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It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that the entire concept of people spending real money on virtual items and currency was just bizarre. The first mentions of such a thing this writer ever came across were back in 2003, when Julian Dibbell told the story of Black Snow Interactive, rumored to...

May 8th 2009 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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Massively sat in on a GDC 2009 session this week titled Applied RMT Design which was part of the Worlds in Motion Summit. Andrew Schneider, Founder and President of Live Gamer and Erik Bethke, CEO of GoPets, Ltd. presented a case study on balancing a game's primary and secondary markets, using GoPet...

March 28th 2009 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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These days, most discussion of sci-fi themed massively multiplayer online games tends to focus on Jumpgate Evolution, EVE Online, or the hotly anticipated post-apocalyptic titles that are on the way. But Anarchy Online is still going strong, and Funcom has just announced a new expansion for the titl...

February 13th 2009 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Xfire and Turbine are teaming up to offer a Lord of the Rings "Play 2 Win" event. Gamers playing either the full game or its demo, and who've joined the Official Xfire Lord of the Rings Online Clan, are eligible to win prizes in the contest. The time you spend logged in determines your prize eligibi...

January 28th 2009 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Massively multiplayer online gamers spend hours -- so many hours -- working towards obtaining virtual gear. Epic armor sets, mounts, player housing, faction ships... the list goes on, and will continue to go on. Our collective fascination with these intangibles ensures our desire for them -- and for...

January 9th 2009 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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'Two-handed axes' and 'Christmas' used in the same context generally conjures up images of Silent Night, Deadly Night, but there's an Age of Conan contest running throughout December that's equally festive. Funcom is giving away in-game items for Age of Conan every day this month, in the spirit of C...

December 4th 2008 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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China's State Administration of Taxation recently imposed a 20 percent income tax rate on profits made from virtual currency and virtual items, sparking price increases for virtual goods. While this tax rate (if actually enforced) clearly impacts the virtual space, it also affects transactions happe...

November 19th 2008 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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In-game economies can make MMOs more vibrant places to play, lending depth to these games that generally isn't found in regular PC or console titles. Then again, the perceived value attributed to virtual currency and items can lead to a slew of problems, not limited to acts of real world violence, t...

October 25th 2008 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Should the theft of virtual items be punishable by law? This varies from country to country, but today's ruling in a Dutch court emphasizes that virtual crime is actual crime under their country's laws, regardless of whether the individuals involved are minors. Associated Press reports: "These virtu...

October 21st 2008 at 8:00pm 0 Comments
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Final Fantasy XI players who are into collectibles have a new item to lust over. There's a new addition to the Final Fantasy XI Player's Collection, which is available for a limited time only: The Tidal Talisman. It's a $43 silver-plated pendant with a side-benefit that's the real selling point. It...

August 20th 2008 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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I've been reporting on our sister site Massively (just like WoW Insider, but for all MMOs) about Live Gamer, a startup that claims to be legitimizing RMT (real-money trading, which is spending real money on virtual items) in MMOs. But while there are a few big names supporting them already (Funcom,...

December 20th 2007 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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Our own Tateru Nino has been covering the Second Life case of Rase Kenzo very closely, but with the settlement yesterday, it seems the ruling might have effects on the concepts of virtual worlds at large. At issue is whether or not an avatar named Rase Kenzo could use an exploit to duplicate items c...

December 5th 2007 at 11:00am 0 Comments