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Second Life Shuts Down Gambling

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the more-and-more-like-first-life dept.

Role Playing (Games) 263

Tech.Luver sends us to The Inquirer, which notes the banning of all gambling in Second Life. Here is the Linden Labs blog post about the change in policy, which is, to say the least, not popular. From the article: "[T]he large chunk of users that enjoyed using in-world casinos and betting Linden Dollars on events both inside and outside the game world will now have nothing left to do. Perhaps more to the point for Linden, the move will cut off the revenues earned from those owning Casino-style islands in the game, the owners of which are some of the top contributors to the Linden coffers through currency fees and land rental."

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1 down... (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996159)

That cuts the attractions of SL by 50%...When the "Think of the Children" crowd gets 'em to ban sex, Second Life will become officially pointless.

On the one hand, I get it. Since the Linden actually has a conversion rate with "real" money, the gambling is gambling for "real" money and there are all kinds of laws about that, including last years
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which is directed at the companies that host gambling sites, rather than the players, making it much easier to enforce. I can't see Linden bucking that, though a sneaky gambling "underground" would be awesome, far far cooler than actual legal gambling.

On the other hand, what a bunch of nanny-state crap.

Re:1 down... (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996225)

what a bunch of nanny-state crap

It's actually a twofer for the senators, they get to throw a bone to their religious right and nanystate voters and they get to support the interests of their entrenched corporate gambling masters.

OFFICIAL Phil Spector NOT GUILTY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996375)



OFFICIAL Phil Spector NOT GUILTY !!

Re:1 down... (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996489)

It's so nice when bipartisan initiatives take off. Blech. Parent = +1 Informative.

Can't we give congress more vacations? Maybe if they were in session less they'd make fewer interferances into the lives of the common citizen. In the early years of the US, didn't congress only meet for a few weeks out of the year?

Congress makes laws. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996643)

Therefore, in order to justify their salaries, they have to make new laws.

Over time, all the easy laws are created. Which doesn't leave much for Congress to make laws about.

What we need to do is to have all laws expire after 12 or 16 years (or whatever) so Congress can spend their time voting to pass old laws again.

That way your Congress Critters could justify their salaries AND we'd have a chance of getting rid of stupid, bad laws.

On the downside, once you finally got a law passed despite all the corporate lobbying against it, you'd have to fight the same battle again in 12 years.

Re:Congress makes laws. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996777)

Na, I like my idea. Going along with the old idea, that all the good laws are obvious and the fewer laws the better. All laws on the federal level should require a 3/4 majority to pass, then require only a 3/7 (or something just under 1/2) majority to strike old laws (meaning striking the whole law as passed and line item striking would provide the ability for 3/7 to effectively create their own laws). You would get rid of crap laws easier and make it tougher to create new ones. So they would have something to do... getting rid of old laws.

Re:Congress makes laws. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996887)

In many states laws have a time limit and they automatically expire and must be repassed.

The problem is as enough of these laws build up, the representatives start repassing them as big clumps.

I would like to see laws that last forever require a 90% majority. Laws that last a lifetime (50 years) would require a 66% majority. A 51% majority could only pass laws that would last 8 years.

Re:1 down... (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996785)

Didn't Abramoff make a career living off that twofer?

Re:1 down... (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996249)

so SL allows you to have sex with kids or something? that sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I've never played it.

Re:1 down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996277)

You have never played it but you know you are going to go home and try it now that you know it lets you do that huh?

Re:1 down... (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996471)

In a nutshell: Yes. Your Avatar with a few mods can have "sex" with an Avatar that looks like a child, one that may even be controlled by a minor, though far more likely by a 55 year old guy who could win a "Jabba the Hut" lookalike contest.

Here is a link to a virtual worlds site that's been following Germany's ongoing hissy over virtual child porn. [virtualworldlets.net] It's funny how we're such a conservative country compared to pretty much every country in europe, but our conservative government is really trying to push us in the direction of their weird morality laws.

