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eBay Delisting All Auctions for Virtual Property

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the definition-of-what-is-real dept.

Role Playing (Games) 324

The growing popularity of Massively Multiplayer games has brought the issue of ownership rights in virtual worlds, and the appropriateness of what is called 'real money transfer' (RMT) into an increasingly public light. The success of the company IGE, as well as the launch of Sony Online Entertainment's 'Station Exchange' service would seem to indicate that RMT is now an acceptable part of Massive gaming. The well-known auction site eBay has recently made a policy decision that may throw these assumptions into a different light. Following up on a rumour that's been going around I spoke today with a media representative for the company, who confirmed that eBay is now delisting all auctions for 'virtual artifacts' from the site. This includes currency, items, and accounts/characters; not even the 'neopoints' used in the popular Neopets service is exempt from this decision. Read on below for the company's rationale for this decision, and a few words on the impact this could have on future RMT sales.Mr. Hani Durzy, speaking for eBay, explained that the decision to pull these items was due to the 'legal complexities' surrounding virtual property. "For the overall health of the marketplace" the company felt that the proper course of action, after considerable contemplation, was to ban the sale of these items outright. While he couldn't give me a specific date when the delistings began, he estimated that they've been coming down for about a month or so. Mr. Durzy pointed out that in reality, the company is just now following through with a pre-existing policy, as opposed to creating a new one. The policy on digitally delivered goods states: "The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner." Given the nebulous nature of ownership in online games, eBay has decided the prudent decision is to remove the possibility for players to sell what might be the IP of other parties via their service. Mr. Durzy made it a point to say that initial listings of virtual property would not have punitive actions. Their assumption, he said, is that most users break with policies because they're unaware of them, rather than maliciously. Initial infractions will result in a delisting of items, and an attempt to educate the user on the policy. Persistent disregard for the policies, of course, will result in a removal of the seller's account.

We've spoken before on the possibility of taxation of virtual goods in the U.S. and abroad, as well as the economic impact these sales can have. With the removal of a very popular, very public source of virtual currency and goods from the market, what does this mean for the future of RMT? Will small businessmen who previously worked via eBay now turn to larger independent sites like IGE? Given that eBay is ipso facto declaring virtual goods to be the property of the game makers and not the players who 'earn' them, what does this mean for the future of virtual rights in general?

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Just Sell the Time (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775120)

So, I'm aware that things like this have been implemented in the past. But the easy way to get around them is to not offer the item, gold or online property but instead offer to the bidders your personal time and service to acquire the items.

Examples:
  • "level 60 epic gear warrior for sale" => "leveling services to get you a epic gear warrior"
  • "5000 gold on Thunderlord" => "the five days of playing time it takes me to get you 5000 gold"
  • "1337 item" => "time it took me to farm this item and give it to you"
I mean, are they safe guarding against this also? Because, in the end, what's wrong with selling people your time or services to them? Once they complete the service, you pay them. I don't know how they could find some way around this or tell which auctions for services need to be revoked.

Re:Just Sell the Time (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775568)

It's just eBay being stupid. IGE and all the other sites that cater specifically to gold/equipment/character farmers are just going to get more business because eBay is "worried about the legal complexities" of selling virtual property.

Honestly, I'd thought better of them than this...eBay sells so many things of purely subjective value, you'd think that some policy maker on the inside would have cottoned to the fact that value is a fairy tale, and that their business is to make money off people's experiments with value, not to "decide" that there are some things that don't have a place in their auctions.

Moron's who try to fight Supply and Demand by messing with supply get no pity from me. Where there is enough demand, and supply is not flat impossible, there will be supply. The only way to prevent the sale of in-game artifacts is to make them non-transferable, and that's never going to happen.

Re:Just Sell the Time (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776252)

It's just eBay being stupid. IGE and all the other sites that cater specifically to gold/equipment/character farmers are just going to get more business because eBay is "worried about the legal complexities" of selling virtual property.

It's not eBay being stupid, but it's not what they're saying it is either. If eBay thought they could make money providing this service, they would. The real reason is that the associated costs and risks exceed the profit available from these transactions. I'm sure that internally they have statistics that show the rates of disputed transactions, and the administrative costs of dealing with them along with the cost of liability insurance for the potential litigation associated with these transactions. They compared those numbers with the projected revenue and one side won.

This isn't a philosophical issue, or eBay trying to prevent anything. Companies don't work that way (usually). This is almost certainly purely economic.

Re:Just Sell the Time (4, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776338)

Wait what? Why is it stupid to drive away business that opens you up to potentially being sued by game makers for facilitating the sale of someone else's intellectual property? are you claiming it's stupid to get out of bad business practices because "other people will just pick where we leave off"? Also how is ebay "messing with supply and demand"? it's not like they are deleting items from WoW's database. or charging extra fees based on demand for vitual goods. they are just getting out of the business of facilitating transactions for these items.

The only way to prevent the sale of in-game artifacts is to make them non-transferable, and that's never going to happen.

some games actually do this for a substatial number of items. While they couldn't do it for all items it has an added benefit of requiring people to grind for items themselves.

I'm no fan of ebay, but your argument makes no sense.

Re:Just Sell the Time (5, Insightful)

xeromist (443780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776502)

Ebay isn't saying you can't sell things of subjective value. Where they have a problem is that they aren't sure who the item belongs to. Sure there are issues of hacked accounts having stuff sold off. However the real issue is that they're not sure whether you or Blizzard owns that epic gear.

