Killing for virtual property

So I’ve just been to Terra Nova and entered my first ever comment to a post. Pretty freaky actually, commenting on what most of the superstar academics in this field are writing about. I may be getting way ahead of myself here.
But I know some of you are not frequent Terra Nova’ers, so I thought I’d mention something about one of the topics there at the moment. Two players of The Legend of MIR 3 ended up having quite a disasterous fight over a virtual sword. If I understand it correctly player 2 borrowed this sword from player 1 to do something within the game, and then refused to return it to player 1 and sold it. Player 1 ended up being so furiated that he actually killed player 2, physically. Now the big discussion is if this is an occurance that needs som discussion or if this is just some mad man on the loose. And ofcourse let us not forget the relevance of killing someone for something that is not ‘real’!
Well, it is an occurance that needs more discussion, because this is not going to be the only incident in the near future!! We do have to do something before ‘they’ start banning MMORPGs because of some massive hysteria.
It is my opinion that there should be some for of court system or government officials to oversee virtual crimes (thinking about the stealing part) such as these. We have to remember that these worlds are persistent. It’s not like you were playing Tomb Raider and someone stole your weapon there, then you pressed replay and had it back. This is so much more complicated. You work so hard to attain certain goods and skills. We’re talking years now, not just months, when someone comes and steals something you’ve worked so hard at achieving, it sure as hell would make me see red, although I do believe I have the constraint to stay non-homocidal, but who the hell knows what is really going on in my head!!! There is a value to virtual goods. At the moment, the only way I feel we can establish the value of a virtual item is to establish time spent attaining it and also current value on e-bay (ahh yes, for you poor souls who haven’t listen to me ramble on about this after a few beers, you can actually buy in-game virtual items for ‘real’ money). But that’s just me and my humble opinion! :-)

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