I still think all this stuff devolves on parents to monitor and supervise their kids; in the absence of a reliable way to make sure underage people aren't involved, that's the only workable solution.

Re:1 down... (0)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997263)

I still think all this stuff devolves on parents to monitor and supervise their kids; in the absence of a reliable way to make sure underage people aren't involved, that's the only workable solution.

The problem being that most parents are far less tech-savvy than their kids. I seriously doubt most parents have a handle on their first life, let alone Second Life.

Re:1 down... (2, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996373)

I find this kind of funny because when I played, back in '03, one of the examples they gave you on how to write scripts, was a slot machine program.

But anyway, isn't it still possible to gamble online in the US? I see ads for, I think, 888.com all the time, or used to. How can that be legal but not this?

On the one hand, I get it. Since the Linden actually has a conversion rate with "real" money, the gambling is gambling for "real" money and there are all kinds of laws about that
Yes, such as tax law. As I've argued before [slashdot.org] , there are serious consequencs to the convertibility of online game currencies. If it can qualify for gambling laws, it can qualify for ingame taxation.

I also remember that I started a "bank" in SL. No interest or investment or anything, you'd just store your money there for one day each week to trick the server into thinking you're poor and giving you an allowance. I wonder if they'll regulate that...

Re:1 down... (1)

Neo_piper (798916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996703)

Well a quick WOHIS of 888.com and SecondLife.com shows that 888 is registered as operating from the British territory of Gibraltar, where as Secondlife is registered out of San Francisco California. So last time I checked American tax law didn't apply to overseas companies.

Re:1 down... (1, Troll)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996493)

SatanicPuppy (611928) When the "Think of the Children" crowd gets 'em to ban sex, Second Life will become officially pointless.

having "sex" in SecondLife, or any other game, is already pointless. That you would even call it sex, and not at least "sex," is very sad. You do understand the point of sex is, well, the physical touch, and the bonding from the intimacy? Neither of which is remotely possible, err, remotely. Rather, neither of which is remotely possible in a game.

Wake me when it looks at all remotely realistic, then maybe there will be room for the deeper philosophical and psychological discussions. As it is now? Ummm...it's not even as realistic as "erotic" manga, and even that is sad.

Yeah, sure, mod me troll and flamebait. "Sex" in SecondLife isn't "sex," it's just sex. Something so similar to the real thing, one can use the same word for it.

Was SecondLife "pointless" when neither of these two things were the primary attractions? Because it was that way for a while...

Re:1 down... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996597)

Don't look at me, I don't even like phone sex.

Anyway, I used too many "air quotes" in that post already, without adding more. If someone is confused enough about the nature of SL to think that they can have actual sex, I don't feel any requirement to enlighten them.

Re:1 down... (4, Insightful)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996647)

I think you miss the point of sex in Second Life, or anywhere else online. 'Physical touch' has nothing to do with it.

Internet sex is all about the fantasy. The point of it is doing things you would never do, whether that be new partners, positions, or species. It might be as timid as a housewife who would never cheat in RL experiencing a fake affair, or it might be as extreme as snuff/vore/rape play. Either way, it's about experiences one would never and should never pursue in real life. Making it more 'realistic' -- as in better graphics -- would be nice, but making it real would *ruin* the concept.

You don't pay hookers in real life to have sex with you, you pay them to go away afterwards. You don't pay hookers over the internet to have sex with you, you pay them to be imaginary and stay that way.

Re:1 down... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996979)

You do understand the point of sex is, well, the physical touch, and the bonding from the intimacy?

I would simply say that the only reason for sex is to procreate, nothing more. The whole bonding due to physical intimacy or "consummating of a marriage" / chastity cliche are all based on man-made social 'rules' which differ depending on ones society and have nothing to do with it's actual purpose. Though, I do agree follow some of those social rules, doesn't change the point of sex.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:1 down... (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997237)

If you believe the desire for it developed because of its evolutionary function in procreation, then surely you can also see the evolutionary benefit to the offspring in having parents feel bonded to each other. My point is that that is something natural, not something "social."

