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Virtual Bank Woes

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the all-about-the-iskamins dept.

The Almighty Buck 127

bobmorning writes "EVE Online's largest player-controlled virtual bank, Ebank, just can't seem to catch a break these days. A few months after it was revealed that the company had been defrauded of a staggering amount of virtual cash, it turns out that the institution's digital vaults are far more barren than many realized, leading to an in-game freezing of accounts for any individual or organization that happened to have invested any InterStellar Kredits (ISK) with the bank. Early this summer, it came to light that a veteran EVE player (known only as 'Ricdic') had embezzled — and then sold in the real world — over 200 billion ISK from Ebank, causing a run on the virtual financial institution. However, this was just the beginning of the problems for the player-owned bank. Recently-installed Ebank Chairman Ray McCormack admitted that the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced. As a result, it's been revealed that Ebank is 380 billion ISK poorer thanks to a number of defaulted loans. Because of the aforementioned mismanagement, it apparently took the bank's new officers a while to figure out just how far in the red their institution is."

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Virtual bailout needed! (4, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240513)

We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (1)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240525)

...the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced.

And the outcome is a surprise because...?

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240793)

Because you'd think a virtual bank would be managed better than a real life bank. Apparently, they're managed the same way.

Video games have no prison. (3, Insightful)

noisyinstrument (1624451) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240869)

Because you'd think a virtual bank would be managed better than a real life bank. Apparently, they're managed the same way.

Would you?

The only reason real bankers aren't stealing billions is because they don't want to go to pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison.

Take that away and bingo, everyone's a Christopher Skase.

Video games have no federal backing. (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241173)

Real banksters don't steal billions, they steal trillions.

Re:Video games have no prison. (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241307)

The only reason real bankers aren't stealing billions is because they don't want to go to pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison.

Correct - as long as they stick to only stealing millions they get to go to pat-you-on-the-back federal reserve and get a nice big bailout so they can do the same again.

Re:Video games have no prison. (2, Funny)

Fourier404 (1129107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241427)

They're not stealing money, they're just asking for it. You guys are the idiots giving to them. I keep my money in my mattress [huffingtonpost.com] .

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (1, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240613)

We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.

What for? This "ricdic" guy already did their job.

-jcr

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245109)

No, Ricdic's actions amounted to what seems more by the day to that of a Madoff, rather than a Bernanke.

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240829)

Since these days money, in the real and virtual worlds, is just a bunch of numbers in computers anyways, why didn't they just add a few zeros on the end of the moneies - just like in the real world?

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244197)

No admin rights.

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (0, Flamebait)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241363)

Oh forget that, just put a virtual Obama in there and he will quickly take them all a couple of more trillion into debt. That will fix everything.

Re:Virtual bailout needed! (2, Interesting)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244661)

We clearly need a virtual federal reserve and a bernanke-borg.

Actually, what they need to do is get rid of fractional reserve banking.

You want to put your money somewhere safe? Put it in a full reserve bank (a bank that is NOT allowed to loan out your money) in exchange for a small storage fee.

You want to make money by loaning it out? Buy bonds. You can always sell your bonds if you need the money immediately. Sure, there is a risk that you'll lose some money, but investments always involve risks. Risk can never be eliminated; it can only be transferred (e.g. the FDIC transfers risk to innocent tax payers, which creates moral hazards).

Under the above system, there will be no more bank runs. But, hey, if the admins want to try a virtual federal reserve, then I wish them the best of luck. When they start having virtual business cycles and virtual bailouts, maybe they'll reflect on their mistakes. Or, if they act like their real world counter-parts, I guess they'll try using more regulation. Because regulation is like violence (and XML): If it doesn't solve your problem, you're not using enough of it.

Government Bailout (1)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240519)

Maybe they can get $25 billion, just like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

jeez (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240523)

Ok, I knew EVE was a deep game. But honestly, is it basically a scifi Second Life with fights?

