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Gamer Sues MMORPG After Losing Items

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the goodbye-items-hello-anguish dept.

PC Games (Games) 97

xneilj writes "According to Ananova.com, a Chinese gamer is believed to be suing Korean-based JC Entertainment, after losing in-game items in the PC MMO title RedMoon Online. As well as the return of his lost items, he is also seeking over $1200 for 'mental anguish'." The article explains: "Li, from Beijing, had built up his stock of virtual weaponry while playing RedMoon over the last two years... When he discovered all of his awarded equipment had disappeared, he contacted the provider for help, but the company refused to take any responsibility for the loss."

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97 comments

Good for him (2, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766444)

Commercial software vendors should be held liable for bugs in their code.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766559)

(warning--may be a little offtopic)
I agree with you (and modded you up for it), but forsee a humongous crash of the modern software industry as soon as this would start being enforced. This would mean that MS (for instance) would have to pick up the bill for any and all lost time due to bugs they didn't catch. That would drain their bank account really fast.

I would feel really sorry for independent contractors who sell custom software to a automotive factory and end up having to pay through the nose for a bug they wrote.

That being said, I don't see it happening in my lifetime (I'm 24).

Re:Good for him (2, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766643)

I agree with you (and modded you up for it)

Not anymore!

Poor AC. Guess you didn't know that AC isn't very anonymous at all.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6773422)

Yeah, what's up with that. I thought you could AC post and moderate a few months ago...I tried the other day and wiped out four moderations at once.

Now I have to log out to AC post in a story I mod in? That's kind of a pointless. What does this accomplish, exactly?

(Posted AC as this is waaaaay off-topic)

Re:Good for him (1)

Zardoz44 (687730) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766691)

Or they could add stipulations to the license agreement that the customer take the software in an as-is sort of way, and that the producer cannot be sued for any bugs that are found. These are not nuclear safety systems (tongue-in-cheek). These are applications to perform tasks, and shit happens. You sometimes get missing pieces in board games, and you sometimes get a faulty wrench. It's up to the consumer to let the company know about these problems, and it's the company's choice to fix them. They'll make a trade-off between the cost of bad publicity/loss of sale, and the cost to fix.

In this case, the company should have had logs that showed what the problem was, and then rectify it. If they can't do that then they lose customer confidence in their ability to preserve game status. Would you sign up on a monthly plan with this server if you thought you'd have to restart every once in a while? On the other hand, this could be a one time thing by a troll. It's not like the article explains anything.

I was thinking about this the other day. (5, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766458)

I think it would be funny for an MMORPG to mess with their whiny users sometime. Something like roving bandits that steal items when you are asleep in an inn. It would really drive home the point that you don't "own" anything in the game.

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

bobtheheadless (467304) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766606)

True, true.

ya know, maybe there should be a mandatory server crash every once and awhile. Maybe people who play too much might actually go outside... enjoy real life for a change.

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (2, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766696)

Or just make everyone play Nethack for a few hours, so they will learn to get over losing their kick-ass items all the time. :)

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (3, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766928)

"ya know, maybe there should be a mandatory server crash every once and awhile"

Or they could just run the game on Windows servers.

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 10 years ago | (#6783163)

> > server crash every once and awhile"
> Or they could just run the game on Windows servers.

He said every once in a while, not "make the thing unplayably slow." That's just cruel.

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767049)

Maybe people who play too much might actually go outside... enjoy real life for a change.

That won't work...these people will sit there hitting "Retry" for hours until it re-connects, and if it's still doesn't work they will call the help line crying in a paniced voice

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768512)

ya know, maybe there should be a mandatory server crash every once and awhile.

SWG already has this "feature".

Don't get me wrong though, I like SWG =)

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

Spoticus (610022) | more than 10 years ago | (#6769245)

ya know, maybe there should be a mandatory server crash every once and awhile.

I take it you've never played Diablo 2 online...