Re:1 down... (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997063)

so you're saying there's no sex on the internet...

Re:1 down... (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997245)

so you're saying there's no sex on the internet...
None at all. There are several Libraries of Congress' worth of pr0n, though.

Re:1 down... (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997331)

Except for this:

Wiki: Teledildonics [wikipedia.org]

So you see, there is sex on the internet after all!

Re:1 down... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996705)

That cuts the attractions of SL by 50%...When the "Think of the Children" crowd gets 'em to ban sex, Second Life will become officially pointless.

It's like a storm in a jar. I agree it's not fair to Linden Labs. But.

Sex in Second Life - isn't that already pointless. I've always wondered what kind of people hang into this game. It's all about gambling and 3D porn, it's pretty sad.

Looks like they will have to move offshore (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997227)

To some country with more relaxed online laws, maybe including startup of a new company ;-)
Like Slysoft, which distributes some programs that were originally developed by a German/Swiss company but are no longer legal to sell in the EU(CD/DVD copy programs including CSS decryption).

Gambling, sex and rock'n'roll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996175)

Anyone wanna bet how long before online sex will be banned in SL?

Protest today in SL (1)

zaren (204877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996177)

Just got this from one of my SL groups:

"Protest the end of SL Casinos!
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clementina/188/122 [slurl.com] Protest Encroachment of
Real-Life US law into Second Life... 1 PM today... pplease IM all your
friends about this demonstration at governor Linden's Mansion.."

Totally pointless. (4, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996315)

Protesting in Second Life about stupid laws passed by Congress is as useful as protesting in Australia about stupid laws passed by Congress. It's possible (if unlikely) that other people will notice you and report it to someone whose opinion matters, but you can't blame Linden Labs for following the law any more than you could blame Australia's Prime Minister for being unable to change U.S. policy.

Re:Totally pointless. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996639)

Well, it's a good thing that Australia isn't based in the US...

<silly voice> I would tax (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996821)

foreigners living outside the country.

Re:Totally pointless. (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996885)

Bad bad analogy. The Australian Prime Minister isn't subject to U.S policy.

Second Life (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996201)

Isn't that thing that was big for a while last year? I thought the companies and advertisers left it in droves.

Re:Second Life (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996701)

From what I saw, only weirdos, politicians and journalists seemed to be interested in that thing.

sow plz (-1, Offtopic)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996215)

[Druidd00d] sow plz!
[Shamanguy] but you're a druid. You have sow.
[Druidd00d] dont have it memmed sow plz!
[Necroboi] Wtf is my pet?
[Pallygirl] I saw it attacking that merchant over the hill a minute ago
[Merchant03] "Guards! Guards! Defend me!"
(Merchant03 hits Necroboi for 623!)
(Merchant03 hits Necroboi for 623!)
(Merchant03 hits Necroboi for 623!)
(Necroboi has been killed by Merchant03)
[Shamanguy] zomg!
[Druidd00d] sow plz!

What ever happened to mmogs being about silly stuff like that?

Re:sow plz (2, Insightful)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996273)

Since this paticular MMO happens to involve large amounts of real money.

Re:sow plz (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996399)

so where is the burnded woods this week? :)

OK time to start Third Life (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996251)

Where we will allow gambling and all other vices not available in Second Life.

Re:OK time to start Third Life (4, Interesting)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996557)

That's right -- go make your own virtual life, with blackjack, and hookers!

Seriously, the entire economy of SL revolved around gambling, prostitution, and the sale of devices intended to aid gambling and prostitution. I'm having a hard time picturing how this is going to fall out. A flight to an lawless 'third life' might actually happen.

Re:OK time to start Third Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19997295)

If Second Life is a simulated world within "First Life", wouldn't Third Life have to be some sort of meta-simulation within Second Life?

