Virtual World, Real Cops

The BBC reports that one person has been arrested for identities so as to steal Runescape gold and treasure, which gets resold to other Runescape players; more arrests may be on the way. (Runescape is an onlline game I’d not heard of, but it seems to be a lot like World of Warcraft.)

It doesn’t look like much of an exchange rate:

    Current underground exchange rates suggest that 2m Runescape gold costs about £6 ($10).

The gaming company, Jagex, is actively seeking help from and cooperating with the police:

“Players invest years of time and effort into developing their Runescape character so the of a Runescape account shouldn’t be treated differently to the of any other valuable possessions such as a games console, television or car,” he (Mark Gerhard. president of Jagex) said.

It’s easy to file this in the “get a life” file, but I started thinking what I would feel like is someone trashed my personal blog and broke my server. It’s over four years old and I’ve spent hours tweaking and refining it, fiddling with the theme, making it do new stuff, and generally trying this and that.

It’s relentlessly non-commercial and, according to Value My Site dot com, not worth a dime, but it’s my baby.

If I had invested years, or even months or weeks, to get good at a game and establish an identity among the other gamers, I’d be pretty mad if someone stole the results of my efforts and sold them to someone else, especially at such a lousy exchange rate.

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