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

bobtheheadless (467304) | more than 10 years ago | (#6769271)

Hehe... used to.
Until I lost all my stuff one day... never really played again. I think I went outside and ended up having a great day... maybe thats where I got the idea from :)

Re:I was thinking about this the other day. (1)

DemoLiter2 (700301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766833)

Enabling players to steal other players' goods would be a nice idea in general (while many MMORPG punish for robbery and killing). But I think in this guy's case all items have disappeared due to a bug in game, so it's legit for him to claim them back.
The 1200 bucks for mental anguish however is a bit too much. The game administration should restore his items as best as they can, and maybe give him an in-game reward. On the other hand, if they got sued, then probably because they have ignored his claims.

Crystalline Entity (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766957)

I remember the anguish - the ANGUISH - of coming home from school, myself and several friends working for days...no...weeks on the ULTIMATE TRADEWARS 2002 CORPORATION PLANET and then discovering that the Crystalline Entity, an add-in, had completely wiped us out. Everything went downhill from there. The corporation fractured into two or three congolmerates and I almost lost a best friend. Those were the good old days.

Re:Crystalline Entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6767047)

Dude. When you almost lose a best friend because of a game.... you have a fucking problem. Turn off the computer, go get help.

Re:Crystalline Entity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6769849)

You've obviously never played Trade Wars, I can tell.

Wow (0)

mczeke (641029) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766464)

Everyday I tell myself that people in the news can't get more pathetic. Everyday I am proved wrong. Someone help this guy find a bridge to jump off.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

DemoLiter2 (700301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766888)

What's the point of jumping of the bridge? He'll probably just respawn somewhere else... probably with no items at all ... probably with 0 experience, a dagger and 100 gold coins ...

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6767073)

you jumped off a bridge? That should brighten up the news.

This is why... (5, Insightful)

AaronBaker2000 (480581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766466)

This is exactly why Sony tries to prevent the sale of virtual items in Everquest. If it can be proven that that these virtual items have monetary value, then the developers can be sued everytime a server crashes.

Generally, I believe that in these situations, we should let the market decide what has value. However, I really don't like the idea of game developers getting sued.

Re:This is why... (3, Insightful)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766652)

This guy invested over two years of his time and money playing and collecting items. This is analogus to my email provider losing all my important emails. I would call them up and say, hay you lost all my important emails and I want them back. I expect them to respond and get all my emails from their backup system. If they say we are not going to do that then you bet your ass I'd sue them. It is not my fault they lost them so why should all the responsibility fall on me? They should have adequate system in place in cases like this and so should game developers/publishers.

Re:This is why... (1)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766904)

How about making your own backups? If you did, you would have your own copies and not have to worry about other people's failure(s) to keep up with your stuff. You do have a good point though, since if you couldn't make your own backups of emails or whatever then it would be the responsibility of the provider to maintain a backup.

Re:This is why... (1)

I Like Swords!!! (668399) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770684)

Nooooooow...... explain how *YOU* would be able to backup items in an MMORPG without being seen as cheating?? (Oops! I lost my extremely-rare, nearly-godlike weapon... I know... My backup!) No, that is the responsibility of the game developers and those that administer the actual running of the game to maintain data integrity and correct/compensate for any glitches. Albeit, it's only a game, but a game that would go bankrupt if gamers weren't satisfied and left. Frankly, it's good coding practice to CYA in this instance, allowing for swift recovery of anything pertinent, however small it might be. Again, explain how a gamer is responsible for this? hmm?

Re:This is why... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766977)

I expect them to respond and get all my emails from their backup system.

How is your host responsible for your e-mails again?
Especially if they run POP? Enlighten us here.

Personnaly I think you are retarded ass panzy if you think that someone else is responsible for your property/actions on said property.

Re:This is why... (1)

Grand (152636) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768178)

Comparing this to email isnt the best. Im sure he is refering to IMAP. And "Especially if they run POP? Enlighten us here" makes YOU sound like a retarded ass panzy. What MMORPG game lets you store your inv./character/stats on your own computer and doesnt store it on the server. Comparing it to email (IMAP) isnt good because with email you CAN backup your own files. With MMORPG's there is no way of doing this. You pay for the game, and then pay a monthly fee to have them store your stuff on their servers. The fee does also let you play online, but thats not the point. Who actually owns the items/characters is another discussion.