At least (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996255)

Well at least they can still buy and sell genitals. If LL ever shut that down... that would be a low blow.

Re:At least (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996525)

You know what your problem is, besisdes the fact that you're fucking you next door naighbor's little boy (he does like the blow jobs, doesn't he?)? It's that you're dishonest about your weakness. If you like boys, hit the streets in Seattle and find what you need. Whatever you want, 13 and up, you can get on the street for a fin, so stop fucking your next door naighbor's little boy and pick up a street whore to take care of your needs.

I bet... (5, Funny)

bumby (589283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996295)

I bet $100 that people will continue to gamble anyways, anyone want to bet against?

Re:I bet... (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996943)

I bet $100 that people will continue to gamble anyways, anyone want to bet against?
Gambling online! Thats preposterous, I'll give you 3 to 1!

Here's an idea... (5, Insightful)

computerman413 (1122419) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996299)

1) Move to country with no Internet gambling laws 2) Start an online game like Second Life, but with gambling allowed 3) Profit! Seriously, I think the only reason the government banned online gambling was because they couldn't effectively tax it.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996381)

Seriously, I think the only reason the government banned online gambling was because they couldn't effectively tax it.


Why couldn't they effectively tax it? If the company running the game simply started reporting conversions from in-game currency to US dollars to the IRS as income it would do two things:

  • Make it difficult for people to avoid taxes on their winnings and profit
  • Discourage people from converting between in-game money and real money, thus helping their profits


The same standards could be applied to all internet gambling. This isn't about taxes. It's about protecting "the children," and the existing gambling establishment.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996543)

And never plan on setting foot on US jurisdiction because you'll get arrested like the Betonsports guys.

Games of Luck? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996319)

Baccarat
Blackjack
Poker

Don't those games have some skill to them?

I recall that efforts have been made to reclassify poker as a game of skill and not a game of chance, to get around gambling laws.

Re:Games of Luck? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996441)

The main difference between poker and blackjack...

Blackjack is a game of luck that involves skill.

Poker is a game of skill that involves luck.

Re:Games of Luck? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996793)

If playing in a casino,

With enough skill at blackjack, you can beat the casino.
With enough skill at poker, you can pay the casino and beat your friends.

Re:Games of Luck? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996775)

Just about all SL's casino games, including the ones you listed, are single-player affairs generated by scripted machines. There aren't human dealers or other human players to out-skill.

Re:Games of Luck? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996837)

The dealers behavior in blackjack is always scripted, even in a real casino. Just because you're playing against an algorithm doesn't mean it's not a game of skill.

Luck vs shady code (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997321)

That's a very good point, but one which leads to another factor in this whole situation I hadn't even considered before.

In legal casinos such as those in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, the human dealers and digital gambling machines are subject to stringent licensing and auditing procedures. However, in SL anyone with rudimentary building and scripting skills can build a gambling machine, and anyone who buys a piece of virtual land could put a casino on it. Since nobody was watching them, they could fiddle with those algorithms in any way they like without consequence. As with games on some random shady website, skill might be of little to no importance depending on the scruples of the proprietor.

Re:Games of Luck? (1)

zimm0who0net (900786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997155)

This is interesting in that it's a battle that has been going back and forth between the pro and anti gambling forces forever. Back in the 40's some sly slot machine manufacturers put "skill-stops" on their machines that allowed you to press a button to stop the reel when you wanted. For a number of years these were "legal" because they were classified as games of skill. Eventually, however, the government always comes back with new definitions that close the loopholes.

Casinos in MMOs (4, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996363)

Other MMOs have (player-run) casinos, because they don't support exchange between their virtual currencies and real-world cash. Now, here's a couple questions.

If Linden introduced a "play money" currency in the game that wasn't officially convertible to cash, but allowed players to decide to accept it for whatever they wanted (including in-game cash), would that also be illegal in the US?

