Americans are already required to pay taxes on real-world earnings when they cash out of a game, but should they pay taxes on virtual, in-game profits? For example, citizens pay capital gains taxes on real-world asset sales -- profits from an investment over time -- but in-game capital gains policy and enforcement are unclear. Should you owe Linden Dollars to the U.S. government after selling Second Life property in-game, even if you don't cash-out to U.S. currency?
Should virtual worlds be governed by real-world laws, or are they becoming something closer to their own nations? If governments start taxing strictly in-game situations, will gamers deserve in-game social services and a virtual seat in Congress?
[Via Second Life Insider]
[Update 1: Thanks, Ish, for the capital gains lesson. Sorry for the mistake; the second paragraph is clarified.]