Re:This is why... (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768562)

Lets say I pay yahoo a service fee $30 for 50MB mailbox. Any important email I get, I store it in an important folder. Now lets say yahoo somehow deletes my account. Shouldn't they have some kind of mechanism of:
1) Verifying that I am the rightful owner of the account and its contents.
2) Retrieve my account from their backup system?

I think this is a perfect analogy and really think the gamer will win this case.

Re:This is why... (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768886)

#1

He invested time and money in to his own personal enjoyment. He wasn't buying property, he wasn't buying shares of the company, wasn't putting his money in some sort of game bank to get some ROI.

He invested in those items as much as someone invests their Monopoly play money to buy hotels for Boardwalk.

The company probably should reimburse him if his items were lost due to their fault, and they want him to stay on as a paying customer, but nowhere in any agreement (at least none that I've seen) is there any mention that the player owns anything in the game.

To put the whole "investment" thing into perspective - what do you think would happen if the developer ended the game? They're not going to reimburse anyone their money (except maybe for that specific month), and they're sure as hell not going to compensate players for whatever items they may have had on their game character. That's because the company owns the code and the data - the player merely rents access to it.

#2

If your e-mails are so important, why let someone else host them, where they can read through them and/or have hardware failure which destroys them? Delete-after-pop should have been mandatory in the spec.

Re:This is why... (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770436)

investing time and money and enjoying yourself are not mutually exclusive.

I rent movies and I'm entertained while watching them. Now according to you if the dvd skips a few frames now and then I'm not entitle to go back to the movie rental place and ask for either a refund or a exchange for a disk that works.

The game company is providing a service and is operating a business. The have obligations to you as a customer.

As for my emails, i pay them to host it and to keep them secure. I can certainly keep a local copy but what happens if that disappears? I'm going to revert back to my emails. If they disappear from their server then, by god some has to pay and it ain't going to be me.

Re:This is why... (1)

overbom (461949) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770735)

Not necessarily.

The game has a EULA that he probably clicked through to agree with their policies. Granted, this is slashdot, and we hate EULAs, but he agreed to their terms of service. It might suck, it might not be fair, etc., they may not be legal based on various local, state, federal, international, or galactic laws, but that's the current state of affairs.

Oh, and it's not analogous, because important email is important, and online game characters are not. ;P

Re:This is why... (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#6771260)

What is not important you might be important to someone else. Your car is important to you but it is not to me. Frankly, if some trashed it I wouldn't give a rats ass.

I think you need to reevaluate that last statement you have made.

Re:This is why... (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770811)

I played Red Moon a long time ago...

Database corruptions are not uncommon!

One day, I log in, everyone had lost something. Not a full loss, but enough to upset the majority of players.

Their fix, give every character 20 million, which was alot. Well, I wound up with 80 million and I didn't lose anything of value. My friend had quite the same setup and a demo account as well.

People were quick to adjust to the new economy and they wanted every cent you had plus a few more if you wanted to replace a hard to find item.

Some people refused to use the money and spent it on frivelous junk.

Me, that was about the time I quit so I unloaded all of my extra cash onto a friend.

That wasn't the only time I had a problem with the game, bu maybe it has improved since then. (although apparently not)

However, to their credit, they were the friendliest group I have had the pleasure of dealing with. GM's often ran games, gave out prizes, organized special events and created special monsters for such events. Occassionally, those moments make me want to go back to the game.

However, they have the worst tread mill system in existance. --- reason for leaving

Re:This is why... (1)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766858)

I guess if I was this guys lawyer, I would say this was no different than a domain registar losing someones domain, like the sex.com case. Verisign tried to argue that domains weren't property, so they shouldn't have to give the guy any compensation.

Not sure I'd buy that if I was judging the case but I can't think of how this is different.

Re:This is why... (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768949)

Game items are in a fantasy world, where if the game ended tomorrow, there'd be no reason for the items to continue to exist.

Domain names are in the real world - specifically the Internet. If the Internet were to cease to exist tomorrow, then the domain names would have zero value.

Games are usually handled by a single company, so they could go out of business and take the game with it - the game can't exist without the business.

The Internet won't be going away any time soon - the Internet will exist when businesses close up shop - mostly because it uses open protocols, but also because there's sufficient demand and ability to keep it running.

