He was killed.
Since 2007, by Game Industry Promotion Act and its implementing decree, S. Koreans should not do business for exchanging or mediating exchanges of, and repurchasing in-game money or data like in-game items that are produced or obtained by copying, adapting, and hacking the game program or by way of abnormal game-play.
The word of 'by way of abnormal game-play' has been generally understood as 'using Bots in game', and many sweatshop owners and RMT dealers who broke the law were punished.
On the other hand, Supreme Court of S. Korea ruled that RMT itself is not totally banned by this act in the sphere of MMORPGs where in-game items are basically obtained by sweat, not by luck. So, RMT dealers can buy and sell in-game items as far as those are produced and obtained by normal play.
In summary - human play : normal(OK) vs. Bot play : abnormal(banned).
But, practically, it's not that easy to tell Bot play from human play. Korean government have been worrying about the growth of the grey market of RMT and the crime related to this. Government agency assumes that 60% of RMT in korea were unhealthy one.
To cope with this matter, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism just now amended the implementing decree. Next july, the revised implementing decree will be effective. This time, Korean government enlarges the scope/depth of the word 'abnormal'.
Using the others personal information & Doing for a business also belong to the scope of 'abnormal'.
In summary - amateur play : normal vs. pro play : abnormal
(Probably the first 21th century law that is Johan Huizinga's Magic Circle graven on)
According to korean Value Added Tax act, anybody who supplies goods or services for business and earns more than 12,000,000 won in 6 months should register as "enterpreneur". Enterpreneur shall be liable to pay VAT. This new Implementing Decree do not permit game player be the enterpreneur of VAT act.
This is the end of my brief introduction to the new game law of S. Korea on RMT.
For me, it seems somewhat odd and interesting that Korea recently enacted another law called E-sports Promotion Act. The definition of E-sports is 'through the medium of games, human compete for the record, or win the game against human'. Of course, Main purpose of this act is to assist pro-gamer who play StarCraft, Dungeon & Fighter etc for a living.
Earning REAL money from the inferno be banned, while from the space is not.
Former relating posts.
Holy hellions, Batman, 2012 is off with a bang.
Too bad about SWTOR and the LEGO Universe, but Guild Wars 2 might actually ship this year, and there are some other exciting things brewing. Tera Online might emerge unscathed from its legal machinations and make its promised launch date of May 2012. Blizzard is making a 'casual' MMO (with product placements)...
But here's what I'm waiting for...
Also, don't forget that DiGRA (the Digital Games Research Association) is holding its semi annual conference in Tampere, Finland (where all the very cool kids are). They need papers and reviewers, so get in touch!
Ha, got your attention, eh? But this is actually an important topic, of the 'reality is broken' variety. Like the fact that we're obsessed over sexting and other digital phenomena related to sex, yet we have done little to improve sex education in this country. In fact, we have vilified and cut funding to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that save people's lives by providing them critical information that affects them physically, emotionally, spiritually. I ranted about this on Quora recently:
Sexting isn't the issue. The lack of good, ongoing and honest sex education and support (from elementary school) is. I personally don't care what kids do in this regard, as long as they are well-informed and not succumbing to pressure from peers or romantic partners. And obviously this behavior is probably not appropriate in classrooms.
As an anthropologist, I will tell you that sex play in early pubescence and later is very, very normal, and in some cultures, very well tolerated with positive effect. We are extremely backwards in our proclivity to bury our heads in the sands.
I do, however, think all kids need to be educated on the potential ramifications of having a digital trail of activity like this, and what it can mean in terms of reputation (immediately) and career later. It's outrageous that kids learn most of what they know about sex from each other, tv/movies and the Internet. This leaves gaping holes in their knowledge and their judgment about something that can affect their lives in such profound ways, and can even lead to illness and death.
I've been thinking for some time that games could play an important role in helping to eliminate a lot of the misinformation that is spread among kids and teens. Typically this sort of thing is handled a la the serious game: take some existing curriculum - the sort of thing you'd see in a high school sex ed class (if a school is lucky enough to have it). 'Chocolate-covered broccoli'. Seldom about the realities of sex and the social and emotional contexts that surround it. And boring.
