Virtual murder?
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Thread: Virtual murder?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Virtual murder?

    This one is really weird

    A woman "married" to a virtual partner fell out with him and trashed his computer. The criminal charges she faces are pure reality though..........

    Story here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...se-972680.html



    EDIT: something along tha same lines; here a Dutch court has ruled that the theft of Runescape items is a real life crime:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ual-theft.html
    Last edited by nihil; October 26th, 2008 at 02:43 PM.
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  2. #2
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    This one is really weird

    A woman "married" to a virtual partner fell out with him and trashed his computer. The criminal charges she faces are pure reality though..........

    Story here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...se-972680.html



    EDIT: something along tha same lines; here a Dutch court has ruled that the theft of Runescape items is a real life crime:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ual-theft.html

    In the first article, it's identified that she was charged with computer violations (she broke into the guy's computer and erased his character there as well as trashed his files). It's not a virtual murder but rather simple computer B&E.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Yes, I think that both incidents go to show how thin the line between virtual and real can sometimes be? In the first instance it is a case of computer vandalism, pure and simple, although there is a clear warning to be careful about what you do on these virtual reality sites. I think that many people who would appreciate that issue in respect of social networking sites, would not see it as applying to virtual worlds?

    Legally, the second case is more interesting, in that the ruling sets a precedent for game site possessions being treated as real ones. OK there was a clear cut case of assault or "mugging" as well, and this ruling came almost as an "obiter dicta" but those do tend to have influence on subsequent proceedings.

    The implication is that people who steal games artifacts by fraud or hacking have also committed a felony............ in Holland at least.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil View Post
    Yes, I think that both incidents go to show how thin the line between virtual and real can sometimes be? In the first instance it is a case of computer vandalism, pure and simple, although there is a clear warning to be careful about what you do on these virtual reality sites. I think that many people who would appreciate that issue in respect of social networking sites, would not see it as applying to virtual worlds?

    Legally, the second case is more interesting, in that the ruling sets a precedent for game site possessions being treated as real ones. OK there was a clear cut case of assault or "mugging" as well, and this ruling came almost as an "obiter dicta" but those do tend to have influence on subsequent proceedings.

    The implication is that people who steal games artifacts by fraud or hacking have also committed a felony............ in Holland at least.
    It would be viewed as simple theft if there is a value on it, whether the object is tangible or virtual. This has long been the premise for computer data and it's theft. It's just a question of to who is it valuable for.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    It would be viewed as simple theft if there is a value on it, whether the object is tangible or virtual.
    Yes, I wouldn't see tangibility as a relevant issue here.............. after all intellectual property rights are intangible assets, as is corporate goodwill.

    The question hangs on value, and that is an interesting issue. Over hear if you take something that belongs to another, it is still a crime, even if it has no determinable monetary value (real money).

    Now, from what I have seen, these games communities have their own virtual currency and assets that can be purchased with it. The sites generally have a rule that says you are not allowed to buy or sell things for real currency, or your account will be closed and so on.

    However, the site owners could't seem to care less, so long as they are getting their subscription fees. This has resulted in a black market where real money changes hands.

    It will be interesting to see what various legislatures make of individual cases, given that they are dealing with imaginary assets that theoretically have no value, but IRL most certainly do?

    I suspect the situation is analogous to a used postage stamp, or other collectible; which in theory has no value but in fact certainly does?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
    Only african to own a PC! Cider's Avatar
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    I have played WOW (world of warcraft) for sometime and would love to see the outcome of this.
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member phernandez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cider View Post
    I have played WOW (world of warcraft) for sometime and would love to see the outcome of this.
    Doubtful they'll ever come for you because you ganked someone (or many someones). Technically, you could argue, the online character committed suicide, though at her hands. Still, she was arrested because she committed a computer crime.

    The virtual murder angle just adds a neat little twist to the story.

  8. #8
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phernandez View Post
    Doubtful they'll ever come for you because you ganked someone (or many someones). Technically, you could argue, the online character committed suicide, though at her hands. Still, she was arrested because she committed a computer crime.

    The virtual murder angle just adds a neat little twist to the story.
    You know.. it wouldn't surprise me given how dedicated some users are to building their characters and questing, especially with the upcoming Lich King release.
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  9. #9
    Only african to own a PC! Cider's Avatar
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    Yes well if My character of level 70 , took a few months to get there, gets hacked or whatever, I would also sue!
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
    Albert Einstein

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