Re:jeez (5, Interesting)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240721)

No, it's a giant economic sandbox with spaceship fights. Eve's economy is almost entirely player-driven, so the layers of complexity are almost impossible to measure.

That things like this don't happen more often is the real surprise. The most successful organizations in the game are either pathologically paranoid, real-life friends, or sociopaths like goonfleet.

Re:jeez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241465)

Get out, spy!

Re:jeez (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241943)

The most successful organizations in the game are either pathologically paranoid, real-life friends, or sociopaths like goonfleet.

What a shock; the most successful organizations in the real world are the same way(s). Sadly, our government is all three - pathologically paranoid cronies bent on controlling society to their own ends. Thank goodness there are competing factions within! (Just like Eve)

Re:jeez (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29244377)

...or sociopaths like goonfleet.

U mad?

Re:jeez (5, Funny)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244619)

My understanding of EVE is not perfect. But what I managed to piece together from years of coverage on slashdot, it appears to be a virtual recreation of the country of Nigeria.... with lasers...

Re:jeez (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245137)

For better or worse, this is almost entirely accurate. "Nigeria, In Space... With Lasers"

I can't seem to find any sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240543)

At a time when real people are losing real things due to bank and financial mismanagment on an epic scale...

I can't seem to give one damm about some virtual bank screwing people over in many of the same ways.

Re:I can't seem to find any sympathy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240659)

You silly nigger. What made you assume that "Sympathy: Yes/No" was the only possible response? There's such a thing as satire, too, not to mention the whole "art imitating life" idea.

Now if only I had a way ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240575)

... to access the REAL world.

Maybe I can provide some virtual sympathy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240579)

Maybe I can send over some virtual sympathy for the defrauded investors.

Re:Maybe I can provide some virtual sympathy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240755)

Maybe you could charge some real dollars for virtual sympathy.

Don't trust anyone (5, Interesting)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240595)

I used to play Eve-Online, and the only rule that was absolute, was that you should NEVER trust people that you are not in real life friends with. Almost every person in the game would rob you at a moment's notice with no remorse, and brag about it afterwards. There's stories where people joined companies and rose to the ranks of massive alliances, just so they could close the alliance and screw everyone ever. To top it off, there's not a single thing you could do about it. That's why the banks have always baffled me. I've never been able to understand how giving your isk to somebody else could ever possibly turn out to be good. One other major example of this was the lotteries they used to run, somebody ran a lottery giving out massive prizes for weeks, until he was trusted enough to get a few billion isk in lottery ticket purchases. Then he ran off with the entire thing and vanished.

This seems very cynical, and I'm sure many of you are members of successful corporations where you trust the random people you meet on the Internet. However, I was in the Phoenix Alliance, and I remember the first Dreadnought stolen because somebody has the password to the damn space station and gave it out.

So yeah. In summary, trust nobody that you can't go beat up in person.

Re:Don't trust anyone (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240685)

The irony here is that this is like a microcosm of everything that happened with the real "financial institutions". If more people thought critically and didn't so easily give in to simple temptations then most crap like this wouldn't happen (in the real world that is, asshattery will always persist on pseudo-anonymous media)

Re:Don't trust anyone (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240725)

In summary, trust nobody that you can't go beat up in person.

It seems to me that it would be sufficient to know somebody who could beat up the offender in person. The two of you could form a reciprocal agreement to enact violence, and of course at the root of it you are willing to exact violence against each other if one of you reneges on exacting violence on those in his sphere of effect.

But you can continue adding tiers to this, creating an entire network of violence, to greater and greater effect. Pacifists (dead nodes) are a problem, of course, but we'll just classify them as rule-breakers and have them beaten up until they leave or become violent.

Re:Don't trust anyone (3, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240765)

What they need is this in the game.

Have an enforcement division of the bank that is there to make an example of players wishing to steal from them or people who default on loans, grief them over and over.

This could be simply a money fund that pays corps/individuals to do their dirty work (lots of work, as they would need to be monitored for performance levels and paid accordingly) or you could actually put the thugs on retainer and they log in each day, look up their list of targets to shake down and clock in like it was a job.

