Death by Leech

Zubon has a disturbing insight about a recent lawsuit in China, RMT and US gambling legislature.

In the lawsuit, a judge ordered Blizzard/The9 to restore everything they took from a gold farmer, citing property laws. If anything virtual in game can be classified as property because RMT allows it to have a real value, then any game that relies on randomness is gambling, because you may lose or gain something of real value according to luck. And according to US law, it's illegal to transfer funds for online gambling. In other words, it would be illegal to pay to play an MMO where randomness dictates whether you win or lose. And that definition covers.. almost every MMO out there. RMT could end up killing the very industry it leeches from.

The most boneheaded thing about the whole issue is that Blizzard's Terms of Use were irrelevant in the lawsuit. They can't ban people for cheating. Granted, for Zubon's nightmare scenario to become reality, there would have to be a precedent in the US establishing the same principles as in the Chinese lawsuit. But the lawsuit in itself is bad enough. It's like taking your stuff back from a thief and then being convicted of theft yourself. Or being a victim of a can flipper in EvE. It's life imitating art.

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