Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(empo-plaaybizz) There oughta be a cyberlaw

The Empoprise-BI business blog has previously discussed the intersection between games and business, and the idea that businesses can be more productive if they incorporate gaming techniques into their businesses. The example that comes to mind is the effort by many retail establishments to drive people to their businesses via tools such as Foursquare.

On the flip side, it should be noted that games themselves have become a lucrative business, with many people (including myself) spending money to buy virtual goods.

Take Italian gamer Paola Letizia. The English site reports that Letizia spent the equivalent of £88 on virtual items in the game Pet Society. Afterwards, she ran into a virtual problem that was very real:

When Paola Letizia discovered a burglar had ransacked her flat, she called police straight away.

Now the hunt is on for the thief – even though the property they broke into was a virtual home, designed for a virtual pet and decorated with virtual paintings and furniture.

She ended up reporting this to the police, who did NOT laugh off her complaint. You see, the thief violated postal laws by committing an online robbery.

The story resulted in a comment from reader JMG:

However, I differ with JMG's assessment. Frankly, there is no practical difference between losing a virtual painting that was purchased with real money, and losing a stock certificate that was purchased with real money. I'm sure that JMG would howl if someone stole his 401K - or, since he's presumably in Britain, his 254K (based upon the current dollar to pound exchange rate).
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