Re:Don't trust anyone (2, Interesting)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | more than 5 years ago | (#29243911)

Griefing is against the Terms of Service and you can be banned for it. Scamming and taking things to which you were given access is not.

Re:Don't trust anyone (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244227)

How is griefing defined though? Is repeated hunting included or does it only account for out-of-gameplay stuff like DoSing someone?

Re:Don't trust anyone (2, Interesting)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244717)

I don't have the definition, but out-of-gameplay stuff is illegal in most countries, I wouldn't worry about only CCP if you were doing a denial of service attack.

Re:Don't trust anyone (2, Interesting)

bmorton (170477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244075)

It's been a while since I played, but I believe players can place a bounty on players that's visible to all players.

I'm not really sure why the bank wouldn't do this.

Re:Don't trust anyone (3, Informative)

Manfred Maccx (1365933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244399)

Because the bounty system won't works. It will simply be abused. The bank put a bounty on the frauder head, the frauder get one of his friends to kill him or even use an alt to do it, and simply share the bounty money with him. The bounty system is more a bragging system. The more on your head, the more you are supposed to be "hot". Most people with a large bounty on their head try to not get kill because they are proud to have that bounty on them, it's not really because they car about dying and loosing that ship they are in at the moment. So, in that context, putting a bounty on a frauder, will not do have any impact or do any good.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241177)

But you can continue adding tiers to this, creating an entire network of violence, to greater and greater effect. Pacifists (dead nodes) are a problem, of course, but we'll just classify them as rule-breakers and have them beaten up until they leave or become violent.

Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whuffie [wikipedia.org]

Of course, such a system probably wouldn't work in practice, and would be as badly exploited in real life as it would in EVE. There's entire networks of people (cough, Goonfleet) dedicated to griefing and breaking the system.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241571)

Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?... Of course, such a system probably wouldn't work in practice, and would be as badly exploited in real life as it would in EVE. There's entire networks of people (cough, Goonfleet) dedicated to griefing and breaking the system.

Naturally it doesn't work in real life. Hell, it didn't even work in that godawful tinfoil hat leftist's wet dream novel he wrote. (Yes, I read it, no it wasn't any good.) All you need is someone with enough positive or negative incentive and the entire network breaks down. One weak link breaks the chain, as it were.

Honestly, this is why most conspiracy theories are bunk. Not because the basic premise of the theories are necessarily bad, but because they require a closed trust network so impossibly vast as to be laughable. Most trust networks require some kind of outside force to hold them together, such as the force of law. Even then, the network can be broken by a single individual just sociopathic enough to believe they can get away with it.

EVEbank didn't even have the force of law behind it. It's no surprise that it's trust network was so easily broken.

Re:Conspiracy Theories (1)

kurthr (30155) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245647)

