Death sentence for online gamer
June 8, 2005 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Death sentence for online gamer SHANGHAI: A Shanghai online gamer who murdered another player because of a dispute over a "cyber-weapon" was given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve yesterday at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court. Qiu Chengwei's death penalty will be commuted to life in prison if he behaves well in jail, and no other crimes relating to him are uncovered.

Not to condone the murder, but is cyber theft or isn't it? Acording to the DMCA if I download a song or movie from cyberspace I am commiting a crime. Yet if someone steals your item in a cyberworld and sells it for real world cash your left without recourse. I feel China had a chance to establish new law and balked. (more inside)
posted by Trik (124 comments total)
 
If I steal your more inside comment spot am I committing "cyber thieft" or not?
posted by Ryvar at 2:36 PM on June 8, 2005


Did you perhaps accidentally put all the More Inside outside?
posted by soyjoy at 2:37 PM on June 8, 2005


Pardon me for reading the article, but one guy killed another because of what happened in a game.

Said guy is now facing charges for murder.

Where's the cyber-theft debate?
posted by devbrain at 2:37 PM on June 8, 2005


How exactly could the chinese have come up with new law about this? "It's ok to murder people if they steal stuff in a game?"

Given it isn't even legal to murder people if they steal stuff in the real world, I don't exactly get what your complaint is.
posted by delmoi at 2:41 PM on June 8, 2005


More inside where?

And just where would China's law hold sway? There are quite a few laws on the books in China that are thankfully not seriously entertained here in the US, no matter how much we grouse about the current administration.

Qiu Chengwei could be out in 15 years, which is pretty light for killing somebody, imo. As far as whether the "cyber weapon" (gawd do I hate the prefix cyber for things that only slightly fit the definition) is property? I dunno. But fair warning to all gamers--get some security on whatever you lend out if you think it might have cash value, unless you want to end up killing your Halo 2 buddies f'rreal.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:44 PM on June 8, 2005


China had a chance to introduce / discover new law determining the responsibilities of mmog makers and providers, and the rights and expectations of mmog subscribers.

From before we reach the *age of reason*, we're told that our time is worth something.

You work for a wage, build something from scratch, invent something new. Succeed or fail, you have a belief system built into you that your time is worth something.

So you have a situation where 2 guys invest time and effort to gain an item in an environment where most will agree that this quite an accomplishment.

They lend the item to a 3rd party, who sells the item for *real world money*.

They contact the providers, explain the situation, and are very politely told to f**k off.

In the *real world* if you or I were to steal a item and sell it to a 4thd party.
The item, would be confiscated, we would be prosecuted, and the item returned to the original owner.
We would also be punished for our crimes.
And possibly the 4th party for *knowingly* buying stolen property.

These *providers*, provide a service in which they absolutely absolve themselves from any liability in the EULA's.

Oh, they'll ban hackers using speed hacks, or item dupers.
They'll ban the chronic curser.

And they ban the thief or acct hacker.

But they never in my experience undo the crime.
Return the stolen property.

Even though in all the above instances that they ban for, they use the built in logging system to determine that a person is deserving of banning for *chronic cursing*.

They never use the same logs to determine the actual proprietorship of property. (since all mmog providers claim ownership of all in game contents) and (even though some mmog providers are now brokering the sale of virtual items for real world money)

So they can log every item when it comes into the game, what hands, and when it passes through.
Along with chat logs.

Otherwise they couldn't *legally* offer to broker the sales of these items.

After being *very politely* told to fark off by the mmog provider off, the original obtainers of the item went to the real world police for help.
They were told that the police could do nothing.

So they were left with no recourse.

One of them snapped.

And when you think about it.

People have killed for far less than the loss of something that cost them an extreme investment of time and effort.
Both of which, since they can remember, society has told them have great value.

Time being irreplaceable.

China had a chance to determine new law.

That mmogs providers can not absolve themselves from any responsibility.

That mmog providers at the very least have the responsibility to base their actions on real world law when it comes to theft.
When considering that the tools they have at hand to create an audit trail, are at the very least as precise as the tools that real world forensic investigators use to prosecute and convict real world perpetrators (when in fact they can backtrack every transaction).

They chose not to.

Except when it is in their best monetary interest.

They should be held responsible and liable for their inactivity.

No individual, corporation, sexual orientation, government, or religion has the right to absolutely absolve themselves from responsibility.

The society this man existed in, failed him.
It left him with no recourse.

Society has a very great responsibility to the individuals that have to coexist within it.
A responsibility to protect the individual.

Otherwise, an individual has no reason to feel the responsibility to follow the laws of the society.

All the mmog providers had to do was audit trail the item, and undo the transaction.

Return the item to the owners, and refund the buyer.

The tools to do so are built into the very foundation of the game.

They chose not to.

The end result.

One family mourning the loss of a son to murder and another family mourning the loss of a son in that he has become a murderer and they he will spend a significant portion of his life in a harsh penal system.

If he isn't executed sometime in the future.
posted by Trik at 2:46 PM on June 8, 2005


Sorry for the late reply.

the built in spell checker wasn't cooperating =\
posted by Trik at 2:47 PM on June 8, 2005


Oh boy!
posted by agregoli at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2005


... should we really being looking to China for legal precedents?
posted by docgonzo at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2005


I had nothing to do with this post.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:50 PM on June 8, 2005


Yeah, this is one obsessed gamer losing his contact with reality and murdering someone else in real life for what they did in a video game.

Its an interesting case but the way you've set the table is pretty confusing.

On Preview: The guy who killed the gamer committed a real crime in the real world. There was nothing that made him go and stab the guy to death except his own obsession and lack of control. Should the game providers have intervened and returned the item to them? Maybe but the law is very slow to catch up with instances like this.

There really isn't any justification for murdering someone, especially over a stupid video game. But then, he probably would have ended up snapping over something else since he's pretty obviously wired with a few loose connections.
posted by fenriq at 2:50 PM on June 8, 2005


Holy crap Trik, lay off the Return key. I thought you'd forgot to put the More Inside on your Post by accident at first, but that 3 page comment disproved that theory. I'm gonna be mean and tell you to 1. Spell check 2. Lay off the return key 3. This link is weak on its own, get more to provide context 4. Lay off the return key 5. Don't ask questions in FPPs, it's like editorializing and that's bad mmmkay?
posted by Vaska at 2:51 PM on June 8, 2005


get a blog.
posted by sbutler at 2:54 PM on June 8, 2005


I don't play online games. How can the people running the game tell whether the gamer who lent the weapon actually lent it, or whether he freely gave it with no expectation of return?
posted by 23skidoo at 2:55 PM on June 8, 2005


I'm saying that if guy A and B pool their money and buy a TV.
Then Buy C asks to borrow it to watch the superbowl, and guy A and B lend it to him to do so.
Then Guy C sells the TV to guy D.

Guy A and B ask for their TV back, guy C says I'll go get it, and disappears.
Guy C doesn't answer his phone calls, doesn't answer the phone.
Then guy A and B run into a friend of guy C's, and the friend tells them guy C sold the TV to guy D.
Guy A and B go to the police and tell them what happened, the police say sorry we won't help you.

The police in this scenario are the mmog providers.
They can easily find out where the TV is, how it came into the world, who has ever had it, and where it is now and every conversation pertaining to it.
Much more so than in real life.
They can track ever second of its existence.
But they refuse to intervene.

Not because they're bought off, or crooked, but because they know you can't do a dam thing about it.

