Practically every MMO ever made has some kind of currency-based trade system, and if that currency takes time or effort to acquire, you can bet someone somewhere will pay hard cash
to shortcut the process. Although most game EULAs forbid the practice of buying currency for cash, players are often unaware that they could be banned if caught. Websites selling virtual currency are often linked to shady dealings
such as harvesting credit card details, key-logging buyers' computers or even just not delivering purchased goods. The effects are often felt in-game too, as methods used to generate currency for sale often include abuse of exploits, farming limited resources using bots, and hacking accounts.
Developers of subscription MMOs have fought against the RMT
(real money trade) business using a variety of strategies. In late 2009, CCP Games banned 6,200 accounts linked to botting and RMT
in one day as part of operation Unholy Rage. RuneScape
took an even tougher stance, putting severe restrictions on the movement of gold between players. This week, we heard the news that a leaked client database from an EVE
ISK-selling organisation had named hundreds of EVE Online characters as buyers
. While many of the characters named were temporary accounts created to receive ISK anonymously, life has been made very hard for all characters named in the leak. So have you ever bought gold, ISK or any other MMO currency? If so, what were your reasons for buying it, and what would you do if your character were suddenly exposed as a buyer or banned?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!