Yes, because there are not vast multi-billion dollar drug distribution rings.
You are correct, the MOB doesn't exist and all of the CIAs black-ops have come to light.
.
Eve and computerized economies (including the real one) can only work when authority is distributed, and rules can be enforced.
The idea that one person could actually control a Dreadnaught, battleship, or anything much larger than a dingy is ludicrous. The idea that a single password would be used to control access is equally silly although convenient in a game environment.
.
Yes we hare complicated beings with many levels of trust and methods of control and enforcement. This really only breaks down (either through bureaucratic decay, or through embezzlement and looting when a small number of people can gain control over assets that are larger than their ability to reimburse for, or where normal enforcement methods are intentionally circumvented for "efficiency".
.
Our financial system became very efficient and allocating home loans recently. Risk and return were reduced to simple numerical models (made obscure and believable by geeks at the behest of their masters) and the people allocating the loans, measuring risk, and making money redistributing complex instruments didn't care that the "efficiency" failed to measure the buyers-recipients getting paid. It was efficient at "making money" for a variety of nonpunishable corporations that were "TooBigToFail". Even for the buyers-recipients it was OtherPeoplesMoney, and their personal wealth was increased by increasing returns on that pension/insurance company even if it would blow up after they were gone.
.
It didn't need to be that way. Old laws (Glass Steagal) had to be repealed, regulators had to be neutered (SEC FINRA etc), rating agencies had to be co-opted, Prosecutor/Govenenors had to be ruined in prostitution scandals, and the FedReserve needed to look on it's work (smoothing the economic cycle by growing ever larger bubbles) with great satisfaction. None of the individuals could take responsibility for their decisions (eg the appraiser responsible for evaluating $1B in housing value) due to the sheer size, and corporations existed to prevent prosecution of individuals. Everyone had "deniability".
.
And yet... it lasted for 80years, which is right about the correct time for a maximum size human Ponzi. Read up on fractional reserve lending, and explain how with the issuance of only debt based money, you do not have a potential crisis when the exponentially growing total future-money owed becomes larger than the present-money available.
.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking [wikipedia.org]
.
You have a Nash equilibrium where so long as everyone agrees there will be more debt-based money in the future then they will be able to be paid, but once a significant group of people decide to take what they can (first out the door), then there is less debt, less money, and the future debts can only be repaid (if at all) in inflated dollars which are worth less than was lent. It's a very simple and convenient fiction that the world bases its monetary system on, and it is very productive and useful, until it fails and a small group of people make off with the majority of the wealth. The redistribution of that wealth will be ugly and not very productive.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29243755)

Wasn't that sort of the notion of trust networks that Cory Doctorow talks about?

Actually, its more like the notion of government in the real world (though experience has shown that they can get by tolerating a certain level of pacifism, so the rules that many of them have that compel their members to engage in direct violence often have exceptions for "pacifists" within certain bounds.)
 

Re:Don't trust anyone (3, Insightful)

ildon (413912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241501)

And we shall call this theory "Government". We'll make millions.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 5 years ago | (#29243599)

if i had mod points, i'd mod you up. no idea what category, but i'd do it.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244731)

I have learned two things from this thread and your post.

1) Even virtual economies are failing.

2) Apparently we need all start watching OZ from HBO to figure out how to survive in this brave new world.

P.S - Just to let you know... I am not a "dead node". I got no problems slappin' a bitch.

Re:Don't trust anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240827)

I am a bit confused about something. I'm not familiar with it, but does ISK have any real-world value, or is it just game currency?

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240953)

Only to people who sell the currency IRL and transfer the ISK to you in-game; it's gold farming, essentially.

Re:Don't trust anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241031)

Could they deduct in-game losses on their income tax returns? Or is that an invitation to being audited by the IRS?

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241509)

You don't deduct losses on income you don't report for taxation. Unless you want to end up like Capone.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244275)

Generally virtual money is considered property of the game owner and a money transfer is a service, not a sale (so ingame income isn't actual income and only the real money transferred for the services is taxable). Paying someone to give you X ingame money is paying them for the act of handing it over, not the actual good because neither of you two is in possession of the good.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245077)

I am a bit confused about something. I'm not familiar with it, but does ISK have any real-world value, or is it just game currency?

ISK is the in-game currency, but you can exchange RL currency for ISK by buying a game-time card and selling it, in-game, for ISK. You can in theory do the opposite, but doing so gets you banned.

Re:Don't trust anyone (2)

rednip (186217) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241123)

There's stories where people joined companies and rose to the ranks of massive alliances, just so they could close the alliance and screw everyone ever. To top it off, there's not a single thing you could do about it.

Just like a real life company, isn't that cute. ,

Re:Don't trust anyone (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241925)

I used to play Eve-Online, and the only rule that was absolute, was that you should NEVER trust people that you are not in real life friends with.

