Gamer steals from virtual world to pay real debts

This guy is the virtual Bernie Madoff. I suppose it was only a matter of time before this happened…What’s next: applying real criminal law to such virtual crimes? The best parts are the virtual bank run and the “ironically” segments toward the end of the excerpt.

[The following is excerpted from this source]

“Basically this character was one of the people that been running EBank for a while. He took a bunch of (virtual) money out of the bank, and traded it away for real money,” said Ned Coker, of the Icelandic company CCP, which developed the game (EVE Online, an MMORPG like World of Warcraft).

The CEO of EBank, a 27-year-old Australian tech worker who identified himself only as Richard and used the online name Ricdic, embezzled about 200 billion interstellar kredits, the game’s virtual currency.

He broke the rules of the game by exchanging the stolen virtual funds for $6,300 Australian ($5,100) with players who preferred to buy virtual money rather than earn it playing the game…

Word of the theft spread quickly within EVE. Panicked customers started a run on the bank, worried that they would lose the money they had amassed by hunting space pirates or mining asteroids.

Ironically, if Ricdic had merely stolen the online money he could have stayed in the game. But exchanging the virtual cash for real dollars broke the rules and CCP banned Richard’s EBank accounts…

Ironically, Richard had built a reputation as one of EVE’s few trusted players — a rare commodity in a game where repeatedly blowing up a violator’s spaceship was the only way to enforce some contracts.

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