In very polite language they tell you to go fark yourself
neyh neyh neyh

*You clicked the EULA to play our game!*

*We absolved ourselves from any responsibility*

and it would take someone an hour or so to do a search on the item.

I'm talking about the legality of EULAs.
The wording in them changes over time.
Ask anyone who has played EQ from the beginning to today.
From patch to patch from expansion to expansion.
The EULAs evolve while mmog provider lawyers seek precise wording to mask ambiguous rights and responsibilities.

While at the same time providing less and less support.

While the players only recourse is to click *I Agree*
They have no say on how the EULA evolves.
Even though it is an ongoing, evolving agreement between two partys.
The mmog provider and the player.

Ownership is a lot more than holding it in your hand.

There is the perception of ownership.

There is the expectation of ownership.

There is also the DMCA.

That says that if I download a song or movie from cyberspace I am commiting a crime.

Yet aparanty if someone steals a sword from cyberspace, it is not.

Get it now?

And I am not condoning the murder.

I'm saying there needs to be new law.

docgonzo

Does it matter where law starts?

Or does it matter that it is just, impartial, and is applied evenly?
posted by Trik at 2:57 PM on June 8, 2005


I'm staying outside where it's safe.
posted by mazola at 2:58 PM on June 8, 2005


Hey, you guys asked for [more inside] -- you got it.

I feel China had a chance to establish new law and balked.

What, like making murder legal if you lose track of reality? On the other hand, it's certainly not like the Chinese to miss a chance to make new laws.

That mmog providers at the very least have the responsibility to base their actions on real world law when it comes to theft.

This is absurd. Real world law, involves... uh, the real world. You cannot expect a game provider to adhere to any laws except the laws (which are actually rules you agree to follow when you sign up) they invent for their game.

If you want to prosecute them for theft would you also want PK's charged with murder?

I mean player killers in the game, not people who kill players.

On preview: Ask anyone who has played EQ from the beginning to today. I would, except the two guys I know who have done this have also lost the capacity to speak.
posted by cedar at 3:04 PM on June 8, 2005


Hmm Trik..or is it really an evil plan to "trik" us and in fact your

real

Name

Is

TREK!!


Ha!

Foiled again you crazy Shatner loving,

space wasting,

return pressing,

gonna post it a year late

friend of mine.

Oh, and welcome sorry ya learning the hard way : )
posted by Mr Bluesky at 3:05 PM on June 8, 2005


While the players only recourse is to click *I Agree*

If you think the EULA is that bad, your could always just not play the game.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:08 PM on June 8, 2005


If someone's.

Format.

In posting.

Comments.

Drives me.

Insane.

Are they liable.

For prosecution.

And if not.

Can I.

Kill them?
posted by iamck at 3:08 PM on June 8, 2005


Vaska:
This from the hyphen-king?
posted by Trik at 3:09 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik - Please lay off the return key.
posted by OmieWise at 3:09 PM on June 8, 2005


Well that's it! Mazola, move over. I have vowed not to answer my phone calls AND not answer the phone.

Because you just never know.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:10 PM on June 8, 2005


This is absurd. Real world law, involves... uh, the real world.

So your saying it's *ok* to download movies and songs from the *non(wink)-real world?
posted by Trik at 3:12 PM on June 8, 2005


Man, this thread is better than drugs and it's only 26 comments young.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:13 PM on June 8, 2005


Guy A and B ask for their TV back, guy C says I'll go get it, and disappears.
Guy C doesn't answer his phone calls, doesn't answer the phone.
Then guy A and B run into a friend of guy C's, and the friend tells them guy C sold the TV to guy D.
Guy A and B go to the police and tell them what happened, the police say sorry we won't help you


IME that's exactly what will happen in the real world. Good luck reporting something stolen if you lent it to someone. Besides it's an online game, it's not real. The police have better things to do than deal with squabbling gamers. As for the providers: don't like it? switch to a new game and stop supporting their business.
posted by fshgrl at 3:14 PM on June 8, 2005


Wow, Trik posted since I posted, so am recinding the "sorry part of my post" and changing the Trek to Tweeker
posted by Mr Bluesky at 3:14 PM on June 8, 2005


Trick: I love my hypens, and they don't hurt anyone. I can stop any-time I want. I've got it under control.
posted by Vaska at 3:15 PM on June 8, 2005


uhh, i couldn't bother to read your entire 'more inside' post because it was just too insane. Countries are supposed to be making laws about video game behavior? What are real banks going to come after me when i default on my Monopoly mortgage next?
posted by Kololo at 3:16 PM on June 8, 2005


fshgrl
it's not real

Then neither are the songs and movies in cyber-space.
Nor or your thoughts and beliefs you post there.

Either everything has value. (no matter it doesn't to you)
Or nothing does.
posted by Trik at 3:19 PM on June 8, 2005


This is like an ice cream headache in my soul. I'm totally baffled!
posted by absalom at 3:22 PM on June 8, 2005




So your saying it's *ok* to download movies and songs from the *non(wink)-real world?

No, no one is saying that. You're comparing a game to something that isn't a game. Games have rules, like "People who steal things will be banned from the game. Things that are stolen will not be returned." That's a sucky rule, but it's one that everyone who is playing the game knows about and agrees to.

P2Ps take movies and songs and whatever and trade them all around. The people who could be making money off the movies/songs/whatever did not agree to having their stuff traded all around the world and back. If there was some record company who made all their artists sign a contract that stated that all recordings will be placed on every P2P known to man, then those artists would really have no reason to be upset about their songs being on P2P. It might be a sucky thing, but it was one that they agreed to.

Equating game-weapon-non-returnance to song-downloading is not a very useful comparison.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:25 PM on June 8, 2005


Countries make laws about game behavior all the time. If you hit a guy too viciously in hockey, you're going to jail. Rigging a poker game is fraud. That's because there are real life consequences for criminal behavior even if it takes place under the framework of a game.

But if a man steals an item worth several hundred dollars from you and sells it, it's OK because it's just a silly little game? Would it be OK for me to hack into the bank and edit my account balance because, gosh, it's just silly little ones and zeroes on a monitor?

Of course, this has absolutely nothing at all to do with the case at hand, which is of course a murder trial. The perpretator's motives were considered as much as they'd be in any hot-blooded murder over a petty monetary dispute.
posted by Simon! at 3:28 PM on June 8, 2005


Either everything has value. (no matter it doesn't to you)
Or nothing does.
Only a Sith deals in absolutes...


posted by mazola at 3:31 PM on June 8, 2005


Metafilter: like an ice cream headache in my soul.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:32 PM on June 8, 2005


Man, can we be a bit easier on this guy? It really feels like all of mefi is ganging up on him. Let's take this issue out of the current news story. It's a bit extreme.

I think there are some salient points that are interesting to discuss, actually. The fact that something is distributed and enjoyed electronically, doesn't make it less real, at least according to the DMCA.

Perhaps the closest allegory I can think of is poker. Let's say someone is playing poker, and someone steals the chips. That's theft no? I mean, they are not real money, but they can be converted to money. Now take it a step further. Internet poker, someone somehow steals your virtual chips (does that exist? I've never actually played internet poker). Is THAT theft? Are our reactions to a 'cyber-sword' (yeeeesh) biased simply because we don't play this particular game?

Are we trivializing ownership and 'reality' because it's not something that we understand? Downloading a movie/software off the web can be considered stealing, why not this offense?
posted by eurasian at 3:35 PM on June 8, 2005


Then neither are the songs and movies in cyber-space.