Re:This is why... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#6774032)

Monetary value? The only value money has is in the minds of people. Your money has value because enough people believe it. Enough people believe that USD100 is actually worth 10x USD10. If people don't believe it has value it's just a piece of coloured paper or a bunch of bits in a computer. If enough people believe that a particular USD1 bill is worth USD10000, then it is. Sometimes one person is enough.

MMORPG = lots of people. If you're the game provider, if those people don't find your game valuable you're screwed.

If they find your game valuable, and your game involves persistent objects I don't see how you can expect them not to value the objects as well and still want them to value your game.

While not every value can be easily tied to a monetary value, nor should it, it is reasonable to seek some form of compensation or punishment for loss in some cases.

If you arbitrary allow things to happen without in-game consistency (items/avatars vanish for no reason explainable by game physics and laws) then your world becomes less valuable to the participants.

Future games (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6784826)

As per Kevin Smith: We're talking about Fictional Items, Fic-tion-al i-tems am I getting through to you at all?

Some people need to get a life and discover the difference between fantasy and reality. Moreover, I fully expect future games to have grand disclaimers such as:
"Characters and good attained in this game are completely fictional and have no value outside of the game itself. XXX Entertainment Corp is not responsible in any way for any monentary loss due to this game, including the loss of said fictional items/characters, social life, sleep deprivation, or medical/bladder issues arising from continuously playing the game for-frickin-ever.
In summary, we are glad that you enjoy our product, but believe that your increasingly large ass off the chair, get some fresh air and perhaps even bathe at some point in time. And no, your "medallion of +10 sexiness" will not get you laid in real life if you don't shower, no will we be held responsible for such problems.

Haiku on the subject (5, Funny)

recursiv (324497) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766470)

That is an addict.
Overstating importance.
It is just a game.

Re:Haiku on the subject (2, Funny)

kevinvee (581676) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767609)

Very insightful.
Only in haiku, funny.
This post? Not so much.

Seriously though... (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767666)

It is just a game.
Yes, but the point of the game is to acquire skills and items. If the service fails to adequately support these functions the user should be reimbursed for the money he spent on the subscription at the very least. Some would argue that he should be compensated for all of the hours he invested in acquiring his collection as well. Seems reasonable enough to me.

Re:Seriously though... (1)

recursiv (324497) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768252)

The point is playing.
He got enjoyment from that.
Reimburse for what?

Re:Seriously though... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 10 years ago | (#6771896)

Now the truth comes out
Enjoyment's not the goal, just
Conditioned response

Another haiku on the subject (1)

daniel_yokomiso (641714) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767752)

Chinese complains
Koreans ignore him
It's just a game

Re:Another haiku on the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6768028)

Chinese complains
Koreans ignore him
It's just a game

That's not a haiku.
Proper syllable pattern:
five, seven, and five.

Re:Another haiku on the subject (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 10 years ago | (#6771916)

Chinese complains
Koreans ignore him
It's just a game

That's not a haiku.
Proper syllable pattern:
five, seven, and five.


None of these conform
To haiku definition
No seasonal verse

Re:Another haiku on the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6778769)

Chinese complains
Koreans ignore him
It's just a game

That's not a haiku.
Proper syllable pattern:
five, seven, and five.

None of these conform
To haiku definition
No seasonal verse


Suck my hardened cock
You gay linux using queers
Please fuck off and die

Good to see someone finally takes action. (2, Interesting)

Blackwulf (34848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766488)

I've been playing a lot of the mainstream US-based MMOG's over the past few years. And every time a gamer doesn't get their way, they yell "I'M GONNA SUE VERANT/MYTHIC/ORIGIN/TURBINE/SOE!" But they never do, and then wonder why noone else does.

"OMG The server has been down for 10 minutes I'M GONNA SUE!!! Why hasn't someone started a Class Action Lawsuit yet???"

Because EVERYONE who wants to start one always says the same thing. "Why doesn't someone else start one?"

