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Joined: 2009-08-03

I've been researching the virtual economy and found I was blind to how deep it runs. Virtual coin, items, characters, powerleveling, progression, custom made accounts...basically, anything someone would want to simply buy for a real dollar is available on just about any game.

Anyhow, I mostly focused on the game I play and the specific server I'm on. I've logged and reported a number of links of people I've put together selling these virtual services for real money.

That said, reporting a conversation and linking where the services are selling at probably isn't going to do much in itself. At this point, that is all that I've done so far, is reported my findings to the management, administrators, and high ups in the company involved.

I have a number of moles and people behind me that hate this kind of thing being so open and available. The company has a token spam filter being added soon, but we're hoping to take it further than this. I see three possible actions from the blanket report being submitted:

1 - Nothing being done or another token gesture.

2 - The company adding the same exact services to their own virtual market that they already have readilly available in other games they've produced.

3 - Firm actions taken and some serious banning starting of anyone caught up in the virtual market.

If the first happens, I'm hoping to take the findings to public forums, gaming media, and possibly government agencies that have been monitoring the virtual economy.

If the second happens, it'll be time for me to find another game.

I don't honestly see the third option happening, as the names I've put together have been in this market for years and they're still at it with some of the same characters.

I also expect some rogue employed GMs are involved, as bought characters I've linked have been moved to other servers (from a nontransferrable server) and their names have been changed. I also believe my accounts have been compromised, as I was locked out the other morning with password errors and I'm the original owner and the only person knowing my password info.

I've contacted a lead developer that I've exchanged feedbacks and PMs with and he is having someone look into my accounts. I'm certain that my digging got back to the main person behind most of the virtual economy on my server.

I've used some very questionable tactics to gather my information, such as entrapment, but I have no real life information on anyone I've linked to the market. If I go public with the character names involved, quote conversations I've logged with them, and show where they are selling the virtual services are there any privacy laws or anything I should be aware of? I'm still waiting for the company to get back to me, so hoping it won't come to this.

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