When you download a song or movie you are infringing on intellectual property (this is according to the law, I do not mean to sidetrack this into yet another copyright shit-fest, and am making no statement of opinion regarding the ethics of downloading audio/video).

The same laws apply to MMOG game data, from the Everquest EULA:
8. We and our suppliers shall retain all rights, title and interest, including, without limitation, ownership of all intellectual property rights relating to or residing in the CD-ROM, the Software and the Game, all copies thereof, and all game character data in connection therewith. You acknowledge and agree that you have not and will not acquire or obtain any intellectual property or other rights, including any right of exploitation, of any kind in or to the CD-ROM, the Software or the Game, including, without limitation, in any character(s), item(s), coin(s) or other material or property, and that all such property, material and items are exclusively owned by us.
So, the problem with your logic is very simple -- the character data cannot be stolen from you because you don't own it. You are simply licensing the right to use it.
posted by cedar at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2005


uhh, i couldn't bother to read your entire 'more inside' post because it was just too insane. Countries are supposed to be making laws about video game behavior? What are real banks going to come after me when i default on my Monopoly mortgage next?

Do you have any idea how much money these companies make?
They make more probably than a 5th of the countries in the world do.
I'd love to know how much they spent on legal fee's just to prepare for what is going to happen in the future.
They have large legal staffs to protect these games and the *precieved* value of them and the items they contain.

hey! I don't get why someone would pay x-amt of $ for a truffel. Or a bottle of wine
With both you get something you end up flushing.
Just like McD's

Precieved value is a tricky thing. Like religion.
What has value to one group, may not to another.
But over time that can, and does change.
posted by Trik at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2005


You will all find 3 grams of dried mushrooms taped beneath your login buttons. Now is the time to take the 3 grams of dried mushrooms.
posted by boo_radley at 3:36 PM on June 8, 2005


[fixed typo and added link to "more" inside on FPP]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:37 PM on June 8, 2005


I think his complaint and the law he wants implemented center around the fact that there is no recourse for someone who has been scammed in an attempt to purchase a virtual item with real money.

As someone who spent five months playing the WOW beta at minimum 16 hours every day last summer, I'm tempted to shrug and say, "get a life." Despite clearly not having one myself, it's pretty clear to me at least that the current situation is ideal. People who aren't willing to put in the effort to get those amazing items can't get them without running a huge risk. Ultimately, it's a game - no matter how thrilling and addictive - and if you're going to cheat to get ahead, then you deserve to run the risk of being cheated yourself.

Furthermore, IANAL, but my understanding is that downloading music is illegal because of Sections 106 and 116 of Title 17 of the United States Code, not because of the DMCA. What the DMCA does is increase the penalties for online copyright violation, prevents circumvention of copyright protection, and provides a safe harbor for online service providers (ISPs, webhosts, etc.) by allowing them to avoid liability provided they take down infringing content placed on their servers in a timely manner. Note that when filing suit for copyright infringement, one must be able to prove finacianal damages.

The reason, Trik, that MMOG companies (with one exception, more on this later) don't do anything about this situation is because of legal liability, plain and simple. As soon as they formally acknowledge that *items* within their games have monetary value, they open themselves up to lawsuits under any circumstances in which those items are lost. MMOGs belong to a genre stressing networking technology to, and sometimes beyond, the breaking point. Few companies are going to place themselves in a position where their bottom line is beholden to something as flaky as the uptime of your average MMOG.

Singular exception to this rule: Sony for Everquest 2. Apparently somebody at Sony has decided that the profit to be made from skimming off the top of every item/cash transfer is worth the liability, and they're certainly one of the companies in the market big enough to be unconcerned about the liability. It will be interesting to see what happens with this experiment - because from here it looks like they've set themselves up to inhereit all the problems of PaPal.

In any case - most companies cannot afford the liability of their items have express real world value, and that is why most MMOG companies prohibit said trading, even if they only provide token enforcement on this point. Ultimately, they answer to their shareholders, not to individual customers with a grudge born of losing any sense of perspective.

You can cover your ears and sing "la la la I can't heeeeeaaaaarrr you" all you like, but the simple fact is that music, movies, and computer games constitute intellectual property under the laws of our nation. Intellectual property laws exist to foster the creation of music, art, and new technology. They exist to protect new ideas.

I may disagree with the entire concept of intellectual property to begin with, but that does not change what these laws are, and I don't even need to be a lawyer to tell you that much. In game items do not represent new cultural achievements - they are simply state flags tagged to an account file, they are not digital representations of an original thought. Intellectual property law does not and was never intended to cover such things. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you've been scammed yourself - you certainly seem quite passionate on the topic. If this is the case, then I'd usually attempt to console you by pointing out that life isn't fair - but not in this case, because you got burned trying to cheat.
posted by Ryvar at 3:38 PM on June 8, 2005


Yeah, Trik? You're acting kind of crazy. Thing is, items in a MMORPG are generally considered property of the game provider. This is why Sony dosen't allow auctions for real money and will ban accounts of people who do it often enough. So some dude making of your +36 Heavy Steely Pole-adze after you lent it to him so he could Fetch someone an Anvil isn't technically stealing from you, unless the company wants it to be. But in their eyes, them's the breaks. Deal with in-game theft in the game world, because it has nothing to do with the real-world at all. This has nothing to do with the DMCA.

If my 13th level Thief (excuse me, Rogue,) stole your Rod of Lordly Might while you were riding around in your Apparatus of Kwalish in a tabletop D&D game, even if you played 6 7 hour sessions at Todd's house and barely survived the Temple of Elemental Evil to get it, would you go to the police to make a complaint? Would you force the GM to give it back to you? This is the same kind of thing. If someone gets a weapon of yours through a hack or exploit or something like that, then maybe, yeah, Sony or whomever might do something, but because you gave an imaginary weapon to some dude who didn't give it back, in game, why should they put themselves out?

I won't even get into how insane it is to act like you lost some great investment of time and money enough to really kill someone because Grignir the Barbarian wouldn't give back your magic stick.

On preview:Cedar quoted the actual EULA for some of what I said. Very nifty.

On preview 2: CURSE YOU JRUN! YOU TRIED TO EAT MY POST! TIME TO DIE A_MATHOWIE!
posted by Snyder at 3:45 PM on June 8, 2005


"why not this offense?"

Err..coz Johnny's hex is worth a differnt amount to him that 99.99% of the planet. Go ask some guy in the Sudan about the ffin Magic sword and see if he will trade it for a glass of water.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 3:45 PM on June 8, 2005


Precieved value is one thing, percieved value is another thing altogether.

Snyder, there is a real investment of time and money by the players playing the game. I'm not disagreeing with your points you make but I did want to point that out.
posted by fenriq at 3:47 PM on June 8, 2005


Then neither are the songs and movies in cyber-space.

Correct, songs and movies are not real either. Now the rights to them ARE and it's all pretty well defined legally. Rights to something created in a game are presumably the property of the game owners and as such they can deal with this stuff as they like. The police have better things to do.
posted by fshgrl at 3:56 PM on June 8, 2005


*looks under login button*

*looks dissapointed*

*frowns at boo_radley*
posted by Stauf at 3:57 PM on June 8, 2005


Snyder:
No value?

The largest NA mmog provider seems to disagree with you.

And cedar how old is that C/P of that out of context piece of EULA?