You paid for the game time and put the effort in to earn that copy of an item, so maybe it is yours. Artists at Blizzard created the item and it, just like everything else in that virtual world, is the intellectual property of Blizzard. Maybe the item belongs to them then.

There is also the issue that many MMO games have explict prohibitions against selling items. All it would take would be one publisher deciding Ebay was promoting violations and deciding to sue. Would they win? Doesn't matter because Ebay doesn't need the headache. They figure the listing fees wouldn't weigh against the cost of a court battle.

Re:Just Sell the Time (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775598)

Of course, one can question the wisdom in allowing real-world money to be exchanged for what is essentially a particularly tedious and inefficient database update.

In fact, should this type of exchange become prevalent in the economy I'd suggest anti-monopoly regulators come down on the MMORPG businesses like a ton of bricks and force them to allow many companies access to the database tables to update them so we can get a real free market evaluation of the 'goods' in question (ie, approaching zero).

You see, someone making their living off producing strictly artificially scarce items is someone not employed producing real scarce items; ie, it is a net loss to the economy as a whole, which means we _all_ get poorer by allowing such abberations to continue.

Re:Just Sell the Time (5, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775796)

That's like saying people shouldn't be allowed to practice with their shitty bands or write shitty novels.

The good news is that the damn fool who is farming is lowering the amount of time the damn fool spending money on virtual goods is spending on the game, freeing up the spender to do other actual work in the economy.

Entertainment is an economic sink, it disappears productivity into the (supposed) well being of the person being entertained. Placing a silly regulation on a form of entertainment because it is extra stupid is a bad idea.

Re:Just Sell the Time (4, Insightful)

KevMar (471257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776302)

I can spend 3 hours in the game farming (not doing the fun stuff) to earn 300 gold

or I can spend 3 hour working extra (or overtime) to make $30.00 and purchase 1000 gold.

what is your time worth to you?

What if it took you 3 hours to make 50 gold?

each game and even game server are different, but that was the exact exchange that many world of Warcraft players would face. Recently the market has shifted around, but at one point it was more economical to just purchase the gold.

Re:Just Sell the Time (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776388)

Let's just say I'm not a fan of video games where spending time doing something simple and repetitive is beneficial. I get that it made sense, but that says game problem to me, and I don't understand why anybody would play a game with such apparent problems. Presumably they enjoy it, but I don't imagine I would.

Re:Just Sell the Time (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776438)

"practice with their shitty bands"

Practicing with shitty bands isnt an artificially scarce product.

"freeing up the spender to do other actual work in the economy."

The goods in question are _artificially_ scarce. _Neither_ needs to spend time as the items are _only a database update_. In the 'real world' it takes neither time nor resources to produce the in-game items; at a 'real world' market valuation, they could both (and, in fact, everyone in the game) have the particular item at zero cost, freeing them _both_ up to productive work.

That's the whole point of the real-world free market economy; to maximize the production of wealth in society by creating incentives for the most efficient production possible. To accomplish this goal within the mmorpg realm the solution is simple; enforce open databases, with the immediate result that anyone can have anything whenever they want.

Of course, this is quite probably rather undesireable for the actual mmorpg. Which rather reinforces the point; the real-world economy and the fantasy of games are quite incompatible and should not be mixed, as the systems are at odds at their very foundation; one is intented to minimize wasted time, the other to maximize wasted time.

Re:Just Sell the Time (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776378)

Of course, one can question the wisdom in allowing real-world money to be exchanged for what is essentially a particularly tedious and inefficient database update.

While I was in college (in the 80's), a major source of my income was entering data off of printed lists for various companies. These companies seemed to think it was worth exchanging real-world money (up to $8.00/hour!) for a particularly tedious and inefficient database update.

Re:Just Sell the Time (1)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775686)

Simple. They just delist all items that look similar. When in doubt in legal issues, you err on the side of safety. When in doubt on delisting on eBay, you err on the side of not having to read more than the auction title. Either that, or any company comes in and claims a potential dispute, then Vero just cancels your listing on their behalf. See? Simple.

Re:Just Sell the Time (4, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775714)

Because, in the end, what's wrong with selling people your time or services to them?
Because it's a thinly veiled end run around the rules. I would imagine that since this isnt law, but rather a TOS policy, ebay can easily just say "Selling virtual items or services to provide virtual items is prohibited." Especially since the items aren't the intellectual property of the seller. I'm sure some clever folks will still sell this stuff more subtly. But having to be subtle will decrease your exposure to your customers, and thus your profits.

playerauctions (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775788)

Or go to a real auction website that is aimed (almost) exclusively at gaming 'properties' ... www.playerauctions.com ... its what I've used to sell various accounts when I'm tired of (insert MMO here).

Re:Just Sell the Time (3, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775812)

I mean, are they safe guarding against this also? Because, in the end, what's wrong with selling people your time or services to them? Once they complete the service, you pay them. I don't know how they could find some way around this or tell which auctions for services need to be revoked.
There's nothing wrong with people selling their time for games like WoW. At least, there's nothing legally wrong. However, in terms of the WoW EULA, the trading of characters and gold out of game is not allowed. eBay probably feels this is unethical, and the fact that they are allowing and making it easier for people to circumvent Blizzard's contracts is borderline illegal. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they made this decision because Blizzard is threatening them with legal pressure.

IIRC, almost every WoW character being sold on eBay had the same disclaimer stating something on the lines of "By looking at this webpage you are agreeing that you aren't a Blizzard employee. The sale of this auction doesn't involve any possesions, instead you are paying for my services and time that I put into this character."