As I see it, it's more subtle than that. Even in a hardcore minimal rules environment like Eve, you can trust enough some people to a profitable extent. For example, I managed to find a group of people that I'd trust with assets in the hundreds of millions to few billion range. Certain people (particularly Chribba and most EBank directors, past and present) have pretty good reputations and are trusted with tens of billions of isk routinely. That allows for certain types of business opportunities that you can't get in a true zero trust environment (suppose for example, you can't tell other players apart).

Everyone starts with no trust, but you can build on that (say by visiting each other in real life).

As has been mentioned before, what makes games like Eve remarkable is that you get large successful organizations even though trust is so hard to come by.

Re:Don't trust anyone (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245179)

Certain people (particularly Chribba and most EBank directors, past and present)

Chribba, sure. But I think at this point most people involved in management of the growing fiasco that is EBank have been tainted, and rightfully so, with the dirty brush here.

Those that weren't skimming one way or another, or outright stealing, were absolutely asleep at the helm of oversight. When I started my account there, unsecured loans were nigh on unheard of, but apparently nearly half a trillion ISK (at least, that we know of) have gone to BAD unsecured loans. How many of these are to management's friends and alts?

How much? (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240631)

So how much was the 200 billion in imaginary money worth to the insanely retarded people in the real world who forked over real world cash for it?

The Darwin awards are a grand invention but they can only be awarded posthumously. We need something to mock world-class (but less-lethal) stupidity like this as well. Maybe the "PT Barnum Awards". They could be given out in televised public ceremonies and the "winner" plastered all over the internet for the amusement of the less-stupid.

Re:How much? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240671)

Well if he sold it for the going standard rate, which is unlikely... about 4 thousand USD. Though if he bided his time he could get 6k in afew months at his own isk selling site.

Re:How much? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240707)

I've been playing EVE since 2004 and the current going rate for 1(one) billion ISK is around $50, although if you purchase 10 billion or more there are discounts to be had. So, all in all 200 billion ISK is around $10,000 in real US currency.

Re:How much? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241593)

Maybe the "PT Barnum Awards". They could be given out in televised public ceremonies and the "winner" plastered all over the internet for the amusement of the less-stupid

I LIKE IT!

Ok, who's gonna set up the website?

Re:How much? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#29242375)

The Darwin awards are a grand invention but they can only be awarded posthumously.
Not strictly true, unable to procreate is considered sufficiant.

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29242825)

well, that sort of applies to everyone who plays eve, depending on your definition of unable.

Re:How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29243097)

Because imaginary money has no value, right? It just lets you do things on a computer. It's not REAL. And REALness is what matters when assigning value to things, not supply or demand.

So there's no point buying any software at all. Or films, or music. Paying for access to a cable network? It's not REAL! Sucker!

13 posts in, let me be the first to say (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240639)

Who gives a fuck. Something is happening in a video game. "News for nerds, stuff that matters?" Take it to the game's forums. Will you guys run a story every time I get a new epic from Ulduar?

Re:13 posts in, let me be the first to say (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240891)

well considering it is the most massive user base on one server with the most diverse simulated human driven economy, studied by economists and sociologists, a swindle that equates to nearly 7,000 gameplay hours of effort lost i'd wager that is news for nerds, and stuff that matters.

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240641)

Which part of this post is about reality and which part is about gaming?

In Other News (1)

SubjectiveObjection (1541619) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240675)

The bank CEO's mother called and was wondering when he was going to clean the dishes.

Get a life? (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240697)

Every time someone posts a story about an MMO, people always make comments about players needing a life. It sounds a lot like there is real drama with real people happening in Eve, and the players get a chance to do things they would never do in real life (such as run a bank).

It doesn't seem that bad. It's real human interaction, real relationships and drama. It's not the sort of thing I'd want to do, but I can see why people get a lot out of it.

Re:Get a life? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240771)

Shit, this just gave me an idea, start running 419 scams in eve, its a sure fire money maker.

Re:Get a life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240887)

GoonFleet has a monopoly on this already.

Re:Get a life? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241759)

Sounds like they would be my best targets (from what I have heard).