It's all about value, rarity, mo' mony.
Esp to the providers.
It's just not about CS, which would have avoided two tragedy's
posted by Trik at 3:57 PM on June 8, 2005


I think there's a fundamental difference between a song on a hard drive and a sword in a MMORPG. A song on a hard drive is still a real song; sure, it's electronic, but you can play it back and listen to it, just like a song anywhere else.

A sword in a video game is not real, it is fictional; you cannot swing it around, or hack things with it, or do anything with it you could do with a regular sword. It's not an electronic sword, it's not a sword at all; just a representation of one in a fictional world.

Because of that, I think this is a poor place to set electronic rights legislation. Drawing similarity between a digital song and a digital sword is inaccurate; they are not similar at all in concept. It's like comparing 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Anduril' just because they are both expressed as words on paper.

On a side note: I think this shows why MMORPGs should be avoided like the plague.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:58 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik, I guess I'm missing some points in your argument.

You're example of the two guys loaning a TV to another guy who sells it is clear enough. They go to the real police to get something done.

But when you claim that the game companies are the Police for virtual communities, you lose me. Maybe that's true. If that's the case, then the Laws they set down (in the EULA and in the game code) are the laws of the land, not real-world laws.

MMORPGs are different than real life. There are hard-coded boundaries that do not exist outside the realm of bits and bytes. If I'm foolish enough to give somebody my Vorpal Blade +10, and that other person sells it, it's not the same as your television example. What's more, gamers know this. They know that loaning out a Vorpal Blade +10 is a potentially irrevocable act. In the virtual world, it's impossible to go grab the Vorpal Blade +10 and take it back. It's different than real life.

It's not the game companies responsibility to protect idiots from themselves. They're not there to defend the honor of the idiots who loan ouut their Vorpal Blade +10s. And, in this case, the fellow proves himself even more of an idiot by actually killing the prankster. (Note that I don't say thief. You cannot convince me this fellow stole the Vorpal Blade +10; it was given to him. I don't care what the intention was, in a game like this, in order for a person to have an object, it has to be given to him. That's not stealing.)

There are times when it may be justifiable to kill another human being. A fight over a Vorpal Blade +10 is pretty far down on the list, and certainly worth the death penalty, IMO.
posted by jdroth at 4:00 PM on June 8, 2005


(And a virtual Vorpal Blade +10, at that.)
posted by jdroth at 4:03 PM on June 8, 2005


Mr Bluesky: The Sudanian wouldn't give you a glass of water for a Metafilter account either. And yet you paid five dollars for yours.
posted by Simon! at 4:09 PM on June 8, 2005


And cedar how old is that C/P of that out of context piece of EULA?

Trik, I have no idea when it was written. However, it's sitting on the official site at this moment so I assume it is current. Sorry that it's out of context but I didn't see the need to post the entire thing -- feel free to read at your leisure (in context) and let me know if I missed anything relevant.
posted by cedar at 4:12 PM on June 8, 2005


1. As has been pointed out, if you informally lend someone something who then refuses to return it, you're pretty much out of luck, whether the object is virtual or real. That's why you have to sign extensive rental contracts for anything you rent. Lend your neighbor your TV and he then doesn't return it? Tough luck, really.

2. If you don't like the EULA don't play the game.
posted by clevershark at 4:12 PM on June 8, 2005


fenriq: Oh no, I agree, I understand it does take time and money to play these games. (Time is an obvious one, any activity takes time.) My point was that you're investing time and money into playing the game, and part of playing the game is accepting the in-game rules. Having your stuff taken from you when you give it away is part of that, the same with experience and money penalties for dying, for example. If I duel with someone in EQ, and I lose and they take one of my items (which they are allowed to do by the game mechanics,) can I complain to the cops that I was robbed after a fight? No, it's simply a risk one takes in-game. The same reason you can't press charges for assault when a player attacks someone on a PvP server. So while I don't dispute that time and money are put into playing, all it entitles anyone to is the ability to play in the game world, with the game words mechanics.

On preview:Trik, I never said it had no value. Obviously some of these things have a great deal of percieved value. That may be the reason Sony's getting into the act with EQ2 (but still not EQ,) but it also seems they are going have themselves be the sole legit middle-man, because, in the final analysis, they still own all of the virtual stuff, thus, you (the player,) have no true right of ownership to it. You own it in-game (and hold a limited license to it out of game,) but it's never realy yours, so it can not be stolen, except for the in-game sense, which can only be dealt with in-game.
posted by Snyder at 4:14 PM on June 8, 2005


if it's a virtual weapon why is someone paying real money for it? ...

the only law china needs to pass is one against stupidity

on preview - simon! - mr bluesky paid 5 dollars for a service, not a virtual thing
posted by pyramid termite at 4:16 PM on June 8, 2005


The Sudanian wouldn't give you a glass of water for a Metafilter account either. And yet you paid five dollars for yours.

And Matt can revoke the account at anytime. You don't technically own the account. It's a very similar deal to the MMORPG situation.
posted by Snyder at 4:16 PM on June 8, 2005


*tries to focus on booradley, but the flyingrainbowunicorns keep getting in the way of the magic kaleidescope*
posted by schyler523 at 4:20 PM on June 8, 2005


fshgrl: Correct, songs and movies are not real either. Now the rights to them ARE and it's all pretty well defined legally. Rights to something created in a game are presumably the property of the game owners and as such they can deal with this stuff as they like. The police have better things to do.


Ah, now we're finally getting somewhere.
I think fshgrl is pretty close to the heart of the matter. But thinking this to the end, if the rights to something created in a game are the property of the game owners, then the game owners could (in theory) sue someone for damages who sells such a virtual item for real money. Of course, this won't happen anytime soon, but the basic conundrum still exists.

As for the police, yeah, they have better things to do. The right way to go about this would be to get a lawyer and then sue the other guy for damages (might not work in China though, but worth trying in the States). Of course, it won't be worth to try suing for $100 or whatever a super-sword goes for at Ebay, because the legal fees will outweigh the damages.
Which is essentially true in real life as well. Even if you're wronged -- getting your right can be expensive and many wrongs are not righted because it would be too expensive to get your right (i.e. go to court). That's just life.

So in conclusion, maybe there was real fraud. That would depend to a large extent on how the gaming contract is worded. As for putting a value to this virtual stuff, I wouldn't look at time lost while playing the game -- after all, isn't it supposed to be quality time that you enjoy? But if there's a market for these things (ebay?) and they have a going rate on that market, then it should be easy enough to put a price tag on them.
posted by sour cream at 4:20 PM on June 8, 2005


I think one of the points i'm trying to bring across it there is going to be a blending of the virtual and real world.

If Not Already.

How many years do you think it'll be until someone actually *jacks-in*?
If not already...
Is that person in the real world or not?

Oh and to anyone that thinks that a EULA in a mmog is a legal document...
I read somewhere that vampires really do exist.

Don't fool yourselves.
No one has challenged a EULA yet.
No individual has the resources to challenge them.
We're talking about corporation's that spend millions just to keep huge law firms on retainer and have run thru thousands of mock scenarios just to prepare.

Think of Tobacco Co's vs Joe Average for decades.
All they have to do is out spend you.
And out live you.
posted by Trik at 4:24 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik writes "Oh and to anyone that thinks that a EULA in a mmog is a legal document...
"I read somewhere that vampires really do exist."


You're free to think that. I believe it's a pretty pointless and misguided position though.
posted by clevershark at 4:37 PM on June 8, 2005


Don't fool yourselves.
No one has challenged a EULA yet.