It's good to now see that someone actually had the balls to back up their words with a lawyer, and possibly players can be pointed to the outcome of this...Because I'm pretty sure it's gonna be thrown out of court really really fast. (Yes, I realize this is not a US or even North American lawsuit. I'm just commenting on the principal of actually doing what you threaten...Soemthing we rarely see gamers do, anywhere.)

Re:Good to see someone finally takes action. (2, Interesting)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766602)

"OMG The server has been down for 10 minutes I'M GONNA SUE!!! Why hasn't someone started a Class Action Lawsuit yet???"
Because EVERYONE who wants to start one always says the same thing. "Why doesn't someone else start one?"


That's not the problem - the problem is finding a lawyer interested in the case.

While I'm not suggesting a company should be sued if a server goes offline for 10 minutes (or even a day), consider SEGA's case. They asked us to buy Dreamcasts and online titles, factoring the cost into the price of the console/games, then at some point decided to charge for access to some games, and pull support for others altogether.

I bought Alien Front Online less than 1 year after its release - note the "Online" in the title - and called the company after not being able to connect. First, it was "sorry, we'll be up again in a few days", then "sorry, game's offline forever but you can still play the single-player game so you have nothing to complain about".

This would so be an open-and-shut class action case. If only somebody would be interested in taking it, maybe companies would have an incentive not to try this kind of thing again.

Re:Good to see someone finally takes action. (1)

Ummagumma (137757) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768114)

This case (the Alien Front Online) sounds like a perfect case for Small Claims Court - you would more than likely get reimbursed for the cost of the game, plus filing fees, etc. Wonder if there is a statute of limitations on this?

Re:Good to see someone finally takes action. (1)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768817)

This case (the Alien Front Online) sounds like a perfect case for Small Claims Court - you would more than likely get reimbursed for the cost of the game, plus filing fees, etc.

But a small claims court only solves the problem for me. A class action lawsuit solves the problem for everybody, plus makes it less likely that the company (or others) will do the same thing in the future.

If anybody here just got a law degree and thinks winning a class action may be a way to get noticed, let me know.

More likely the case... (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6784852)

I'm going to sue. I'm going to pick up this phone, contact my lawyer, and sue their asses into oblivion. I'm going to hit them so hard that... oh wait, "sexychic49" is online again. Maybe she'll be interested in my +10 long staff of endurance... I'll think about sueing again later.

Sad (4, Funny)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766563)

I thought the US was the only country where the laws were screwed up enough to allow this kind of silliness.

Re:Sad (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767622)

No, it's just that we are scrutinized the most because of our power/wealth.

*Really* Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6769990)

Is that you got modded "funny" instead of "insightful". It is not a joke, folks.

Would have asked for more... (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 10 years ago | (#6771634)

Nah, in the US he would have claimed $100,000 for mental anguish and lost playing time.

The trial to be held in the MMO World (2, Funny)

Alpha27 (211269) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766609)

As the user logs in, monstrous soudns eminate from his machine. Once his avatar arrives in teh virtual world, he is greeted by level 10 demilawyers from the lands of ligitation.

"We shall smite you, puny game player for blasphemous lies that our gods have misplaced your goods"

User's avatars is dismembered by the mighty lawyers, and they perform the dance of death on the player's avatar's parts.

*** Your account has been deleted ***

*** Have a pleasant day ***

/tell $_Ranger (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766695)

sowplz.

Give me a break.... (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766728)

Or, since this is China, perhaps the court system can be convinced that this guy's hands need a good break, perhaps one or two compound fractures. This guy needs to quit whining and turn the game off. Seriously, I realize that a lot of time can go into one of these games to get some cool item, but its just a game, nothing more.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

Mr.Spaz (468833) | more than 10 years ago | (#6769784)

They don't break hands there (well, not all the time), they send you up north to bust coal in work "rehabilitation" camps.

Whine less, talk more (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766733)

Note the fact that the article doesn't give any details about how or when the item loss occured. Was there a bug? Did the server crash and his data/equipment was corrupted and thus disgarded? Was there a hacker who hacked into the database and took his stuff? Maybe one of his friends decided to play a prank? Maybe the guy is just an idiot and left the items somewhere and forgot where?

The article gives no information on this; thus the guy gets no sympathy from me.