Sony Online games are divided into two, with a minority of servers for games like EQ2 allowing real-money transactions and the majority disallowing it. Is gambling legal on the majority of those servers, but illegal in the minority?

This really does push the question of how virtual these virtual worlds really are.

This is a good thing. (4, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996413)

To summarize my recent rambling journal post on the subject, [slashdot.org] there are many SL residents (including myself) who appreciate this move. The casinos really tended to trash the sims in which they set up shop, in both functional and aesthetic ways.

It's worth noting that online gambling has been illegal in the US for a while now, [slashdot.org] and it's something of a surprise that Linden let things continue for so long.

Re:This is a good thing. (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996927)

Sure, because we should limit what people can do in a free society because you don't like how things look. The fact is gambling should not be illegal at all, just like prostitution or "illegal" drugs.

Re:This is a good thing. (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997043)

SL is not a "free society," it's a simulated world which is operated by an American entity, and which uses virtual currency that is openly exchangable for the real thing. As such, it needs to abide by the law or it puts its entire operation at legal risk.

At any rate, the issue isn't gambling itself, at least for me. I'm no gambler beyond the occasional lotto scratchcard, but I don't mind at all that it exists. Let people have their fun, I just won't be joining in. However, the implementation of same in Second Life had many negative effects on everything in SL that was not gambling-related. This is why I won't miss it.

Re:This is a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996969)

I've never played, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt the whole idea behind second life that its just like the real world, except virtual? In which case, if you and a group of people like you dont like gambling around where you live, you should just try to ban it in your community (in the game, not by appealing to linden labs). So, I dont know if there is a government or something, but just make it so that casinos in some island are voted illegal by the people living there, and thus they are not allowed? Just like in real life? As opposed to having "GOD" come in and just make gambling completely illegal?

Re:This is a good thing. (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997229)

Jesus. You really need to get a First Life.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996449)

This is such old news, been happening for months. They've been removing classifieds and land descriptions that even have the word 'casino' or 'gambling', even if it says 'no gambling!'. They're only doing this because the government made them, so it's not really their fault, though it does suck.

Friendster all over again (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996467)

Anyone remember Friendster? It was MySpace before MySpace existed. Then the founder tried to intrusively control how people related to each other. Result?: Friendster died, and MySpace, amongst a host of impersonators, but one that wasn't so intrusive (at least socially, nevermind MySpace's instrusive assault on your sense of web aesthetics) catapulted into popularity. Read all about it in detail [inc.com] .

So if I were a betting man (no pun intended), I would abandon Second Life now, and look into the most promising of Second Life's impersonators that doesn't intrude on your freedoms like Second Life.

People do not like unnecessary intrusions on their freedoms, in real life or on the Internet. However, unlike real life, people can vote with their feet a lot more effectively on the Internet, and simply leave and encamp somewhere else, en masse. Carpe Diem, Website investors.

The promise of Second Life, if there is any at all, is that it would allow you to do things you can't do in real life. So what does Second Life do? Make it more just like real life, and kill off what would make Second Life attractive to anyone who would want to go there in the first place, and/ or stay there. (Smacks forehead.)

In Second Life's defense, perhaps they are under political pressure to abandon online gambling, which would make sense owing to being based in the USA and the USA's current retarded attitude towards online gambling [wikipedia.org] .

Well then relocate your servers to Antigua [wikipedia.org] .

Or make a poor policy choice, piss off your users, and wither and die.

Study the Friendster warning example carefully, dear Second Life executives.

Re:Friendster all over again (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996809)

Well then relocate your servers to Antigua.
I'm not sure you understand the current status of the US internet gambling law. Antigua is fighting the US in the WTO over the fact that the US's restrictions on online gambling are against WTO treaty, since they favor US gambling houses. However, currently the law is in force, and Antiguan casinos cannot wire winnings to the US.

Note that under current US law, restrictions on foreign casinos operating online are tighter than restrictions on domestic casinos operating online. Moving your servers to Antigua doesn't help.