Yes, they have.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:41 PM on June 8, 2005


Not to defend Mr. Crazy there, but it would be nice if there were some of those games that didn't have the stupider rules. I understand the "if you don't like it don't play," argument, but I wish there was a choice that involved a MMO type game where there was more, I guess accountability, of the people running the game to the people playing it.

It almost seems like these games know they're the only options out there, know there's not a place you can turn for "fair" treatment, and are built to be interesting and entertaining to a certain degree, (if you're into that sort of thing), but that they don't really care about the problems that occur when people start playing the game in a fashion to just tick other people off.

The thing I think is missing is the market force that creates the game that has these traits, and I think it is missing because of the grossly lawsuit-happy nature of the people playing the game. However popular it would be to the users, and however much more fun/fair it would be, it can't be profitable. The fact that somebody takes it so seriously that they resort to murder doesn't make me think that any companies are going to take that plunge anytime soon.

(I don't think we should regard it as "Intellectual property," simply because it exists in a digital realm. cedar is right on on his description. However, I really would like it if there was a game like this that regarded those status flags as not intellectual property, but actual property, owned by the person controlling the account with the flags, not by the company running the whole show.)

As much as I hate to admit it, I understand the drive that made you post this, but I don't think this was a great place for it. Whenever I need to let off steam about a game I just do it on one of the many many forums for people playing the game. They are usually going to be a lot more sympathetic of this sort of thing.

Lastly, I don't think it is bad to take a hobby seriously, (unless it makes you kill people). I take hobbies, games or not, very seriously, and while it does open me up to becoming very personally angry when I see flaws or things that really need to be changed standing no chance of being changed, it really makes it more personally enjoyable when I see the good sides. So don't knock becoming involved in something, even if you think it looks stupid, or it can be expressed by a very simplistic data structure. I think it does more harm than good. This isn't going to make the people designing these games think that they need to open up with their customers, it's going to make them think that their customers are mostly psychotic obsessive crazy people who will do as much violence, even self-destructively, if their little game is in any way occasionally unfair. It's going to make them build more walls, not tear any down.
posted by SomeOneElse at 4:42 PM on June 8, 2005


There were several spelling/grammar errors in my above post, the most significant though was this:

"Furthermore, IANAL, but my understanding is that downloading music is illegal because of Sections 106 and 116 of Title 17 of the United States Code"

Should read 'Sections 106 and 115.'

Sorry about that.

Mitrovarr wrote:
"On a side note: I think this shows why MMORPGs should be avoided like the plague."

That really depends on the MMOG. Some games are very clearly digital Skinner boxes with one goal - keep the players addicted for as long as possible to maximize profits.

Most MMOGs charge monthly fees (I believe Guild Wars is a recent major exception here) - World of Warcraft recently passed the 1.5 million subscriber mark (far surpassing Everquest's high watermark of 500k subscribers, IIRC), all of whom pay $15/mo. That equates to $22.5 million *per month*. The industry standard for upkeep fees in terms of bandwidth, server maintenance, and customer support is roughly 60% of monthly income. That still equates to $108 million per year for World of Warcraft. Development costs of an MMORPG generally range between $10-20 million, so one could reasonably assume perhaps $5 million each year is put back into developing additional content in the form of expansion packs in order to keep the players hooked.

In the end, that's what it's all about - keeping the players coming back so that they keep paying those monthly fees and that $100 million per year keeps rolling in. Everquest with its paltry 500k subscribers has been a primary cause in the destruction of countless careers and marriages because of its intentionally addictive nature. My memory is somewhat shakey on the specific parties responsible, but I believe Everquest is responsible for for at least one of the few MMOG-related fatalities. There have been 3-4 cases over the years of subscribers literally playing until they died of malnutrition.

There are other MMOGs which I believe to be less harmful, though - Ultima Online during its first year was essentially an open-ended fantasy-world simulator. It had no character levels, and there were no magic weapons upon release. The most demanding task in the game was to max out the magic-casting skill, which required perhaps a week of concentrated effort (and at least in the early days this could be accomplished entirely through unattended use of macros while the player slept). Peanuts, in the MMOG world where groups of 20 people have stayed awake for 72 hours continuously waiting for a single monster to respawn so that a single person in said group can get a pair of very magical boots.

Additionally, Planetside, an FPS MMOG from Sony essentially plays like a giant game of team deathmatch with battles involving 200 simultaneous players - there is a very simple character level/ability system that can (or could be, when I played it) easily maxed out within a week.

But these are the exceptions, and neither at their height had anywhere near the popularity of Lineage, Lineage II, Everquest, Everquest 2, World of Warcraft, or Dark Ages of Camelot (actually I think DAOC had very slightly less max subscribers than UO, but it's a pretty non-mainstream product from a small company), all of whom directly followed the approach of continually providing players with small rewards for continuing to play.

pyramid termite wrote:
"if it's a virtual weapon why is someone paying real money for it? ...

the only law china needs to pass is one against stupidity"


I had a friend in Ultima Online who sold his account for slightly over $1500. Had two full castles on the atlantic server back before there was the Trammel non-PVP world and housing on said server was at an ABSOLUTE premium (at one point there was no longer any place on the server where a house could be placed), as well as perma-bugged stats well above those allowed by the game mechanics (could summon multiple demons simultaneously, blah blah blah).

I had another friend in the World of Warcraft beta who made approx $1200 selling 3 of his 6 beta accounts on eBay - even though said accounts would not carry over into the retail game and were therefore only good for about three months. Stupidly, I never sold any of my 4 accounts.

Trik wrote:
Oh and to anyone that thinks that a EULA in a mmog is a legal document...
I read somewhere that vampires really do exist.

Don't fool yourselves.
No one has challenged a EULA yet.
No individual has the resources to challenge them.
We're talking about corporation's that spend millions just to keep huge law firms on retainer and have run thru thousands of mock scenarios just to prepare."


Please know what you are talking about before you spout off yet another Slashdot truism as you did with your above DMCA misinformation.
posted by Ryvar at 4:44 PM on June 8, 2005


"Mr Bluesky: The Sudanian wouldn't give you a glass of water for a Metafilter account either. And yet you paid five dollars for yours." Takes out Mighty Sword of Thorb from his tight pants, ahh thats much better!"
Thanks for your insight Simon, and if you hacked my account for your own use then that would be defined as actual theft by MFN, and thus prosecutable in court of law. Unlike Lord Quimbahs Rosetta Sword of Thongdom.

But judging by this post I'd bet you my man from the Sudan would be willing to share some type of liquid with us.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 4:53 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik, your not exactly making your case here. First character data is property and should be treated as real. Then when it's explained that you don't own the property according to the EULA, you decide the EULA I quoted (Everquest) is old and now you seem to have made up your mind that it's not legal. Despite the "huge law firms" running through "thousands of mock scenarios" to prepare, they have somehow manage to come up with something that isn't legal. You'll have to forgive me if I tend to credit those attorneys with a little more knowledge of what is legal and what isn't than I'm willing to grant you.

As far as your sci-fi "jacking in goes", of course that person is in the real world. He is in the real world the same way a schizophrenic or otherwise delusional person is. Just because I eat a boatload of acid or plug my cerebral cortex into an iPod doesn't mean I've modified my existence. All I've changed is *my* perception of reality and we all know perception is pretty variable anyway.
posted by cedar at 4:55 PM on June 8, 2005


I'm sorry.

I thought we were all on the same page.

You know...

Talking about mmogs....