One of my favorite sites is Ask Alice, a community effort from Columbia University that provides a forum for kids and teens to ask any question about sex, drugs, what have you, and get a truthful and reasonable answer. I think it's an incredible resource, but most people don't seem to know about it. So where are people getting their sexual educations?
I was really inspired by a TED Talk a lovely woman by the name of Cindy Gallop gave not long ago. You should watch it yourself, otherwise I might ruin it, but I will tell you that she makes some rather stunning points about how porn culture has distorted the way people think about sex. Clearly we need to figure out some better ways to communicate all of this, aside from ignoring the groundswell of sexual activity that is incredibly normal for our species.
There's rather a dearth of recreational, digital sex games, a fact that surprises me given the proclivity of clever porn mongers who hawk every kind of sex ware imaginable. Have throughout history, using any available technology. It's well established, for instance, that early photography and film thrived on sexual innovations. And we certainly spent a lot of time discussing the ins and outs of cybersex back in the day, when everything digital was a novelty. Are we jaded? Or recession economics?
Well, it seems like a business opportunity to me. They appear to sell plenty of books and board games in those novelty sex shops. People could certainly use some variety in their sex lives. Yet the ecosystem somehow manages to eschew innovation, just like the video game industry. Microsoft, for instance, is blocking sexual uses of their Kinect device, citing 'unintended puposes' (imagine a mash-up of a Kinect device and teledildonics - long distance love, FTW!). I did find A-Chat , but it seems like a graphics enhanced chat room app, and that's boring, too... I suppose there's the seedy underbelly that is Second Life's sex subculture, but it seems, well, seedy. And not terribly educational. But if people are into it, great. Let's just have some other options.
Most sex and videogames conjecture has been about either glorifying or bastardizing sexual content. There are few balanced perspectives: Brenda Braithwaite's work is very insightful, and Bonnie Ruberg has made quite a few contibutions, too. That's sort of not the point I'm trying to make, though. Sure, we could be more mature about sex and sexual imagery in games. But I sort of don't care about that stuff. I want us to ask, yet again, how can this incredible platform for persuasion be used for the greater good? How can we inform people, encourage safe play and experimentation... delight with escapism, encourage fantasy and role-playing... do all the things that we know video games are so good for?
So, brilliant Terra Novans... what games would you design to solve this problem?
Another reason to be against gold farming. Thanks Dmitri Williams for the heads up. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/25/china-prisoners-internet-gaming-scam)
What distances the true terrorist from some wannabe? His forum posts, of course. And how is that to be measured? With forum Likes, of course. With gamified terror forum rankings, the best of the best can get leaderboarded and waterboarded! Gamification >> all! (Thanks to student Peter Winland for the tip.)
Apparently the major media outlets were the last to let us know. While they scrambled to put on their ties and do their hair, the metaverse was spreading the information we cared about. I'd bet a quarter that most people got the news first from a descendent of UO: Twitter, FB, or an online game.
Where was I? Sanctum, home of the Guardian faction in Rift.
...are on the internets ALL THE TIME! At least, according to this video from Corning, makers of lots of glass. It is such a cool ad. Every surface a touchscreen. Imagine! Yet dystopia lurks behind the smiles. Choose your flavor: persistent surveillance, relationship madness, unavoidable work, lack of silence, fragmented consciousness, information overload. And the ad shows no avatars (well maybe one if you count the shopping), no games, and no porn. Just happy families getting timely information from lidup to liddown. Yeah, that's how it will be.
Monica Potts argues in the American Prospect (for those of who who don't know, it's a left-of-center magazine) that liberals who play video games go along with the conservative modes of play within them. (For the purposes of this discussion, the word "liberal" will refer to everything from social democrats to greens to progressives, while those who desire limited government will be called libertarians).