Hear that? (-1, Troll)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766817)

That's the sound of the world's smallest fiddle playing a sad song for you, friend.

Want some cheese with that whine?

Or shall I call a whaaaaambulance?

Sheesh. I think it's time you jacked into Real-Life v1.0

lawsuit over lost virtual inventory (1)

mattclary (673560) | more than 10 years ago | (#6766830)

He lost virtual items, refund him in virtual money or simply replace the items.

Re:lawsuit over lost virtual inventory [OT] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766929)

It's a little off topic, but I know something similar that I heard about once. Police were using an automated camera/radar-gun to track speeders. If they could read the licence plate they would mail a ticket, with the photo of the car and the registered speed, to the owner of the vehicle. In this one case the owner mailed back a picture of a check made out for the ammount of the fine.

Re:lawsuit over lost virtual inventory [OT] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766983)

Continuing with the [OT]...

With a picture of a check you have all of the necessary info to electronically debit the check. You have the routing number, account number, and a check number. Some businesses use scanners to read that information. I've seen checks get declined the same as a credit card would using this technology.

Re:lawsuit over lost virtual inventory [OT] (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767935)

And, if we're talking about the same apocryphal story, the court mailed him a picture of a set of handcuffs, then he paid.

bleh (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6766862)

According to Ananova.com, a Chinese gamer is believed to be suing Korean-based JC Entertainment... over things that don't exist. This story has no substance. That's comparable to saying, "The Lochness Monster is rumored to have eaten a ghost."

Moving on, licenses for games like that always have a clause protecting them from this. Something like, "Sew and Sow, Inc. cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items. Press OK if you agree to these terms."

Re:bleh (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770122)

Yes and such licenses are totally and utterly worthless. We been through the shrinkwrap licenses and they don't stand up in court. This guy used a paid for product from service that didn't live up to his expectations. This is nothing different then a garage failing to fix your car or an the post office losing your mail. It is now up to the courts to decide if they find that this is just acceptable risk or that the company is accountable for the loss.

We need to stop threating computers as somehow magically excempt from normal law. A game is still a product and I should be able to have certain expectation of a game when I buy it. Just like any other product I buy or in the case of an online game rent.

He will probably lose however. Why? Same reason you can't sue for lost mail. The cost of sending a letter is so low that you can't possible expect guaranteed delivery. If you want that pay more for the well guaranteed delivery option. So I think a judge will rule that the price of the game was not so high as to ensure absolute reliability.

Game VS. Service (3, Informative)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767204)

Gee, I've never played a MMORPG, but I wonder if in the service agreement(s) there are provisions for these kind of things.

It's a fact that the whole service is complex and relies on computers (just like your Bank ATM), computers FAIL (and always will, no matter what). However, you never try to sue your bank if the ATM is offline. (You might sue if they wipe out your money)

Who knows, maybe they should guard the db of items just as a bank guards the computers that have your checking account balance.
On the flip side, it may not make business sense. (Until they figure out the best model for online gaming... but that will always depend on the game!)

The fact that the guy is basically wasting time (ironic, because we do so by reading slashdot also...) by playing the game, does not mean that it's fair that he should lose 2 years worth of 'work' because of a glitch, someone should be able to restore his character stats. The nature of the game demanded the guy to work towards building your items. (We do the same playing RPG's: building levels, buying expensive armor, spells, whatever... it takes time)

Any ideas?

Re:Game VS. Service (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770458)

A "bank for items"? Really, really nice idea. The only "real" problem would be making it secure enough. (ie. hacker heaven since they wouldn't have to hack individual accounts)

And he didn't lose any stats. Just items. The article states that clearly. But the fact that "most" MMORPGs are geared towards item gathering, there is a level which he is justified. However, the level is really the topic of discussion. Do virtual items have a monitary value in the real world? If no, then the guy is screwed. If yes, then proceed to your national court and then onto the international court since MMORPGs cross numerous national borders.

This may not be society at large's... (2, Insightful)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767314)

...pretentious apathetic-reductionistic opinion, but... The guy's invested time and money, and they've fleeced him by their negligence of backups. He has a right to complain.