Eye'll start talking slow again for you

You know

Like

Captain

Kirk
posted by Trik at 4:56 PM on June 8, 2005


cedar:
your assuming these law firms aren't preparing for a future they see and that you don't.
posted by Trik at 4:59 PM on June 8, 2005


That

case

was

about

reverse

engineering

the

software

and

providing

non

-

battlenet

servers

Had nothing to do with proprietorship with in game items.
Or how it is acceptable for one party to modify an agreement without the other parties consent other than forfeiture of all time invested and assets.
posted by Trik at 5:10 PM on June 8, 2005


I thought we were all on the same page.

You know...

Talking about mmogs...


I thought the posted story was about a man getting the death penalty for killing someone.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:13 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik, why are you intentionally being an asshole with the return key and making your comments as irritating as possible?
posted by fenriq at 5:15 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik, this is getting silly. Maybe in a few years it will dawn on you that William Gibson writes *fiction*.

I have no doubt there will be huge advances in both computer science and biology and that they will merge in ways that are difficult to foresee, however, one thing that will not change (well, barring long-term evolutionary processes) is human nature. I feel confident that people will continue to make a distinction between reality and virtual 'worlds'. Most people, that is -- then there are the insane and I'm starting to wonder if you might not be dangling on the precipice.

Seriously and sincerely, give some thought to unplugging Mr. Computer for a bit. The big room has some interesting furniture and humanity is far more interesting than Elven swords and trolls with clubs.

BTW, the typing style is not unique, funky or remotely interesting. It's just stupid and makes it difficult for people to understand you. So stop. In the future, cyborgs will have a grasp of basic grammar.
posted by cedar at 5:16 PM on June 8, 2005


Or how it is acceptable for one party to modify an agreement without the other parties consent other than forfeiture of all time invested and assets

Uh, Trik, most EULAs and software licenses - including those tested in the courts - specifically contain a provision stating that the party granting the license may change the terms in any way they wish at any time.

That case was about reverse engineering the software and providing non-battlenet servers. Had nothing to do with proprietorship with in game items.

That particular case didn't have anything to do with ownership of ingame items, you're right, but that fact is irrelevant. What it did was establish legal precedent for click-through software EULAs to be considered contracts. You said:

"Oh and to anyone that thinks that a EULA in a mmog is a legal document...
I read somewhere that vampires really do exist.

Don't fool yourselves.
No one has challenged a EULA yet.
No individual has the resources to challenge them"


1) That a software EULA for a game is not a legal document
2) That no one has challenged them
3) That no individual has the resources to challenge them

This case establishes that your first point and your second point are factually incorrect. End of story. The third point is false on the face of it - there are 8.2 million households in the US alone with a net worth exceeding $1 million.

humanity is far more interesting than Elven swords and trolls with clubs.

This is also incorrect.
posted by Ryvar at 5:27 PM on June 8, 2005


Ryvar;

Sorry I missed your first big post I'm having timeouts to metafilter.
And I focused on the name callers.

I do not believe that items obtained in game represent intellectual property.
I do however believe they do deserve the consideration for the time and effort invested in obtaining them.
Just like anything else, in any other environment.

Yeah, the guy who killed the guy needed an intervention. So did the guy who stole the item and the guy who bought the item.

I do believe the mmog co should have handled the situation differently.
Given the ease with which they could have determined the series of events.
With the expenditure of like 1 man hour they could have determined what had happened, corrected it, and saved 2 lives.

I'll give an example.

I do play WoW.
Played one char exclusively until he was one of the first to max lvl. Then suddenly WoW was EQ, so I started a whole bunch of alts, so I could run all the quests and see all the things and places I hadn't during the race to the top.
Even so, got burned out and stopped playing for a month or so.
Came back, fired up an alt and tried to continue a quest. Couldn't get the NPC to respond to my char.
Made a ticket for in game help.
A whole bunch of hrs later a GM responds asks what my problem is. I had actually logged out for hrs and come back before I got a response.
I explain the situation to the GM.

(A little back filler. I was playing a bunch of different alts on the same acct, all about the same lvl and progress and there are many quests series that you want all of them to do for the exp and rewards.)

Anyway, about 2 mins later the GM comes back and asks me to check my inventory for a item. I do, its there.
I had confused another alts progress with this ones.
I had already completed this stage of the quest.
And this was one of those multi step quests that each step has the same name (The Lost Diplomat).
Anyway, the GM goes on to ask me if I share my computer or acct with anyone else.
I don't to both questions.
The GM then tells me that my IP is the only one that has ever connected with my acct, the GM tells me what day and time I completed that stage of the quest, and who I was with.
Amazing!

All that information in less than 2 mins

At least the GM didn't rub it in by telling me which alts hadn't completed that stage.

(remember i'd been away for 4 to 6 weeks, all alts about the same stage, and I'd logged in and out with most of them when I got back, and that darn quest series has the same name for almost each stage)

They know, or have the ability to find out everything about every character in moments.
To bad that company couldn't apply that to that case in China.

It's a form of arrogance and an application of power, to say yeah, we know what happened, but we won't do anything about it, that is really offensive.
And should be held accountable.
look what it led to.
posted by Trik at 6:28 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik: Speaking in stanzas doesn't make you an oracle.
posted by absalom at 7:02 PM on June 8, 2005


absalom: isn't there a bridge you should be living under?

btw, love the knuckle-walk

you go girl!
posted by Trik at 7:10 PM on June 8, 2005


I consider the underlying topic, on real world regulation of virtual items in an MMOG, very interesting, although this was not a very good post to discuss it.

As noted above, most game companies don't want to deal with players claiming monetary damages from events occurring in the virtual game world. There is a tendency, however, for players to assign monetary value to game elements, due to their time and effort in acquiring said items. Why is this important? Well, while it is true that time, and in some cases skill bring you (virtual) wealth in a MMOG, a lot of the fun from playing them is because of the role sheer luck plays in your success or failure. When you allow virtual items to take on a monetary value that can be easily realized on ebay, and combine the element of chance, you are really talking about a new way to gamble. And everyone knows how much people love to gamble.

I predict that shortly (3-5 years) there will be legislation in the U.S. regulating in-game content because of this. Right now, a few game companies are trying to step in and capitalize, but usually with restrictions, and none have really found wide spread popularity. One trend that I think will eventually change this, is the modding community. Lately, game companies (in particular WOW creator Blizzard with the Diablo series) have made parts of their programming code available to the public for the purpose of allowing fans/programmers to tinker with and create fan versions of their games. These games can be played on line, but are not necessarily supported by any corporate entity, and would therefore be hard to sue. So far, no one has been able to establish the widespread popularity or security to establish any kind of virtual economy, but given the potential, I suspect its a matter of time.
posted by MetalDog at 7:11 PM on June 8, 2005


wow what a train wreck
posted by nola at 7:29 PM on June 8, 2005


I forgot the obligatory *its my first post, go easy on me* for my first post. MB.
Not that I think it'd have gone much different.
posted by Trik at 7:37 PM on June 8, 2005


Basically, someone died as a result of people taking a game too seriously. Yes, I know that there was actual money involved, but the fact that items in a game have real-world value is, as far as I'm concerned, just a sign that people are taking the game too seriously.

I certainly don't think making real-world laws that tell people what they can do in these games is going to help anything. It will just cause people to place more importance on what happens in MMORPGS, leading to more of this type of stuff.
posted by obvious at 7:45 PM on June 8, 2005


Metaplayed Out?

MetaTrika?