That's probably why eBay made the decision to delist all virtual goods, because people were always finding ways to circumvent their rules by changing the wording. Now they won't be able to do that.

Re:Just Sell the Time (1)

wooden pickle (1006975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776360)

Examples:
  • "level 60 epic gear warrior for sale" => "leveling services to get you a epic gear warrior"
Really bad example. Noone would buy a warrior anyway because they're so ridiculously underpowered.

How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (5, Insightful)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775134)

Good to see they are pulling virtual goods, how about the real junk coming from China (this has been a real problem, especially with things like musical instruments)

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775254)

As long as they are not misrepresenting what they are selling, then I don't see a problem. If I want to pay $100 for someone else to play the first 20 hours of World of Warcraft, so I don't have to play all those low levels, then I should be able to. At the same time, if I get bored with my character, there's no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to sell my character so that somebody else can use it. Who care's if it's not a tangible item. iTunes sells thousands of intangible items everyday, as does every software company that lets you download the product.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (2, Insightful)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775310)

Go check out "gibson les paul guitar" on ebay. They are selling guitars that are complete fakes as genuine. I have heard other horror stories on forums about guitars with thin veneer over chipboard and things like that. Why does ebay allow this?

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775396)

Exactly. Who cares if they are selling virtual goods as long as they aren't misrepresenting them. There's bigger problems on eBay, they shouldn't be going after people who aren't trying to scam others.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

le0p (932717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775554)

Am I the only one who gets suspicious of an auction that's both cheaper than every other similar item listed and coming from Hong Kong. Personally, I won't buy anything on eBay from outside of the US (If I lived somewhere else, it'd be the same situation). Not that there aren't scammers here, it's just usually easier to tell who they are.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775324)

Good to see they are pulling virtual goods, how about the real junk coming from China (this has been a real problem, especially with things like musical instruments)
What are you, my keyboard? That's exactly what I was going to write. I'm not sure if they're scams or just junk. I keep hearing different things. Like some say they don't get anything shipped after they paid. Some people say the stuff turns out to be junk. And then there's the obvious absurdity of a $200 shipping fee for a no reserve guitar that can be won for $1.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775382)

I think the counterfeit goods is a great example of how this is all show for ebay. Ebay seems to either lack the will or the ability to really police their site, which is one of the reasons I only use it as a last resort. They seem to go on massive delistings on occasion just to make it look like they care so they won't get sued.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775540)

They aren't counterfeit.

They are the real thing, made during the "3rd shift". In other words, they make your widget 8 hours a day for sale in US stores, then run the factory the other 16 hours a day to make your widget for sale everywhere else on the planet.

This is really really old news BTW.

Of course the plans to your widget are available for sale even before they start making them for you, and others start making them too. Maybe that's what you meant? But those are real too, with your plans.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775630)

Your still getting f*cked. Why is this okay?

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

Matilda the Hun (861460) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775618)

I'm actually kind of irritated; I got my key for guildwars off of ebay. New key with no characters on it, cheaper than buying it from the store, and I didn't have to wait for a package with a CD just for the sake of having a CD (I had downloaded the client whilst browsing ebay for the key). It was quick, it was easy, and I actually used eBay for the first time in 2 years. And now they're disallowing it. They get the thumbs-down from me for this, imo.

Re:How about Chinese Counterfeit goods? (1)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776398)

You wouldn't be saying that if the key you got was invalid or revoked the next day, or something, would you?

If you ran a business where you allowed people to rent (subscription), say, a car (account), then a person started renting that car out or using it as a taxi service (selling account items, i.e.: gold or a sword) out to people and making money off the deal. You'd be pretty pissed, eh? Same thing.

In this scenario, the car (account) isn't there for the person (subscriber) to turn a profit (selling items). The car is contracted (licensed) to you for a specific purpose and not for profit-making.

The players don't "own" the items (if you read, depending on the serivce, you probably don't "own" your account, either) just like the person doesn't own the rented car; therefore, they (shouldn't) have any claim on them for resale.

It won't stop gold traders (2, Informative)

tepp (131345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775146)

I doubt it will impact the various virtual economies much, considering that you can go directly to several of the larger farming groups and buy gold direct.

For example, IGE.

If people still want to buy/sell virtual goods, there really isn't any way to prevent them.

Still, I salute Ebay for trying.

Nebulous (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775164)

Given the nebulous nature of ownership in online games...

Don't game creators and server owners place very explicit copyright ownership clauses into their license agreements with users? People obviously break the rules without much thought, but isn't the exact legal ownership already determined in just about every virtual world? Second Life, for example, makes it very clear what the user does and does not own in their online documentation.

shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (2, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775176)

The well-known auction site eBay has recently made a policy decision that may throw these assumptions into a different light. Following up on a rumour that's been going around I spoke today with a media representative for the company, who confirmed that eBay is now delisting all auctions for 'virtual artifacts' from the site.

This is insane. There's clearly a market for this activity. And there's clearly a way to handle it legitimately (i.e. IGE). Instead of setting up a parallel site (like eBay motors), they just decide they're not going to handle it at all. Way to serve your investors, ebay.

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (2, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775370)

Insane? Not really. Ebay is just avoiding what is essentially a grey-market area.

I'd guess the potential costs of litigation far outweigh any profits to be made from allowing these actions. It's not like Ebay is lacking in traffic in other, more legitimate transactions. And yes, before someone makes a snarky comment, I'm aware there are plenty of illegitimate ebayers trafficking in other items. That doesn't affect this decision though.
 

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775520)

Insane? Not really. Ebay is just avoiding what is essentially a grey-market area.

