I often say that you can only tell if some FC application is successful when you see crime start to appear. Games are now massive successes in creating value and payment systems, again showing that the Finance layer is more important than the rest put together.
Computer characters mugged in virtual crime spree 11:31 18 August 2005 NewScientist.com news service Will Knight
A man has been arrested in Japan on suspicion carrying out a virtual mugging spree by using software "bots" to beat up and rob characters in the online computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then exchanged for real cash.
The Chinese exchange student was arrested by police in Kagawa prefecture, southern Japan, the Mainichi Daily News reports.Posted by iang at August 21, 2005 12:06 PM | TrackBack
Several players had their characters beaten and robbed of valuable virtual objects, which could have included the Earring of Wisdom or the Shield of Nightmare. The items were then fenced through a Japanese auction website, according to NCsoft, which makes Lineage II. The assailant was a character controlled by a software bot, rather than a human player, making it unbeatable.
Ren Reynolds, a UK-based computer games consultant and an editor of the gaming research site Terra Nova, says the case highlights the problem of bots in virtual worlds. Arms race
By performing tasks within a game repetitively or very quickly, bots can easily outplay human-controlled characters, giving unscrupulous players an unfair advantage. Many games firms employ countermeasures to detect this bot activity. For example, they can ask the character questions or present them with an unfamiliar situation and monitor their response.
"There's an ongoing war between people who make bots and games companies," he told New Scientist. "And making real money out of virtual worlds is getting bigger."