Metasomeonestopmepostinmgonthisdiabolicallyinanethread!!
posted by Mr Bluesky at 7:55 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik:

You are ungrammatical and very difficult to read. Please stop hitting "return" at the end of every sentence. Also please get a grip. Also please get your own blog as you seem to want to share your very lengthy and incoherent opinions about god-knows-what, and MetaFilter is not the venue for that.

Thank you.
posted by argybarg at 8:01 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik writes "Yeah, the guy who killed the guy needed an intervention. So did the guy who stole the item and the guy who bought the item."

Needed an inervention? Holy Christ. This is why your post is a problem. You're equating the snake who stole something, and the fool who bought it, with the INSANE PERSON who murdered because of it. If your post was about the intellectual issues, rather than about your notion that the murderer should go free because what he did was justified, I might be able to take this seriously.
posted by OmieWise at 8:05 PM on June 8, 2005


absalom writes "This is like an ice cream headache in my soul."

This is perhaps the best description possible for this post.
posted by OmieWise at 8:07 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik, is English your fourth or your fifth language?
posted by Chasuk at 8:25 PM on June 8, 2005


OmieWise:

One event led to the next.
I don't condone it or see anyone I've ever met doing it.
I don't live in the same culture.

Considering where he lives I am surprised he isn't already parted out, and the wealthy french aren't bidding on new kidneys, corneas, or whatever.

I'm guessing he comes from a wealthy family that were able to OJ the Chinese legal system.
The Chinese legal system isn't noted for its leniency.
Maybe he has a rare blood type.
Top dollar merchandise!
posted by Trik at 8:37 PM on June 8, 2005


Chasuk: did you ever figure out what "." means?
posted by Trik at 8:40 PM on June 8, 2005


I'm sorry. I seem to be lost. Is this the naked Tony Danza thread?
posted by fatbobsmith at 8:51 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik: yes, I did. I consider it an insincere and annoying affectation, but I did finally divine its meaning. I've answered your question, now I'd appreciate it if you answered mine.
posted by Chasuk at 8:51 PM on June 8, 2005


fatbobsmith,

As far as eye can tell, ever thread is the "naked Tony Danza thread".
Freudian slip much?
posted by Trik at 8:53 PM on June 8, 2005


Chasuk, whatevr you want it to be.
Whatever makes you warm and gooey.
posted by Trik at 8:55 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik:

You have now commented 20 times in your own thread. Two or three is usually on the edge of impolite. Please please please please be quiet.
posted by argybarg at 8:58 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik: Vaska, OmieWise, fenriq, absalom, argybarg and myself all indicated, in one way or another, that your paragraphing and grammatical style impeded, rather than aided, our understanding. Isn't the point of posting to MetaFilter to actually communicate? If not, then why waste your time?

As it happens, I agree with your position, once I was able to discern it. I believe that digital property should legally be as "real" as physical property. No, I'm not justifying Qiu Chengwei's actions, but I can still understand the intensity of rage he must have felt when no one would help him.

Now, if someone were unwise enough to steal from me without covering their tracks, I would cheerfully kick the shit out of them. Thieves, in my book, rate slightly lower than whale sperm. However, Qiu Chengwei did overreact, hence he does deserve to be punished.

I've answered you civilly. Might you now enlighten the six of us -- Vaska, OmieWise, fenriq, absalom, argybarg, and myself -- as to why you take so little care in your composition?
posted by Chasuk at 9:18 PM on June 8, 2005


Trik:

Post

something

stupid

so

I

can

laugh

at

you

again.

(Chinese homeboy got pwned!)
posted by klangklangston at 9:35 PM on June 8, 2005


Reaches for lithium, been real peeps! Where's Qiu Chengwei when ya need him?!
posted by Mr Bluesky at 9:41 PM on June 8, 2005


argybarg: i tried emailing you but it bounced back. So I reply here

Subject: Please please please please be quiet

"You have now commented 20 times in your own thread. Two or three is usually on the edge of impolite"

can you provide a link to this etiquette?

afaic, there was an unnecessary number of overly smug, pseudo intellectual, never been hungry, went from daddy's house to college while living in a private apartment paid for by daddy to their six figure job provided by daddy's friend, trolls, right out of the gate on this thread.

Cos, god knows i wouldn't want to rock any overly smug, pseudo intellectual, never been hungry, went from daddy's house to college while living in a private apartment paid for by daddy to their six figure job provided by daddy's friend, trolls, boat.

They might break a sweat or get indigestion, or a worry lines from clenching their foreheads at the unwashed masses or something.

Please respond, I wait with baited breath for your reply.

Yours in eternal angst.

Trik
posted by Trik at 9:50 PM on June 8, 2005


I feel China had a chance to establish new law and balked.

Prosecutor 1: So we've got a solid case for murder here. Let's prepare the evidence for trial.

Prosecutor 2: Sir, are you sure we want to go for the murder prosecution? We have a chance to establish new law in the realm of cyber theft! To make it safe for geeks the world over to have recourse when someone steals their level 5 crystals and paints silly moustaches on their avatar! We can't pass this up!

Prosecutor 1: *smack*
posted by troybob at 9:51 PM on June 8, 2005


Chasuk:
"I've answered you civilly. Might you now enlighten the six of us -- Vaska, OmieWise, fenriq, absalom, argybarg, and myself -- as to why you take so little care in your composition?"

It's a form of Dyslexia.

While I can read and comprehend at a very high scale, trying to output in the same mode, fragments.

Think of it as stuttering in print, thats the best description of it that I can give.

I know it annoys folks, but hey sometimes that can be usefull.

fwiw I'm a hell of a lot worse at 1337 5p3ak, I can't even read that :P
posted by Trik at 10:01 PM on June 8, 2005


99
posted by Mr Bluesky at 10:07 PM on June 8, 2005


100 ALL YOUR TRIK BELONG TO US.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 10:08 PM on June 8, 2005


The only thing this thread has convinced me of is that these on-line games rot your brain.

But I sort of knew that earlier.
posted by warbaby at 10:15 PM on June 8, 2005


Speaking in stanzas doesn't make you an oracle

You're right, you need to kill the goblin lord and obtain the boots of oblique pretentiousness +7 to obtain the oracle class.

hehe, I'm priceless.
posted by SomeOneElse at 10:44 PM on June 8, 2005


Related link.
posted by cup at 10:49 PM on June 8, 2005


104 GOTO 100
posted by mek at 11:02 PM on June 8, 2005


troybob: I think you missed my point.
Qiu Chengwei dug his own grave. I do not dispute that.
He commited a heinous crime and must pay for it.

My point is that he *felt* he was without recourse.
He *felt* he had been wronged, and no one would help him.
He went to the two sources he felt, believed were in place to correct the situation.

His story isn't about you, raised in your culture, and how you would react to it.
It's about him, his culture, and how he ended up reacting to it.
He attempted two times to stop the events from playing out the way they did.
First he went to the mmog provider, and they treated him like a fifteen dollar a month whore.
Then he went to the police and they treated him like you all treated me tonight.
Like he was a joke.
In his society, I'm thinking, he had to cut lose in a way that we in our society wouldn't even consider.

Example on how different societies react:

There are people living in societies today, where say you have a family of a father, mother, son, daughter.
Some asshole rapes and brutalizes either or both the mother or sister / daughter.
Unable to live with the shame that the mother and or sister / daughter has brought upon them, the father and or son / brother, will murder their mother and or sister / daughter.
Whereas in my culture / society the sonofabitch that hurt my mother and or sister better pray the cops get him before I do. And no one will ever hurt them again.