But rather than try and put any effort or brainpower into making it a white-market area, they just throw their hands up and give up.

Ebay's core mission is to be *the* auction site, for whatever "it" is that you're looking for. It's pretty clear that they feel this marketshare is too much "hassle" for them. Which I guess is fine, some startup will eat their lunch in this area, and ebay will have to fork over a couple billion in a few years to buy them out, in order to remain relevant.

I don't play any of these games, but it's pretty clear this is an issue that's not going away. It's only going to get bigger.

Lawsuit in the head, Terms of Service to blame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775434)

Define legitimate.

By law? Sure, anything's legitimate. I can sell you gold over Slashdot, totally legitimate.

By terms of service? Almost never.

Legally, there's not a damned thing that can be done against eBay were they to not stop offering virtual items/currency sales. Not yet, anyway. (Something makes enough money, it'll be taxed and legislated. No way around it.)

However, one has to consider court costs. Dinky MMOG Designer #32 won't likely be able to much. Imagine how much money eBay's legal department would waste if Sony's horde of lawyers were to raise the banner and go to war.

Not to mention, eBay's getting good will.

World of Warcraft alone has, for some insane reason, several million subscribers. Add 'em all up, you probably have a good twenty million people playing MMOGs of varying sorts. If even a fraction of those are frothing at the mouth zealot types (like you people who boycotted Amazon back in the day, and possibly still do, over the one click patent nonsense).. That's a problem for eBay. :P

Despite what the article states, sales of virtual items is hardly considered 'acceptable', except by people exploiting Chinese workers and the relatively few buyers of such things. (And they are few, compared to player base sizes.)

Sony vs eBay: Already in comic form (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776158)

However, one has to consider court costs. Dinky MMOG Designer #32 won't likely be able to much. Imagine how much money eBay's legal department would waste if Sony's horde of lawyers were to raise the banner and go to war.
There was a series of comics about this quite some time ago over on GU Comics [gucomics.com] back in 2001. They are:
Verant vs. eBay [gucomics.com] and
Verant vs. eBay vs. Sony [gucomics.com] .

(for those who don't know, Verant was the original developer house for Everquest. Sony owned it (at least most of it, I'm not 100% clear on this), and has since taken over the title entirely under their Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) division)

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (2, Informative)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775464)

This is insane. There's clearly a market for this activity. And there's clearly a way to handle it legitimately (i.e. IGE). Instead of setting up a parallel site (like eBay motors), they just decide they're not going to handle it at all. Way to serve your investors, ebay.
 
That's the thing though... IGE isn't legitimate. If a MMORPG publisher finds out you bought gold or items from them, they can ban your account. eBay is protecting their customers.
 
It's either this, or field the "eBay should've have sold this if they knew it could cost me the account that I spent years playing because Blizzard or SOE found out I bought gold."

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775490)

This is insane. There's clearly a market for this activity. And there's clearly a way to handle it legitimately (i.e. IGE).

Many if not most games specify in the TOS that you may not exchange game goods for money or vice versa and that to do so is grounds for account termination.

It's not entirely clear that it IS legitimate.

It's also not entirely clear that it is property.

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775820)

Except you aren't buying any properties or gold. You are buying someone else's time to do what you ask them to do.

That's how IGE and most other ingame item sellers make their cash. And it's perfectly legitimate.

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775614)

Way to serve your investors, ebay.

That's exactly what they're doing. Ebay is by far the biggest lawsuit target for these auctions. Lawsuits over IP can be huge in terms of money and PR. If they felt 100% legally confident they wouldn't have banned the auctions.

Re:shot in the foot.. and they're to blame (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775664)

Doesn't matter if there's a market for a particular item; you have to look at your gain vs investment and risk. They just decided to leave it alone as the risk outweighs the gain. If there really is a market, a braver company will pop up and support it.

If you'll remember, originally eBay allowed firearms listings on their site. As long as it is handled properly, it's perfectly legal to sell guns in such a manner (www.gunbroker.com and www.auctionarms.com both cater to this), but the number of sheer ignorant people on eBay meant that a lot of these sales WEREN'T getting handled properly (namely, if you sell out of state you have to ship to a dealer first and have the buyer pickup from the dealer so that a background check can be completed). The seller/buyer would still be legally liable for any errors in the transaction, but eBay decided that the possibility of some lawsuit out of left field simply wasn't worth the hassle, and ceded this market segment to competitors who choose to focus on this niche.

Can't you just offer real goods + virtual? (2, Insightful)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775194)

Could I still sell a pencil and include my WoW account with it?

Re:Can't you just offer real goods + virtual? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775762)

To comply with listing requirements, we are including a non-functioning hard drive with this WoW account.

What about games that encourage this? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775212)


There are games (and whatever you want to call "Second Life") that encourage virtual-to-realworld economies. Will eBay differentiate on a per-game basis?

Re:What about games that encourage this? (1)

BinaryOpty (736955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776126)

Except Second Life supports it through their website and game interface, there's really no need to go to Ebay.

But by definition, they have permission (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775214)

or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner.
How could you hand over an item in a game unless you have that authorisation. The game producers are as close to omnipotent gods as you can get, if they want to stop it, they can.

 

Mod Parent Up (1)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776044)

Mod the parent comment up, eBay's ignoring their own policy.

"OR authorized to distribute it." The IP owners' code says you can, so you can. No one's hacking when they hand over 5000 gold.

What about domain names? (4, Interesting)

bokmann (323771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775272)

Does this mean they are also going to delist auctions for domain names, downloadable software, and other, not-so-game-oriented property that also happens to be virtual?