Joining the PPA [pokerplayersalliance.org] can help. Not sure how the Antigua policy forum went on Tuesday. Contacting your Senators & Reps can help (marginally).

Re:Friendster all over again (1)

infinite8s (106243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997267)

> Well then relocate your servers to Antigua.

That doesn't matter - if you are based in the US you can still be prosecuted. I'm sure the Linden folk don't want to go to jail.

Re:Friendster all over again (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997335)

Not to pick nits at you, but that Inc article is wrong: SixDegrees.com [wikipedia.org] preceded both Friendster and Myspace as the original social networking site. The fact is that they managed to screw it up, too.

Interesting (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996469)

I know other games don't make it as easy to convert your 'real' money to virtual currency, but I have yet to see a player-run casino banned in Everquest, EQ2, etc. (Can't speak for WoW ... didn't play long enough to tell).

Re:Interesting (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996709)

They banned player run casinos in WoW in early 2005(iirc). You couldn't even gamble for "real" money; they had some sort of "it's not what we want the game to be about and there are a lot of instances of fraud" crap. Not much of a stink over it.

Re:Interesting (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996771)

interesting. I haven't really played since 2 months after the launch (hit 60 and was nothing to do) ... I did run a casino for a short time myself, it was legit, and fun... I dressed up my character, role played, and had drinks and themed food. Small time shop didn't run more than a few hundred gold either way but it was a fun experience.

Re:Interesting (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996879)

Yea, I thought they were cool as well. Imho, the thing that makes a game great is when people take it to the next level and do things that you didn't originally foresee...That shows that your system is powerful and flexible.

I played WoW for a good long time. Still have an account, but I haven't signed in in a month or so. It always takes me a while, depending on how cool the game is, but I get dead tired of the damn eternal item grind.

Re:Interesting (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997113)

EQ actually has a sanctioned casino ... you buy tokens with your platinum (currency), and turn in tokens for a roll at prizes. There are different casino games for each class. You can win minor prizes like fireworks, food, and more tokens to play with. The big prize is a 'Golden Ticket', which you then turn in for a random prize (which includes rare-ass uber items that were nerfed or don't drop anymore, super fast mounts, etc.) Its a good money sink on the economy, EQ needs it :)

Darnit. (0)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996479)

Back to work, I guess.

End Gambling Prohibition (-1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996485)

Gambling Prohibition is stupid, like other forms of "sin regulation". Government could use its legal powers to require that gambling venues offer real therapy service referrals to compulsive gamblers. They could even require gambling venues to require gamblers meeting the medical profile to get counseling before gambling.

It would probably not work entirely. Real gamblers have an unmatched brilliance for finding holes in any system, to get what they want. And of course gambling venues love compulsive gamblers, because everyone loses in the long run, and compulsives are some of their biggest customers.

But offering treatment and coordinated entry points to it would work a lot better at fixing the actual problem, damaging (often life-ruining) self-destructive behavior by people who prove they are freaks who can't handle the freedom that they're born with. And actually possibly retrain them to handle the freedom, rather than just turn them away to a different venue where they can destroy themselves (and others who depend on them) without being noticed early enough.

And along the way, the rest of us (the vast majority of adults) who can gamble without these unnecessary "protections" can have our fun. Without the puritans damning us to their hell.

Re:End Gambling Prohibition (2, Insightful)

StToast (222470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996615)

I'm pretty sure it has less to do with 'sin regulation' and more to do with tax evasion and money laundering. Governments have proven time and again that 'sin taxes' are a viable source of income.

Re:End Gambling Prohibition (1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996947)

Regulating gambling has to do with a lot of things, including just exercising control over people's lives like the Church used to do. Which gets the government all kinds of Church baggage that it should not have, like "faithy" followers instead of skeptical citizens.