I wouldn't victimize the victim again.

I think that guy felt like he'd been victimize 3x.
The cops making fun of him is probably what blew his fuse.

This guys story is a multiple tragedy.

And all most of you were capable of doing is mocking either him or me or both.

I feel like I'm at http://www.fark.com

I figured you snooty, appolgizing to the world for bush, ashamed your american bitches, would at least find some way to blame it on blood for oil.

Yah know, (for the most part) ya'll 'r really fucking shallow.

And I'm talking about your gene pool.
posted by Trik at 11:09 PM on June 8, 2005


Profitting off of sold cyberspace items seems like gambling to me. It would be like cheating at cards, the government isn't obligated to come up with laws against cheating at something that might not be legal or at least is not within their jurisdiction.
posted by DigDugDag at 11:12 PM on June 8, 2005


more to the point: you seem to share with this victimx3/perpetrator a passion for online gaming, victimization at the hands of its cruel masters, and a complete loss of fucking perspective. if you want to discuss the legal ramificaitons of virtual property, then you might do so without tossing out the red herrings of cultural (in)difference and (in)sensitivity. this guy was an idiot in any culture, any language, any tradition.

i might suggest for your cause that you pick a better case study. since no more than three people on the face of the earth would pay more than a whore's snotrag for some online weapon called 'dragon sabre,' you cannot assert that it has any real value, and thus the police were correct in ignoring the case. better they spend their time and resources on mother/daughter rapists and their vigilante killers.
posted by troybob at 12:08 AM on June 9, 2005


I figured you snooty, appolgizing to the world for bush, ashamed your american bitches, would at least find some way to blame it on blood for oil.

Yah know, (for the most part) ya'll 'r really fucking shallow.


Oh dear.
posted by Thoth at 12:19 AM on June 9, 2005


no more than three people on the face of the earth would pay more than a whore's snotrag for some online weapon called 'dragon sabre,'

Not true. The sale of digital property and digital currency grosses, by conservative estimates, over $100 million USD a year. Unless you are visiting some very pricey whores, I would suggest that you revise your comparison.
posted by Chasuk at 12:31 AM on June 9, 2005


"Then he went to the police and they treated him like you all treated me tonight. Like he was a joke."
Let's not say that his culture made him stab another man in the lung and heart, though. You've read a whole lot into the story (cops making fun of him, for instance), failed to provide a rational argument for your question (about cyber-theft. remember?), provided easily debunked apocrypha to back up your tenuous position (EULAs not legal documents, or legally enforcable) and then twisted and turned through terrifyingly formatted posts to seem overly sympathetic to a game player who commited murder. So I have to wonder when you got ripped off in an online game. Was it for a lot of money? Did it make you want to kill?

Let's not forget your suggestion that the Chinese government would sell his body parts to the French, and your cryptic and ineffective attempts at insulting people. When you couldn't defend anything you'd written, you went for the low ground, and accused us of being shallow for not understanding your rambling, incoherent and fluidic "point". I seriously doubt you've gotten whatever you were looking for when you posted this article, or that you are capable of fully maintaining cogent dialog about it for any length of time for us to extract any wisdom that you intended to bring to the table.
posted by boo_radley at 12:34 AM on June 9, 2005


boo_radley: FLAWLESS VICTORY!
posted by Snyder at 1:11 AM on June 9, 2005


Trik, if you go to the police in the USA and say "I lent my car to my friend and he won't give it back, in fact I think he sold it" they will tell you to get lost. You can sue them in civil court but it's not a criminal matter, they will not go over there, kick his door in, get your car keys back and lock him up. I guarantee you that will not happen and you will ahve to hire an attorney and sue the person. So basically you arguement that he was treated differently because he was a gamer and it was only an imaginary sword than he would have been if it was a [i]real[/i] sword is baseless.

If he'd really really wanted to go after someone he could have sued the game corporation or the guy who sold the sword for breach of contract or something. Perfectly valid option available to him (at least I assume it's available in China, it would be here).
posted by fshgrl at 2:04 AM on June 9, 2005


IANAL, but I think fshgrl is right. My fiance and I were talking about this a little while ago, and we made a similar observation. Heck, just watch "The People's Court" every once in awhile, you'll see cases like this all the time.
posted by Snyder at 3:27 AM on June 9, 2005


Can we tase him now?
posted by cedar at 4:33 AM on June 9, 2005


This reminded me of this great story about mmorpg's: The Big Scam. There was also another one about people who just gave gifts to people starting out, Twingle or something, does anyone know what I'm talking about?
posted by bertrandom at 6:01 AM on June 9, 2005


Never mind, I found it, this is the other story.
posted by bertrandom at 6:04 AM on June 9, 2005


I think Trik's actually an EQ NPC speaking to us all from deep within the digital ether. Either that or a mutation of q's IRC bot.
posted by NeonSurge at 6:08 AM on June 9, 2005


I have no idea why laws governing MMOG content/transactions would be a good idea.

So here's a bunny with a pancake on its head


posted by chibikeandy at 7:54 AM on June 9, 2005


If killing is allowed in the game, then why on earth shouldn't stealing?

Bunny!

With

maple

syrup?
posted by cytherea at 8:40 AM on June 9, 2005


WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

TRIK?
posted by longbaugh at 8:48 AM on June 9, 2005


0H N0ES!!!!!!!!!!!

T0TAL RAP3-AG3!!!!!!!
posted by BobFrapples at 9:21 AM on June 9, 2005


NOTHING WAS STOLEN!

That's a key fact that Trik keeps glossing over.
posted by jdroth at 10:27 AM on June 9, 2005


You know what we need? We need a flag for "bugfuck insane". That's what we need.

absalom: This is like an ice cream headache in my soul.

*SO* my new favorite simile! Hee!
posted by dejah420 at 6:52 PM on June 9, 2005


These companies really ought to pay attention to this. Even if they don't, they should. There ought to be a moderation wing that handles game disputes and an in-game system for setting up contracts. Something like a little "this is what this weapon is for, this is who I'm giving it to, and for how long" thingy you can fill out and register with the gaming server, that will trigger tracking on a weapon. Then, if the loaner or loanee complains to the moderation people, there should be in-game punishments, like taking away levels or weapons or shutting an account down altogether, or something like that. I'm no expert but I expect that wouldn't be hard to design.

The last thing anybody wants is the Chinese government getting involved in who gets to play what games or what punishments apply where. They're a bunch of dogmatic, impractical prudes who kill what they don't understand when and wherever they can get away with it. But there is a very awesome method of neighborhood arbitration used in China to handle private grudges like this, and I imagine had the killer bothered to talk to the neighborhood watch committee he might have gotten somewhere (sometimes they're retards though). This is just one more excuse the government will use to censor the internet, close net cafes, demonize the young, widen the generation gap, and assign more homework to students already staying up past one in the morning to finish all their assignments. Stateside I guess I'd say that this is precisely what civil court is for. Video game weapons seem like they'd be incredibly difficult to determine ownership of, and I imagine people steal virtual things because they imagine that it IS a game and they don't feel like the consequences would be that severe. You can sue me if I acidentally scratch your car, even though it doesn't seem like that big of a thing. But people DO sue, and it's expected. That's because it's hundreds of dollars to get a scratch repaired. A few nasty, publicized lawsuits seem like the best way to get attention drawn to virtual theft of stuff like this. After enough, companies would put systems in place that ensure there aren't any more lawsuits and bad press.
posted by saysthis at 2:55 AM on June 10, 2005


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