Re:What about domain names? (1)

\\ (118555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775652)

This was my first thought. Surely we have the right to sell our own domain names, but they are virtual property. So, which is which?

eBay isn't the only web auction venue (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775940)

Surely we have the right to sell our own domain names, but they are virtual property. So, which is which?

Does Yahoo! Auctions have a domain names section?

Re:What about domain names? (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775838)

The issue, as I understand it, is the legality aspect.

If you buy a domain name, sure you do not own anything tangible. However, you do own the name. I'm not exactly sure how registrars deal with this, but I do not think they have the ability to just arbitrarily expire your domain prematurely. This example might not be the best since I do not know all the in's and out's of how registration works, but you get the idea.

With video games like World of Warcraft, the items in question "belong" to the company that maintains and operates the servers, in this case Blizzard. Blizzard owns all the data on their servers. As a user, you are granted permission to use their servers and bandwidth. The subscription you buy to play the game is merely allowing you the ability to use the service, not claiming ownership to the data on the servers.

Bottom line is these people are selling virtual items that, while they do in fact "own" it in game, they do not necessarily own the physical manifestation of it. So they are selling what they do not actually have.

I don't really understand why companies like Blizzard have a problem with this. I don't see them losing anything from users swapping around data on their servers for cash. If anything it seems like it strengthens the addiction players have to the game, which should be good for them.

Re:What about domain names? (1)

Animedude (714940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776200)

The problem is that when there is real money involved, it destroys the game. As soon as people realize that other players buy the "pink pantaloons" item for $50, you will have hundreds of players in game who kill the green stinkworms you have to kill to get that item. All the green stinkworms will be killed the second they spawn in game. No "real" player who just wants to get the pink pantaloons for himself will have a chance at killing those monsters, since the people who are in it for the money will kill him as soon as he even tries to get one of the monsters. Now repeat this scenario for every other interesting item in the game, even pure basic "money" which you might be able to get easily at a few special spots in the game, and you can see how normal players might be annoyed by the situation. This is exactly what happens, and where the big "virtual property" companies like IGE get the game money from which they sell.

Not a fair comparison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775848)

Isn't selling virtual loot in Second Life like selling someone "prayers" or "packets of happiness"? There's no way to produce a tangible or service-like "thing" from this property unless you get someone else to agree to "buy" your happiness packets for something of commonly recognized value, such as money or a service.

Game-based loot generally has little to no value _or function_ outside of the game it's based in--except for the value that people who want it ascribe to it. You can't do much with your WoW items outside of WoW except try to get other people to buy them. They don't feed you or help you to do business, they can't whiten your teeth or maintain your health. A domain name can be used to point people to a server where information can be exchanged or business transacted. By now, it's reasonable to say that people can access the Internet easily enough to interact with the domain name to get to the server; I don't think it's reasonable to say that people can easily get into Second Life in order to interact with its "virtual" property (if, say, someone had something nuts like a virtual storefront in SL). Downloadable software can be used to do work and, in many cases, can be burned to a CD to become "non-virtual" software. Does this mean that we should delist all software, period?

Is this a great country or what? (4, Insightful)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775288)



Not only can we buy crap we don't need, now we can buy crap that doesn't even exist. Whattacountry!

Re:Is this a great country or what? (2, Funny)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775404)

I take it you've never bought stock or insurance?

Re:Is this a great country or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775516)

It is a great country indeed! Our free speech gives us easy access to your crap!

Re:Is this a great country or what? (1)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775722)

No, now you -can't- buy the crap that doesn't even exist. And what does this even have to do with "the" country? I do commend you, however, on your successful bait to get some karma.

Whats the problem? (0, Troll)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775348)

Why is this a problem?...and secondly who pays for this crap? Honestly, who will spend $50 on a game and $1,000 for gold and stats? I don't play any of these stupid games...I loved that WoW southpark episode.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775522)

Honestly, who will spend $50 on a game and $1,000 for gold and stats? I don't play any of these stupid games...I loved that WoW southpark episode.
People who would rather spend $1000 dollars to get access to a part of a game that normally require thousands of hours of grinding.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775962)

Yeah, that is another discussion all together.

I saw a post a while ago, probably on here, talking about how games have changed and you now need to earn things.
You pay $60 for Grand Turismo and you can only race 3 cars on 2 tracks. Or games where you can only be 3 characters to begin with yet the game has 27 more that you can earn.
I think it is kinda silly, and I don't enjoy those games.
I got my brother Guitar Hero for christmas this year and he can only play a handful of songs out of the box...how dumb.
I know that I don't get a sense of accomplishment by "earning" the right to play more than 3 songs or race more than 3 cars.

In other games, like the Mario series, I think it is fine that you can't play level 2 before you beat level 1, but racing games and Guitar Hero-like games should be fully unlocked out of the box.
Have it so you can't play it on expert before you play it on beginner, that is fine....but unlock all the songs.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776210)

Here are the cheat codes [gamefaqs.com] for guitar hero.

Here are the cheat codes [gamefaqs.com] for guitar hero II.

They all contain cheats that unlock everything in the game. GameFaqs has all the unlocking content cheats for Gran Turismo and probably any other game that has unlockable content. So really all games come with all the content, if you really want them to.

The problem with WoW is there are no cheat codes (well techinically speaking).

