“My Online Gaming Character Can Beat Up Your Online Gaming Character” Leads to Man’s Arrest – Virtual Mugging with Player-Bots

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A man in Japan has just been arrested for virtual mugging. Really. He set up a player-bot – a virtual virtual gamer, if you will – and had his player-bot beat up other online gamers’ virtual characters, and steal their lunch money.

Ok, I made that last bit up. It wasn’t their lunch money. It was far more important items that the player-bot stole, like the “Earring of Wisdom” and the “Shield of Nightmare”, but I figured that unless you were a gamer you’d think that I made those up.


According to British game consultant Ren Reynolds, “There’s an ongoing war between people who make bots and games companies. And making real money out of virtual worlds is getting bigger.”

The fellow who was arrested in Japan, a Chinese national, was attempting to make his own real money by auctioning off the Earring of Wisdom, the Shield of Nightmare, and his other ill-gotten virtual goods on a Japanese online auction site.

We’re starting to develop a real collection of people out to disprove the assertion that online gamers are no different than anyone else. In addition to the couple fighting over custody of their game points, we had the kid who started phishing to pay for his online gaming habit, and the guy who actually killed someone because they sold his virtual sword.
And just last week we had the fellow who died after playing online games for nearly 50 straight hours.

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Says Reynolds, “There’s nothing exceptional about the virtual world. Wherever there is that sort of money, there’s always crime too.”

Ok, I guess by that standard the assertions are right. Online games are no different than anyone else.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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