Habbo Hotel = serious business!

Kids conned users out of their passwords, stole their furniture, now being questioned by police.

Yeah this was news last week but I just saw it in a paper I was reading over lunch and thought it was amusing.

I wonder if they will have to do some virtual community service as a punishment?

Real money was paid for the stuff, the items have real exchange value, and they were taken fraudulently, so it makes sense to treat it as real theft.

And down the slippery slope we gooooooooo.

Slippery slope?

I can transfer real money into WoW currency readily. If I buy gold from an eeeevil gold farmer, then get ripped off because I’m an idiot, does that mean the cops should investigate? How are they supposed to?

What happens if “theft” is a mechanic in the game? It’s ok to steal virtual goods in games without any sort of government or regulation… some time?

It makes no sense for real life police to get involved. What the hell are they going to do to be effective anyway?

Hacking accounts is not part of the game.

But where’s the monetary harm? Sulake can wave the GM wand and POOF all the furniture is back. Tying virtual world goods to their “real world value” via uncontrolled exchange rates = road to disaster.

Appeal to the company that created the world, not to local cops, and DON’T SPEND ANY REAL MONEY.

But where’s the monetary harm? Sulake can wave the GM wand and POOF all the furniture is back.

Well the same could be said of credit card fraud. Poof the Company credits back the money lost. There is still money lost though.

This is virtual fucking sofas! Object 12345 in the database had location changed from 093532 to 154322!

Again, what the hell are local cops going to do about that?

“I want to report a theft! Of my virtual sofa!”

So I should be able to hack your WoW account and sell it without any repercussions and continue to do it over and over again to all of Blizzard’s customers? Fuck the Po Lease

What if you buy an account and Blizzard deletes it? Like the previous example, what if you can take money from other players against their will through normal game mechanics?

Why do the game rules govern whether it’s a crime or not? And how come the virtual items’ status as property is changed around depending on which is convenient for the game’s operators?

Any repercussions? I complain to Blizzard, they ban you! The end. Then they restore all my stuff.

Life goes on, or more actually, life never stopped, since that was my virtual fucking sofa.

So people should be able to make a living hacking and selling accounts? And besides banning them, blizzard should not be able to take any action against them?

They won’t be able to make much of a living at it if Blizzard is effective enough at catching them.

I’d imagine what they’re doing already falls under unauthorized access and profits of crime laws anyway, without having to create any new ‘virtual theft’ laws.

Agreed. It’s fraud.

What is it that makes the money on your bank account less virtual than the sofa?

Unlike MMO objects, the ruleset doesn’t generally allow for duplication or deletion of Real Life© money.

The money in my bank account can be exchanged for real world items at 95 bazillion retailers that accept electronic transactions. The bank has real world fiduciary responsibilities to me as a customer. Up to $100k, my money is additionally guaranteed by a government organization, the FDIC.

The sofa can be used within a single computer game. It’s guaranteed by the makers of the game.

I have to agree with XPav on this, with one or two exceptions. The company may be able to bring legal charges against the hackers for misrepresenting themselves as other customers. Maybe there’s a Dutch law that forbids username/password stealing on fake websites.

Otherwise, the company should ban the hackers, and move ownership of the stolen electronic furniture back to the original accountholders. The same amount of sofas are still present in the game, so the virtual economy is the same as it was before the theft.