Danny Vogely sent us a query that follows on from a comment by Euphrosyne in an earlier post:
"[A] possibility this model brings up is DRM for game items. If you can only buy items from the developer, then it is relatively easy to make sure that you don't sell/give that item to others (via internal or external means). Avatars and possessions could be checked against each other for "proper authorization". Seems likely to infuriate players, but is still a possibility."
Vogely is writing a piece for Indicare and asks if we know of examples of DRM in VWs. I don't but the hivemind might. Comments welcome.
My one observation on this is to ask whether DRM is necessary in this context. Locking content makes a lot of sense where you need to gain commercial return from investment and the only way to do this is to send the content out into the big bad world, with nothing to protect it but an electronic chastity belt. Content (or virtual property) in VWs and MMOGs is inherently locked because it is just a database entry under the control of the VW owner. I can see that there might be a call for DRMing VW assets to stop eBaying, but since in-world alienation of property is a given (there are no commmunist worlds that I can name, at least amongst the big worlds) I would guess that this kind of prohibition is going to cause problems.