this is a fascinating signal – a 17 yr old kid is arrested by dutch police (and 5 others are detained for questioning) for allegedly stealing over €4000 worth of furniture from Finnish SNS Habbo Hotel. From the BBC:
The six teenagers are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms. A spokesman for Sulake, the company that operates Habbo Hotel, said: “The accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo websites.
“In Habbo, as in many other virtual worlds, scamming for other people’s personal information such as user names has been problematic for quite a while. We have had much of this scamming going on in many countries but this is the first case where the police have taken legal action.”
Virtual theft is a growing issue in virtual worlds; in 2005 a Chinese gamer was stabbed to death in a row over a sword in a game. Shanghai gamer Qiu Chengwei killed player Zhu Caoyuan when he discovered he had sold a “dragon sabre” he had been loaned.
that line between on and offline implications is getting pretty fuzzy – yikes!
thx to kyle for the fyi