a game and actual reality? Tumblr certainly thinks so, stay with us to find out more."

Well, probably not that far. That has to pass like a reasonable person test to work in a court. Like if I play Call of Doomfield 7: Modern Desert Fantasy Tank Combat where the objective is to go ker-blasting other people's in-game characters as part of capturing some random flag or whatever, then a court will determine whether a reasonable person would expect to have their avatar squished while playing it. If so, then people who purchase and play a game would then be expected to anticipate that. I don't know if the same can hold true for someone buying the same game and getting like some spoogy-squeaky teenager with a hack to go all pervalicious on your avatar because it's the only way for him to get that sort of gratification.
 

Fanattic

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Well, probably not that far. That has to pass like a reasonable person test to work in a court. Like if I play Call of Doomfield 7: Modern Desert Fantasy Tank Combat where the objective is to go ker-blasting other people's in-game characters as part of capturing some random flag or whatever, then a court will determine whether a reasonable person would expect to have their avatar squished while playing it. If so, then people who purchase and play a game would then be expected to anticipate that. I don't know if the same can hold true for someone buying the same game and getting like some spoogy-squeaky teenager with a hack to go all pervalicious on your avatar because it's the only way for him to get that sort of gratification.

Ya very true I think it's a wise investment in court resources and tax payer money to litigate damages and criminal sentencing for video game tea bagging.
 

filip

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All I can say is wow.
This is what the law makers are worried about.
 

WaltC

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Read a thread about a video game cutting features (like that Witching 3 one where the graphics were downgraded or the one about Nvidia Gameworks) and you'll see how emotionally-attached people can get to their games. This stuff matters more than most other aspects of some peoples' lives and they treat games with that level of importance. The proof is pretty much all around you.

The Witcher 3 "downgrade" was blown way out of proportion--nobody stops to even think that in 2013--two years ago--the game wasn't even playable despite how nifty some of the in-game graphics looked in the little snippets that people saw at the time. The screenshots that were circulated a few days before the game released were all fakes or else from the console versions or else from a stripped down version of the game. Game looks great and CDPR is just going to polish it for the next couple of years or so...! Very few game companies do that with their games...

If the report is even true--only in CA would a prosecutor have enough free time to take on something so infantile as the virtual thievery of virtual goods, the value of which existed only in the minds of the people who had the imaginary items and in the imaginations of the morons who actually paid good money to buy the imaginary, make-believe items from the people who "had them"...;)

But it does point up the stupidity of the D3 game design--with no real single-player mode or LAN mode--having to go online to play the game. Ugh. Did Blizzard ever fix that--or is the game still designed the way it was in the beginning? I never bought it once I found out what they'd done to mangle it--a nice off-line single-player campaign in line with the original Diablo's you'd have thought was a no-brainer. Blizzard ruined it and made it something else--auction houses and all of that garbage...so the company deserves whatever bad situations arise from a really sad, pathetic game design, imo. If they'd done all of that with a new game I'd have had no problem with it--but to take Diablo 3 and ignore its proud lineage the way they did kind'a sucked royally, imo. It was very disappointing at the time.
 

lcpiper

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Zarathustra[H];1041616511 said:
Isn't part of the game that you can loot stuff from other players though?

This seems kind of ridiculous.

That being said, anyone dumb enough to spend real money on in-game items really has it coming :p

Making a play for "Troll Country" huh?
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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The Witcher 3 "downgrade" was blown way out of proportion--nobody stops to even think that in 2013--two years ago--the game wasn't even playable despite how nifty some of the in-game graphics looked in the little snippets that people saw at the time. The screenshots that were circulated a few days before the game released were all fakes or else from the console versions or else from a stripped down version of the game. Game looks great and CDPR is just going to polish it for the next couple of years or so...! Very few game companies do that with their games...

If the report is even true--only in CA would a prosecutor have enough free time to take on something so infantile as the virtual thievery of virtual goods, the value of which existed only in the minds of the people who had the imaginary items and in the imaginations of the morons who actually paid good money to buy the imaginary, make-believe items from the people who "had them"...;)

But it does point up the stupidity of the D3 game design--with no real single-player mode or LAN mode--having to go online to play the game. Ugh. Did Blizzard ever fix that--or is the game still designed the way it was in the beginning? I never bought it once I found out what they'd done to mangle it--a nice off-line single-player campaign in line with the original Diablo's you'd have thought was a no-brainer. Blizzard ruined it and made it something else--auction houses and all of that garbage...so the company deserves whatever bad situations arise from a really sad, pathetic game design, imo. If they'd done all of that with a new game I'd have had no problem with it--but to take Diablo 3 and ignore its proud lineage the way they did kind'a sucked royally, imo. It was very disappointing at the time.

I can understand things like being disappointed, but sometimes you see comments about dragging developers out and hurting them and then there are people that email off death threats when games don't have a feature they wanted. There's a big difference between being miffed and sitting back to think through and justify why you feel that way to someone (like you're doing right now) and flipping out about it. The problem is that there are a lot of people that obviously lose their minds over stuff like this or if someone is driving the speed limit or has a differing opinion than them about something. It's those kinds of people who, when they play games, are just too emotionally entangled to get it out of their heads that games aren't that important and there's more in life than whatever game they're playing. They need help, but they end up killing themselves instead or going on rampages in real life. Because of that, we need to institute legal controls. Even though they punish everyone, I doubt that there are many gamers out there who haven't at least been insulting or rude or called someone a name while playing so it's not like there are that many innocent bystanders anyhow.
 

rellyrale

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some people really need lives.. .like it doesn't have to be that serious if you don't make it that serious
 
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