Re:Get a life? (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 5 years ago | (#29246077)

What makes you think you're the first to think of this?

Re:Get a life? (1)

Dr. Impossible (1580675) | more than 5 years ago | (#29242961)

Every time someone posts a story about an MMO, people always make comments about players needing a life.

Doesn't apply to EVE players, because EVE is already like real life. Except it's missing all the good and interesting parts.

Re:Get a life? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245461)

It has pew pew! Real life doesn't have pew pew. Apparently, though, it has too much graft and mismanagement and not enough pew pew.

Re:Get a life? (4, Interesting)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245893)

To be fair, people say the same thing about any hobby. Stamp collectors, model airplane builders, open source developers are all told to get a life by people who don't particularly like their hobby. Enlightenment such as yours, where you say something along the lines of, "I don't particularly like that hobby, but I have no disrespect for those who do" is unusual.

Re:Get a life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29246121)

Yes, but.. they STILL need to get a life.

I guess I'm in the minority... (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240705)

... I find these stories interesting. How is the online world coping with the new institutions it must create with the added complexities of fast growing virtual worlds? Will it find a new way of doing things, or just repeat the same mistakes (this looks like repeating the same mistakes that were made a few hundred years ago). I have no idea how much a billion ISK is, but this is pretty big news to those that had their "money" in these institutions, even if it was just for play.

In a world of massive real world bailouts and ~10% unemployment, this may not "matter" much, but it's definitely news for nerds.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240791)

An idea of how much that is to a "normal" player.

I farmed missions for isk to pay for my account (when I was playing it that is), and would clear about 20-25Misk an evening with about 4hrs work, this was 100% safe farming, no chance of being PvP ganked, little-no chance of losing a ship (for those wondering Gallante command ship + second account running a logistics ship with a battleship class remote armour repper on it).

So 300Bisk is quite a bit of money, but it is still pretend money :)

Re:I guess I'm in the minority... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241289)

20-25M in 4 hours is frankly laughable, you'd get 20M just for doing a single good L4 mission.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241773)

Thats what I was doing, farming L4 missions, thats about how much (at the time at least) I was getting for just the kills, the loot and salvage were another matter, it was hard to work out how much you made from that as the market was a fickle and angry beast.

Re:I guess I'm in the minority... (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29242353)

How is the online world coping with the new institutions it must create with the added complexities of fast growing virtual worlds? Will it find a new way of doing things, or just repeat the same mistakes (this looks like repeating the same mistakes that were made a few hundred years ago).

They will evolve more or less the same rules as in the real world, for the same reasons. Then the next of idealistic young libertarians will get frustrated with all the rules, which they don't really understand, and set off to create a freedom utopia, and the cycle will repeat.

first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29240737)

default? :-P

sorry that was low hanging fruit, very easy to pluck... just like ISK from a bank :-)

Oh well (4, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#29240761)

at least everyone's accounts are eFDIC insured up to $100k fake dollars.
Good thing, too... this sort of thing could spark an virtual bank run resulting in an imaginary depression. Next thing you know, everyone would be forced to ride the rails as hoboes in Railroad Tycoon.

Is this not fraud or some other real world crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241051)

The fact that this guy defrauded the virtual currency for real money means I think the authorities actually should get involved.

The law of this guy's locale should be obeyed whether he is doing it to someone in person or someone in a video game.

Re:Is this not fraud or some other real world crim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241111)

Why? To embezzle virtual money seems to be within rules of the game. And selling virtual money for real money is likely no crime, if he delivers.

Re:Is this not fraud or some other real world crim (2, Informative)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241261)

No but it is a violation of the TOS, and can result in both the seller and buyer's acounts getting banned and the isk deleted.
There are legit (ccp allowed) methods to turn $$$ into isk. you buy game time, eigther as code or an ingame item (plex) and sell that for isk.

Mycroft.

Re:Is this not fraud or some other real world crim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29244077)

Yes, it's a violation of the ToS. But it isn't illegal. So there is absolutely no reason for The Authorities to get involved.