Re:Whats the problem? (2, Informative)

UCSCTek (806902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775524)

People who will pay for this crap: 1) Those with MMORPG's as their biggest hobby. I know people that spend thousands on other hobbies that are more...socially mainstream. 2) People with loads of money and/or little time who don't want to bother with the "unfun parts" of the game. 3) Competitive types, who derive insane pleasure from being the only one to have a "Bastard Sword of +10 Virginity", etc.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775640)

ironically, your handle has 'elf' in it.

I pay my subs for WoW, and that's it. I earn everything ingame myself. But there is definitely a market for this. It's mostly people who have more money than time, and use that money to compensate for lack of time.

And for the record, I loved the South Park WoW episode too.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775850)

My initials are E.L.F.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776258)

and until you pointed that out I was totally unaware, and I still find the irony humorous.

So you're a REAL elf? (2, Funny)

Spazoo (1051394) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775744)

Got it.

Re:Whats the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775910)

Honestly, who will spend $50 on a game and $1,000 for gold and stats?

The same male virgins who will show up at DragonCon in a Stormtrooper outfit.

HTH.

Re:Whats the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775932)

Tell that to the guy that bought over $1,000 worth of plat from me in Everquest back in the day, and then emailed me saying his wife saw the credit card bill for the month. I was only a small scale seller doing this in spare time in college. 2 of my guildmates however decided to form their own company and pursue this full time. They invited me to join them but while it may be temporarily lucrative, I didn't exactly love doing it. They make 6 figures at this point and the oldest is 24. If you don't think there is a massive market out for MMO currency, you are sadly mistaken. While this was able to pay for all my living expenses and more in college, it may not be the most stimulating work available.

Re:Whats the problem? (1)

jfodale (1032534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776122)

In real life, making money can be extremely tedious. You wake up, go to your tedious job, then go home. Rinse, repeat. Chances are, most of the great things in your life don't happen at work, especially if your job sucks.

Imagine if there was some way you could breeze past all those tedious wasted years spent at work and just get more time doing the things you love. Would you jump at that chance?

Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775352)


The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner.

So, can I not sell used books, cd's, artwork or games?

Will eBay be shutting down Half.com?

Re:Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775574)

So, can I not sell used books, cd's, artwork or games?

Jesus H. Christ, have you never heard of First Sale Doctrine [wikipedia.org] ? I assure you that ebay's lawyers have, and will not be advising that they cut out a truly absurd percentage of their revenue over something that is legal. Anyway the two situations are not remotely similar. In the case of a book, cd, artwork, or game, you are selling physical media which contains some data.

In the case of a digital asset, you are selling a promise to make an alteration to a game world. There is no physical good and furthermore there is no intellectual property to transfer! It's not even like you exported an item out of the game world and are transferring the file representing the object. You are trying to sell something that clearly does not belong to you. You are not your character in world of warcraft. That's not even a representation of you. It's more like you've paid a monthly fee to play with someone else's action figures, in their sandbox.

Re:Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775634)


RTFA before summoning your god next time.

Yes, I know all about First Sale, but that's not the term of the UA that eBay cited in their decision, which was The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner.

RTFA Yourself. (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775832)

What is eBay's policy for selling digitally delivered goods and items?

Emphasis mine.

It clearly does not apply to CDs etc because those are not digitally delivered.

Re:Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (2, Informative)

the Brightside (945745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775908)

The reply brings up the doctrine of first sale because it controls in your specious "slippery slope" example but not the original scenario. The reason first sale does not apply to the sale of virtual goods or characteres is because control of those virtual goods or characters is granted only under a license and not by a bill of sale. That is to say, when you buy World of Warcraft, you buy the physical artifact in the box, but you do not buy what you are logging on to. The characters, world, and all items are still Blizzard's, so you never owned them in the first place, and thus can't re-sell them. You can do that with a CD, or anything else on Half.com, because what you're selling is the physical artifact, and not the rights to reproduce the music on that CD. I'm stumped that you can tell the respondent to RTFA without understanding that your initial "precedent" is irrelevant.

Re:Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776370)


Ok point taken. IANAL but I was unaware that all the elements of the game (ie: virtual property) were not considered part of that "first sale". To me it seems dangerous because if those elements are part of first sale, then they're overriding it. I would argue that if they're selling you a game in which the acquisition of virtual items is an inherent and inseparable part of the game, then those items are part of the first sale.

Re:Dangerous Precedent. How about CD sales? (3, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775784)

You must be the owner of the intellectual property *if you are selling intellectual property*.

If you're selling a physical item, you must be the owner of the physical item.

You don't own your WoW character. You own your CDs. You can sell your CDs but not your WoW character.

Done.

Sounds like a ripe opportunity... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775376)

...to open up an auction site that caters specifically to these types of transactions.

Re:Sounds like a ripe opportunity... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775994)

They've existed for years, actually. The thing is, smaller sites that deal openly with 'virtual artifacts' are a lot easier for the game owners to strongarm, and they don't carry the same weight and name recognition as eBay does.

Is eBay that lazy? (3, Interesting)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775398)

The seller must be the owner of the underlying intellectual property, or authorized to distribute it by the intellectual property owner.
For games such as World of Wacraft which explicity say in the EULA that all characters etc. are property of Blizzard and that the selling of these items break the terms of the license, I can see why you would want to delist them.

What about games that do allow or will allow buying of virtual property? It seems to me that eBay would be shooting themselves in the foot by blindly delisting all virtual items.

On a different topic, now where will I shop for a level 70 blood elf paladin?

Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17775438)

So could I create an auction selling the "service" of delivering item X to the winner of the auction? I see many people selling services on ebay...