Research by Jonathan Haidt is the best thing yet offered on the difference between liberal and conservative thinking. Haidt's work suggests there are five core dimensions of moral reasoning: Harm, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, and Purity. Conservatives register concern about all five. Liberals care much less about the last three. Flashpoints of liberal/conservative conflict would therefore be things in the last three categories, such as: Having a Don't Mess With Texas Bumpersticker (Loyalty), Doing What the Police Officer Says Just Because He's a Police Officer (Authority), and Sing the National Anthem in a Traditional Way (Purity).
Ms. Potts touches on various experiences in games like the Sims and casually refers to some play modes as conservative and others as liberal. She also tends to view most of videogame play as essentially conservative, with a few liberal exceptions. She is concerned that she is not disgusted by, and actually enjoys, some of the conservative play modes.
Are there liberal and conservative moments in games? Does one or the other type predominate? Or are games an inkblot, much like mainstream media, which is criticized by all sides for being biased the other way?
Or, consider the premise that games are conservative. Why would that be? Are game developers generally a conservative bunch?
Finally, why couldn't you play any game in a way that suits your moral inklings? Are the incentives in games strong enough to lure people into acting contrary to their moral commitments?
The Wall Street Journal reports that the rampage killer Jared Loughner was a gamer. As usual? Recall Mr. Cho, whose killing of Hokies was followed immediately by angry denunciations of the game industry for programming him thusly. It turns out that the only game in his troubled mind was Sonic the Hedgehog. I guess Sonic only seems to be a cuddly rodent; he's actually the vehicle for a secret code that turns ordinary people into frenzied savages.
Loughner's preferred game was a MUD called Earth Empires. Aha! Now we get to the root of things! Richard Bartle, what insidious mind-altering snippet of code did you hide in MUD1 that has spread across the gaming industry and caused all these murders? Come clean, you rogue hacker!
On a serious note, it appears that Mr. Loughner's MUD community was more supportive and helpful to him than the world at large. He got kicked out of jobs and school, but one gets the impression from WSJ's report that EE forum readers never stopped trying to engage with him or give him advice. Certainly - and this is critical - none of the gamers encouraged him in his ravings.
Legal commentators in the blogosphere (e.g. Nic Suzor, Technollama, Rebecca Tushnet, Venkat & Eric) have already offered some initial thoughts on the Ninth Circuit decision in MDY v. Blizzard. Since I talked about the district court opinion in this case in Chapter 9 of my book, I thought I'd post a few reactions too.
This post is going to be a bit on the long side, but that's only because the issues raised on this appeal are a bit tricky, meaning that I feel the need to lay a little doctrinal groundwork before getting to my thoughts about the case.
Though there was an interesting tortious interference decision in the appeal, I'm going to focus on the two copyright issues that were decided by the Ninth Circuit, one involving a claim that users of MDY's Glider program breached World of Warcraft (WoW)'s software license and the other claiming that users of MDY's Glider program violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s prohibitions on circumventing technological protection measures that limit access to copyrighted works. This second claim focused on the operation of Blizzard's Warden program, which monitors a player's computer to see if it is running any unauthorized software.
The appellate court essentially found in favor of MDY on the licensing issue, reversing the lower court, and in favor of Blizzard on the DMCA-Warden issue, affirming the lower court. That adds up to a win for Blizzard. That win could be reversed, in theory, if MDY pursues further appeals. An en banc review of the Ninth Circuit is possible and there's always the slim chance of getting the case reviewed by the United States Supreme Court.
Recently a gamer asked a CoD developer if using a swastika as an emblem ingame would be ok. The developer said no and it would result in a ban.
Original question via Twitter; recent coverage; blog post by the developer.
Will it ever be possible to clearly separate the 'real world' from the virtual or will we always carry baggage over from one into the other? Will a red rising sun always mean Japanese imperialism to Chinese gamers?
Interesting stuff. Thoughts?
Back in October, Mike & I & others mulled for a bit about Farmville and its place in the gaming/MMO sphere. Recently, a lot of other people have been mulling about Farmville too, in a crabbier sort of way. From various sources, it seems Farmville was the bête noire of GDC this year (see this Sauron reference), both envied (for numbers, revenues, and buzz) and despised (for various reasons, but it seems to me, at least in part, for not being anything remotely like Portal).