Re:Is this not fraud or some other real world crim (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29244343)

Do the rules of the game actually state that it is impossible to enter a contract within it?

Recession (2, Funny)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241175)

Yeah the economic crisis is pretty bad here in virtual world. I can no longer afford my second life prostitutes. I even lost my job as a store owner in WoW -- they outsourced it to AI where all the bots do the work. I can't even afford my mana potions, I have to connect to a Canadian server just to buy them on the cheap...

Re:Recession (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241377)

They steal our jebs!

Sounds like ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241339)

the Icelandic bank meltdown. They turned out to be a Ponzi scheme [wikileaks.org] , with the bank's major shareholders taking out loans into the billions of dollars, investing that in other companies, which in turn went bankrupt, taking Iceland's money with them.

Re:Sounds like ... (1)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 5 years ago | (#29243391)

Hm, you are confusing ISK with ISK.

Re:Sounds like ... (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245497)

Hmmn, maybe this is like Charles Stross novel "Halting State:" the players think they are playing a game, but in fact they really are managing Iceland's monetary supply.

Slow news day (0, Troll)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241379)

For fuck's sake, I don't get a front page story every time I run over a whore in GTA (headline: "Funeral Today for Victim of Brutal Virtual Hit and Run"), so why do Second Life and Eve get stories every time something virtual happens?

Re:Slow news day (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241433)

The whore can't post online.

Re:Slow news day (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241621)

GTA doesn't have a functional economy, let alone a player-operated one, so things like this can't happen. If they could, you would certainly have seen at least a roundup article (and a repost or three) of some amazing emergent behaviors. This is interesting because it parallels the mortgage crisis, and because Eve has a long history of trying to be as realistic as possible, meaning that their solution to this problem will be interesting as well. Will they diddle the database? Probably not, if history is any indication.

GTA is also not massively multiplayer, so emergent interactions between players are not possible.

Wow (1)

Briden (1003105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241385)

Just like real banks!

Obviously only one solution (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241467)

That EVE world adopt a virtual gold standard.

Re:Obviously only one solution (1)

hurrdurr (1626151) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245283)

ISK4Gold.com?

What is virtual money? (3, Insightful)

Biswalt (1273170) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241591)

I'd like to posit that the money in Eve Online is just as real as a dollar bill. I mean, you can buy ISK on Ebay, so there's an exchange rate [gameusd.com] of about 12 cents per million ISK. It's measurable, it's real, because ISK can be purchased for real money. What makes ISK less real than the Hungarian Forint, or the Chilean Peso, or even the US dollar? Currency very simply is people placing value in something that is not really intrinsically valuable. IE. paper dollars, little metal coins, huge stone wheels, bits of code relating to ISK, etc. So b/c it's valuable to these people we have a situation where the currency is very real. At least as real as any other form of currency has been.

Re:What is virtual money? (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241673)

All money is virtual money toch?

Re:What is virtual money? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29245147)

I'd like to posit that the money in Eve Online is just as real as a dollar bill.

Eve ISK relates to $$ the same way that game tokens in an arcade do -- or "store credit" in a store does.

Tags? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29241787)

How does this have anything to do with 'democrats' and 'bailouts'? If anything EVE's economy is an anarcho-capitalists dream where you can do pretty much anything to convince people to give you money.

Boiler House - Hedge Funds (0, Offtopic)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29241963)

Typical. I am just thankful that the only money I ever borrowed in my life was to buy my own place and that is now paid off, but as long as society believes in "Boiler Houses" Getting a return on your investment forget it. Hedge Funds, will be the next thing to hit the banking industry and when it does... you can kiss all investments worldwide goodbye including your cash. Forget the Federal Reserve or the IMF. The only safe way to avoid any economic depression, is buy gold. You have been warned, the time bomb is ticking!

these are NOT BANKS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29242491)

second life had people bilking citizens out of money too. only a fool would hand over their money to an anonymous person in a simulation or game.

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