Bottom line is that governments have no business regulating compulsive behavior except when it damages others who didn't accept the risk, and when the compulsives damage themselves so consistently that there's a medical solution that needs strong promotion to overcome the compulsive's defenses.

Re:End Gambling Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19996889)

There are motives that are related to "sin" regulation but isn't there also side effects to the society as a whole that are not related to sin that some people do not want in their area? One is the potential for increases in crime and violence from people that let gambling take over their life and hang out near places where gambling is taking place, same with heavy drug abuse or a brothel or hookers. Of course there is also areas that have above average crime and violence and the closest gambling venues are hundreds of miles away. I guess the real question is are the non sin related side effects we commonly hear about from gambling real issues or are they just created for fear mongering by the people that believe gambling should be stopped because it is a sin. I know I would not want hookers hanging out near my house because of the slum that comes with them, I do not have experience with what really comes with a gambling establishment. I assume hookers would though which brings this full circle.
   

Re:End Gambling Prohibition (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997087)

Those people also smoke cigarettes, spit on the sidewalk, jaywalk... There's plenty of crimes to bust people on when they actually do them. These gambling laws punish the innocent along with the guilty. That's unamerican.

Also, heavy drug abuse, prostitution, and these other sin "crimes" are none of the government's business, except perhaps in zoning regulations and public health.

If we want to use the hammer of criminalization to help solve those much narrower problems, we could just lock up everyone who ever breaks any law (or biblical commandment, or disobeys their fortune cookie), and put them to "useful work" in government factories and farms.

I don't like my neighborhood filled with the kinds of yuppies who come with a law firm in my neighborhood, hanging out in my local bars and restaurants, talking to my kids on their way home from school. And the huge white collar crime waves so many of them run all day from the neighborhood that do a lot more damage than hookers, drugs, gamblers. I don't want them seducing my children into their way of life. Which is why I live in areas which are zoned so that those kinds of law firms are mostly excluded. But of course I accept that they have their right to make their living (until caught in an actual crime causing actual, nonconsensual, damage) somewhere. Somewhere else, where my preferences aren't offended, but their right to make their living is unimpeded.

Re:End Gambling Prohibition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19997389)

I was thinking about the side effect of those in the area that do not gamble. I mean, your neighbor could blast music 24x7 but there are laws to prevent them from doing that. The law also prevents you from blasting your music 24x7 but overall, everyone will be much happier with the law. Is blasting music really hurting anything? No one would typcially be questioned with blasting music unless someone else called to complain. Is anyone being hurt by it? No, but it does lower the quality of life for those in the area that are not directly involved with the music source. How about a neighbor with a dog that barks all night? There are hundreds of laws that the action is not really "bad" but an annoyance for others. I don't know if gambling really lowers the quality of life in an area, that was my question. Does it or are the people that claim that it does really making that up when the real reason they are pushing to rid of it is because of sin.

Getting close to the 2000000 slashdot post...

So is sex for money in Second Life prostitution? (5, Interesting)

HeavyDevelopment (1117531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996517)

So if logic follows regarding gambling, Linden $ and real world money in Second Life, would virtual sex in Second Life for Linden $ be prostitution?

Re:So is sex for money in Second Life prostitution (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996801)

It would be silly to go that far for something that is nothing more than a kind of enhanced pink phone.

Re:So is sex for money in Second Life prostitution (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996983)

No, because "virtual sex" isn't even close to the real thing whereas "virtual gambling" is actually real gambling.

SL - The new Amish paradise! (-1, Troll)

bogidu (300637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996545)

First no sex, now no gambling . . . . next your avatar will have to have a long white beard!

Re:SL - The new Amish paradise! (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996663)

I never wear buttons but I got a cool hat,
and my homies agree, I really look good in black, fool!

Re:SL - The new Amish paradise! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996671)

"No sex?" Have you actually seen SL at all?

Re:SL - The new Amish paradise! (1)

bogidu (300637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997107)

It was a reference to the recent banning of two adults who were roleplaying.

