Should Video Gamers Be Prosecuted for Virtual Theft?

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Elizabeth Shreve September 20, 2015 Eng 111 4-5:15 Professor Roof Paper 1 Prosecution in the Virtual World Many online gamers will pay for virtual items with real money. Some people want laws in effect for the real world to protect their rights to their belongings. Theft in the virtual world occurs quite often. In an article titled, “Should Gamers be Prosecuted for Virtual Stealing?” the author Alex Weiss calls out a young teenage boy who is being prosecuted for stealing in a video game. It seems to be a legal blunder that is very straight forward, but becomes a heated debate. It begins with the argument should we prosecute a gamer for stealing via the virtual world? Alex Weiss is correct in saying that prosecution for virtual theft is wrong in the scheme of things, because each player reacts differently to behaviors. Even though a person is a “raider” in a game, it doesn’t make them a criminal in the real world. Weiss opens up his article with, “As a reformed online gaming thief, this ruling makes no sense to me. It places too much value on the time people spend playing video games. Video games are not work or investments for which people should be compensated; they are escapism.” (Alex Weiss) Some may say that time is money, but that may not be the case. The productivity in the game is what makes each individuals’ time valuable. Therefore compensation for piracy of an object that does not exist would place the value of the time spent to gain a merely hypothetical item. It could be seen as when does this need to end? It is a very well-known fact that there are people out there who live their lives as MMO’s (massive multiplayer online) gamers, playing games such as World of Warcraft, Eve, and Runescape. The extreme separation of life itself and recreation should not suck any real world elements into it, especially when it comes to the

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