- Chris

eBay has been doing this for years by request (1)

Shrubber (552857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775506)

This is only new because eBay is apparently taking the initiative instead of waiting for a company to tell them to do it. Sony Online Entertainment has long made sure that EverQuest auctions were taken down, and although there are always some that get through it was the fact that they did it in the first place that created alternative places to buy characters, gold, items, etc.

The really large operations are already off of eBay so it won't have any effect on the individual games themselves, people who want to buy virtual goods are still going to do it, all eBay will do is force off some of the individuals.

It is still silly, virtual sales help drive the success of MMOGs which is part of the reason why I think more companies haven't gone after these auctions on eBay. They still thrive elsewhere, and help keep customers paying their monthly subscription fees.

Playerauctions.com (1)

RonaldReagan (112997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775518)

There's already been a more comprehensive place ( http://www.playerauctions.com/ [playerauctions.com] ) that has been around for 5 or 6 years.

Not as much protection as E-Bay, though.

Am I the only one who thinks... (1)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775572)

That a game is fundamentally flawed if players pay others to play the game for them? These auctions wouldn't exist in such large numbers if the leveling process wasn't so damn tedious. But I'm just a curmudgeon who can't understand why 8 million people play WoW :p

Re:Am I the only one who thinks... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775874)

Just as easy to say, "Any game that has cheat codes is fundamentally flawed," but it's not any more true there...It doesn't matter how good the game is, there will always be someone who wants to skip to the end.

I don't use cheat codes, and I don't buy stuff off of goldfarming sites, and I don't do it because it ruins the game for me...Kills all the sense of satisfaction from accomplishing things.

But I understand why someone who's played a game up to level 60, and decides he wants to try a second character class would think, "Hmmmm, 10 days of my life, or 500 bucks out of my bank account?" Or likewise, why someone who really enjoys the game but has, you know, a life, would like to be able to compete with the 20-hour-a-day crowd...Can't play the same amount they play, but you've got a job, so what the hell?

Far as I'm concerned, if cheating makes it more enjoyable for them to play the game, more power to 'em. Not like I care because my combination of ethics and life means I can't compete with either the people who cheat, or the people who have no life, and both groups are pretty much equally annoying.

Re:Am I the only one who thinks... (1)

t-twisted (937590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775938)

You may not be the only one who thinks that but it's an incorrect assumption. The people buying the playing time of others are not the true target market of the game, they are merely people who have found a way to get "X" out of the game without experiencing "A-W" or having to bother with "Y" and "Z".

It's like the kid at the arcade who sidles up to the best player and pays them money to get the high score on a machine and put the paying kid's initials at the top - there will always be someone willing to pay for being thought the best without being the best. WoW has nothing to do with it, it's just a recent example.

Re:Am I the only one who thinks... (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776060)

Mod parent up.

You're entirely right, why the hell would anyone do that?

What's the point of even considering to play a game if you're just going to skip right to the end anyhow? That's like buying a movie ticket 2 hours late and walking into the theater to catch the last 10 minutes of the film. Bravo kids.

Re:Am I the only one who thinks... (1)

BinaryOpty (736955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776198)

It happens with any and all things: people will pay money for others to do things for them they deem that have no time/patience for. For an example:

Is mowing the lawn fundamentally flawed because people hire others to mow it? These gardeners wouldn't exist in such large numbers if the mowing process wasn't so damn tedious. But I'm just a curmudgeon who can't understand why 8 million people have lawns :p

Everyone will go to PlayerAuctions.com (2, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775616)

PlayerAuctions.com has no rules about who gets to list items and who's items get taken down. I used to ebay for about $2,000/month but ebay got mad at me. Apparently only certain people are allowed to list 500 auctions of gold selling, while my modest 5 listings a week got banned. I'm glad no one will be using Ebay anymore. PlayerAuctions.com seem cool and aren't capricious on the ban hammer.

That's nice, but... (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775698)

I'd rather eBay start delisting all those "informational CDs" instead.

I guess they're not done delisting auctions... (1)

kodec (1011233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17775904)

There are still a ton of FFXI gil auctions up. The WoW gold auctions seem to be gone, though - all that's left are 'guides' on how to make gold.

X-mass came late for IGE and co (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776006)

First off
"Given that eBay is ipso facto declaring virtual goods to be the property of the game makers and not the players who 'earn' them, what does this mean for the future of virtual rights in general?"
Regardless of what ebay "declare", this is and always has been the case.

Everything in a MMO belongs the publisher not the player. They can and will if you give them reason, take it all away without warning and there is nothing you can do about it.

So folks remember that important fact next time you hand over $$$$ for that fancy virtual sword

"I spoke today with a media representative for the company, who confirmed that eBay is now delisting all auctions for 'virtual artifacts' from the site."
They did it before with Everquest, did not work to well then either. Everquest stuff still appeared on ebay just it pretended to be something else. Only thing it really did is encourge other people to set up (unsafer) auction sites for virtual stuff.

Only ones who will really "suffer" from this is the real casual virtual goods seller (aka selling off an account because quiting so forth) as they just won't bother with the extra hassle and virtual goods buyers because without the previously mentioned type the bigger sellers will be able to charge a bit more due to basic supply and demand.

The clear winners will be the "corporate" sellers like IGE

This is a good thing (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776070)

Finally...I am sick of people purchasing stuff online and not working for it. I played EVE Online for the longest of time, and I was sick of selling Isk (EVE Money) all over Ebay. Money on EVE is something you have to work for but people can be lazy and just buy it off Ebay. I am glad they are doing this.