Virgin Field (2, Funny)

LazyBoy (128384) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767324)

Oh good, a virgin field for the lawyer plague.

Maybe they can ruin it more realisticly by holding court inside the MMORPG.

I can't believe it.. (1)

tprime (673835) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767385)

I can't believe I am actually agreeing with this loser after he spent 2 YEARS living in a virtual world. The bottom line is that he paid to use their system and the expectation when you purchase a service is that it is going to function as advertised. In his case it did not. If this were a free system, such as a MUD, then I would dismiss his loses right away. The fact that he paid for the service changes everything.

Re:I can't believe it.. (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767621)

You may pay to use the system and expect tons of stuff, but the fact of the matter is that in every MMORPG out there you have to accept a mile-long EULA before even being able to put in your login and password. That EULA covers the game developer's/distributor's ass against anything like this (or anything at all, really). Yes, he put lots of effort into the game, yes it does suck that he lost his items, but the unfortunate truth is that is as far as this lawsuit is going to get.

Re:I can't believe it.. (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767904)

You're assuming, of course, that the EULA is worth the electrons it's printed on. Unless he's in a UCITA state or a country that has explicitly adopted these Diktat "agreements" as legally binding, he may well have a case.

Re:I can't believe it.. (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770273)

I find it hard to believe it's not legally binding when they're not being unreasonable in what they're making a user agree too. That, and he/she is confirming their acceptance of the agreement (regardless of whether they actually read the thing through or not).

Re:I can't believe it.. (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#6772467)

I'm not so sure an honest judge and jury would consider a company selling the maintenance of an identity and possessions in a virtual world, then disclaiming an obligation to maintain those for the purchaser would constitute a reasonable agreement. In fact, the EULA, even in jurisdictions where it could be considered binding, could have those provisions stricken as unconscionable, and be overridden by an implied warranty of merchantability.

IANAL, but it looks like it's not open and shut either way, and certainly no slam dunk for the game company.

Re:I can't believe it.. (1)

Cassius105 (623098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6772655)

You realise that what your saying would bankrupt all MMORPG companies

If you know even the slightest thing about programming you will know that it is imposible to rid a program of bugs and even getting close to bug free software takes alot of time and money which is why only places like hospitals use that kind of software

so they cannot stop things like this

and they cannot give the items back because if they do so then they will get thousands of people yelling "i lost my uber sword of killing give me a new one" and they will be forced to do so because they gave the other guy his stuff back

Licensing terms.. (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 10 years ago | (#6767569)

In my experience the guy could have had his entire character deleted and not deserve anything. This sort of item/data/uptime loss thing has been covered in the licensing terms of every commercial MMO game I've ever played.

Heck, I've even seen the same treatment in MUDs, the imms don't want to waste time with whining players and all the lying ones that would also try to cache in as well and they shouldn't.

Re:Licensing terms.. (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768929)

er.. s/cache/cash, might as well beat someone else to making fun of me, I'm so pathetic ^^

Re:Licensing terms.. (1)

big-magic (695949) | more than 10 years ago | (#6771134)

Software companies can (and do) put lots of silly things in software licenses. Many of them may not hold up in court.

And yes, it may seem silly for someone to sue over losing virtual items in a game. But big game companies are big business. When they start taking peoples money, they assume a certain level of responsibility to their customers that cannot be "disclaimed away". I don't know whether this guy will win. But, it should cause game companies to take better care of their customer's data.

No autopsy no foul! (0)

engineerdude (680288) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768072)

It seems to me the lawsuit could be settled by either crediting this guy $1200 in his player's bank account (1200 gold pieces).

I'm suing also (3, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768081)

I'm suing the makers of Nethack for killing my little pet doggy.

make it stop (2, Insightful)

August_zero (654282) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768309)

If you are suffering mental anguish from losing something in a game that is supposed to be for fun you need to find a new hobby.

I hope this twit gets laughed out of court, I really can't sympathize with him. Its his own fault for holding his imaginary items in such high esteem.

What next? People suing Nintendo because they can't beat super mario brothers? Suing Microsoft because of mental angusih suffered while playing online and getting owned at Mech Assualt? Should I sue Lucasarts because my KOTOR save game got ruined after 30 hours and I had to start over? Where does it end?