Player run Casino-style games (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996563)

are easy to fix so only the people that you want can win.

Re:Player run Casino-style games (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996607)

And yet, hundreds of thousands of people visit real-life casinos around the world every year. The fact that you lose money in the hopes of winning money hasn't stopped anyone yet. I don't understand why SL would stop gambling for the reason that "the house" is cheating. US legalities, sure, but not over that.

Win Win Lose Lose (2, Insightful)

DuBois (105200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996585)

Prohibitions against gambling work just as well as prohibitions against alcohol and other mind-altering substances. i.e. not at all, in either the real world or a virtual one. It's a losing battle, and Linden Labs will eventually lose this one.

I'd suspect that Linden is under some pressure from some government somewhere, and that's the real reason they're doing this.

There will always be people willing to trade their hard-earned Linden dollars for the thrill of possibly winning a lot more from someone else, no matter how long the odds. Those people will now take their money elsewhere, to the detriment of Linden Labs and all the denizens of Second Life.

Somehow I don't think (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996725)

Alcohol and drug abuse are problems in the virtual world. Perhaps my avatar could get drunk, but that wouldn't get me drunk.

In other news... (4, Funny)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996595)

Blizzard no longer allows you to roll for epic drops in WoW... duel flags are immediately set for all players clicking "need"

The worst part is... (1)

the_crowing (992960) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996653)

that some of the people that now have nothing to do in Second Life might have to get a first life

Haven't they released the source code? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996791)

Can't people now set up their own SL servers with their own rules?

Re:Haven't they released the source code? (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997037)

Sure they can.
Just not in the US, mind you.

Or any other country that prohibits online gambling for that matter.

But where's the fun in that?
Sure, you could actually earn a bit of buck on creating "Casino" servers, and charge people for evering entering it and what not.

As I see it, that kind of ruins the rest of it.
If you're in Second Life for the gambling, sure, that's a solution.
But you'll miss out on everything else that goes on in "Second Life"

Jurisdiction in Virtual Worlds (1)

iBod (534920) | more than 7 years ago | (#19996819)

Disclaimer: I'm not a 2nd-lifer or into these kinds of things, so I may be talking out of my ass, but I was wondering...

Where does Jurisdiction lie in a virtual world who's only physical manifestation lies in a bunch of web servers spread all over the world?

Re:Jurisdiction in Virtual Worlds (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997115)

In the company that owns it I'd assume.
Linden Labs, who owns and runs Second Life, is based in the US, and so they are under US laws.

Re:Jurisdiction in Virtual Worlds (1)

baturcotte (717233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997125)

Probably end up like Texas computer crime law...under the penal code here, the venue for a computer crime is the residence of the criminal, the victim, or any county through which the communication passed...

Re:Jurisdiction in Virtual Worlds (1)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997325)

Jurisdiction lies with the company/person that runs the virtual world. And as long as they have an employee in the US, the US will bitch slap that employee from what I understand.

Real Life (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997179)

Hi, My name is Frosty. I'm a real person with a real "life". what is this "Second Life"?

Linden = Dictatorship (3, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997183)

It's a benign one, but in the end, you have no rights. They can do anything they want to you without notice at any time and your only option is to stop participating.

Premis is not accurate (3, Insightful)

HMKAI (924435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997277)

From the article:

"The large chunk of users that enjoyed using in-world casinos and betting Linden Dollars on events both inside and outside the game world will now have nothing left to do."

This assumes that those users are ONLY into casinos. There is plenty left to do other than gambling. Yes, obviously some people will pack up and go away, but others will simply find new ways to amuse themselves in-world. After all, lots of these same people have significant emotional investment in their in-world persona's and dumping them at the first obstacle will be unlikely.

Also, I'd bet that underground gambling rings spring up, if they haven't already. God knows prohibition didn't stop drinking, and this won't stop gambling.

Dungeon Keeper 2 next (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#19997361)

can't let the beasts win too much $
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