Still not clear. (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776086)

Last time I posted about this, some Virtual Fan Boy, with some Level 38 Condescention Skill took me to task but, here goes:

Why would someone spend good hard cash to get virtual stuff simply for the game play? This follows a question of course, after that Korean chap killed himself with exhaustion after DAYS of nonstop gaming, WHY?

Re:Still not clear. (1)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776354)

  1. Addiction. Contrary to many peoples beliefs, it does exist. I've been addicted to games before, and I've certainly seen other people who have. What I don't understand is how they can let it become so out of control the start paying money, depriving themselves of sleep, and dying. I remember reading about some kid who was playing Quake1 at one of the first Quake conventions, who refused to use the bathroom for so long he explosively defecated at his computer. Please, for the love of god, take a break every once in a while from your games kids.
  2. Accomplishment. I can only speculate from hearing people talk about games like WoW, that when some quest or section of the game has been finished, they feel like they really did something. Now if they are playing the game for release, or casually, this is all well and good. I play Quake3 every once in a while to vent from frustration and it feels pretty good when I kill that last guy. But in combination with the addiction this is just depressing.
  3. Boredom. If it's a hobby that you do in moderation, fine. But I don't think many kids really understand moderation, or the effects certain activities have on them if they do not observe it.
Here's what I think happens. Some kid gets bored and decides to try out this new game all his friends tell him is fun. Great, he picks it up as a hobby and has a blast. After a couple days/weeks it develops into an obsession, and after a month full blown addiction. Now if neither he nor anyone around him realizes it's an addiction, then he has a problem. If he is able to see the problem, then he can regulate it my limiting his play time, and there is really no harm at all. Let's say he doesn't and it becomes out of control (as most of these kids seem to be doing), then he beats some aspect of the game, feels good about it, and the whole cycle reiterates until the addiction lasts so long than the boredom overtakes it and they move on to the next game.

Kind of a long post, sorry.

Re:Still not clear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776366)

Because they haven't got a real life? Everytime I see anything about these places, all I see is that fat guy on the South Park episode with crumbs on his tshirt.

No life = Taking this whole thing seriously = LOOSER

Re:Still not clear. (1)

Xoltri (1052470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776436)

>>Why would someone spend good hard cash to get virtual stuff...?

That is not a valid question, as you can replace 'virtual stuff' in your question with anything depending on the person. I could replace it with 'a manicure' or 'clothes for my pet' or just about anything I am not interested in. My wife would replace it with my arc aaa flashlight [arcflashlight.com] for example.

As I have said before I used to run a business of sorts selling virtual items to lots of different people. Most of these people had more money than time, and that's all it really comes down to. They enjoyed playing the game, but didn't have the time to play it, so to get the most out of their time they would pay me to do their dirty work for them.

For example, if they could work in real life for 1 hour and earn enough money to pay for an item that would take them 10 hours of in game time to get, why wouldn't they pay for it? To them the amount of money is insignificant, 50 bucks here or there. But to me, who was efficient at getting what they wanted, it was profitible. My character was geared to do these tasks and my entertainment came out of the profits I was earning.

So the buyer gets what they want, and the seller gets what they want. It really doesn't have anything to do with intellectual property. Just time.

I am no longer in the business anymore, but if I were, many of my 'clients' were repeat customers and towards the end I really wasn't using eBay anyway. In any case, there will be other sites that will fill the void (there already are), so this really doesn't change anything as far as buying and selling virtual items is concerned. The only thing that really changes is eBay won't be profiting from it anymore. And I sure did pay them a lot of fees!

Re:Still not clear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776528)

I'll try to explain it to you but it's probably pointless.

Lets say it takes me 40 hours of time to farm 2000 gold in WoW. Now, in the real world I make $80 an hour. I can buy 2000 gold for say $280 (the actual amount varies from server to server). Do the math and tell me what's a better use for my time. Not to mention the fact that farming cash in a video game is boring. However, having cash is necessary for getting the best stuff for your characters and when your characters have good stuff it just makes the game much more fun.

People waste money on all sorts of things. What makes this a bigger waste than anything else? I'm just paying for entertainment. Doesn't everyone do that?

Against ToS (1)

ganiman (162726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776138)

RMT is against the terms of service for just about any MMORPG out there. It's wrong, plain and simple. And if you're the one buying into this, why do you even play? It ruins the economies of the MMORPGs involved and creates drama.

I would think, if this ever went to court, that companies like IGE would lose. As it has been proven before, the virtual items/currency/characters/etc do not belong to the player, they belong to the company running the MMORPG. IGE and companies like it are selling something that does not belong to them in the first place. Isn't that fraud?

FFXI Perspective (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776218)

RMT is illegal in XI anyway. But the issue here I think is the fact that people are selling stuff they don't own. Most Terms of Service explicitly state that the owner of your character is the company, not you. Going with the policy of eBay, you technicaly don't have the rights to list the character or money because the company doesn't allow you to.

Attention online item and gold buyers! (3, Informative)

DogAlmity (664209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17776300)

Yes, you, you people with more money than you know what to do with!

You DON'T need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on nothing!

Here's a link to website with a huge listing of charitable organizations. I promise you that giving 2 grand to help the needy or cure a disease will make you feel better than spending 2 grand on a shiny new level 70 rogue.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/ [charitynavigator.org]

Comprende?

Good God, people, they're just games!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17776334)

With all the strife, despair, and poverty in the world, how about yanking your heads out of your virtual worlds and do something constructive in the real world? I can't believe you're spending this much time and effort on things that really don't matter to 98% of the rest of the world!!!
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