Re:make it stop (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 10 years ago | (#6769712)

Where does it end?

If you have to ask this question, don't bother.

Time & Money Investment (2, Insightful)

Samus (1382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6768534)

I see people here saying he invested his time and money into the game and lost it. I totally disagree. When you make an investement you are placing resources somewhere that they will grow into something better for you. This guy didn't do that. He spent some money and time playing a game. It was pure entertainment, nothing more.
Now he has paid for a service. That service has failed to live up to his expectations. If you have a magazine subscription and the magazine takes a direction you don't like do you sue them? No. You either don't renew your subscription and move on or you cancel it right away and ask for the rest of your money back. Yes the company shouldn't have ignored him but when they gave him the brush off he should have packed up and left.

Re:Time & Money Investment (1)

AaronBaker2000 (480581) | more than 10 years ago | (#6772906)

Ok...But what about this guy [slashdot.org] ? He's obvious not wasting time by "just playing a game." He's trying to support his family. Would he have a right to sue if he lost his account in a server crash?

As a company, you can state that you are providing a game as a service. However, it's not really your call. The market may decide that your "game" is actually a real economy.

Re:Time & Money Investment (1)

Samus (1382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6776101)

I was going to reply back to you with a yes on that guy and a no on this one but I got to thinking about it more. In life shit happens. I don't sue my mutual fund company b/c my fund values plummet. I might if I could prove some kind of gross negligence. In most normal circumstances there is a risk associated with the stock market and to play you have to accept that risk. If that guy wants to risk the well being of his family by playing a game, he has to accept the risk involved. My brother is studying to become a lawyer. If you want to make him rich then everytime somebody around you screws up and harms you no matter how much or how little, go sue that person for whatever you can get. I think this guy is out of line but I think that game company should have tried to work with him. Now they both end up looking like jerks.

Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6768867)

What a fuck head.

Chick foresees the future (-1, Offtopic)

Lhet (700694) | more than 10 years ago | (#6769434)

Sounds like a real-life version of this [chick.com]

Re:Chick foresees the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6769850)

what... the hell is that. I mean I remember seeing a anti-drug spider-man comic that mentioned spidey being sexually abused by his uncle ben, but to touch upon the great light of the bib.... I mean 3.0 that is just horrid.

Re:Chick foresees the future (1)

danny256 (560954) | more than 10 years ago | (#6778722)

THAT was disturbing. Where the hell did you find that?

Re:Chick foresees the future (0)

Lhet (700694) | more than 10 years ago | (#6780365)

http://www.chick.com
there are lots of them

He won't win, here's why (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6769596)

Redmoon asks you to sign(err... click) an ToS agreement like most MMOs. One of the key factors is that they cannot be blamed for lost items(for any reason) characters(ditto) or even game time(so in effect, if you paid 3 months of service but they shut down the servers for 3 months the day you paid, you couldn't even sue for your money back, although the guys at redmoon are pretty nice and would most likely reimburse you anyways)

Hope this clears some things up.

Legal status of a ToS. (1)

aphor (99965) | more than 10 years ago | (#6772301)

The problem with such ToS: contracts are only valid if both sides get something of value. Paying for a service (even an entertainment service) and getting nothing because they offlined the servers the day you signed up would be a violation of basic contract law. Any court based on common law would entitle you to getting your money back despite what the ToS claims.

Therefore, ToS documents are only legal claims made by the seller. Some or all of those claims can be invalidated by a court because in a disagreement, the law trumps a legal claim the way "paper covers rock." On the other hand, the court can put more weight behind some or all of the ToS terms just by issuing a decision--regardless of whether it is for or against the particular plaintiff.

redmoon sucks anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6770497)

what a loser.

Terms of Service (1)

Ceyan (668082) | more than 10 years ago | (#6770720)

I don't know about RedMoon, but most companies i"ve dealt with have Terms of Service with specific clauses for this kind of thing. So the whole discussion of sueing other companies becomes moot (unless there is another stupid company out there with similar terms).

Mental anguish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6770957)

Hmm, is mental anguish possible if one lacks a brain?
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