Teen Taken To Court After Stealing Runescape Items
A teenager has been taken to court after logging into a friend’s Runescape account and stealing all their gold. 19 year old Keiron Belmont used Helen Jenkins’s login to gain access to all of items and gold within her account. The teenager was brought to court under the Computer Misuse act of 1990 , gaining unauthorized access to a computer and making unauthorized modifications to the computer material. Belmont had gained access to the friends account while staying over at the victim’s house. After having a row with his friend, he logged into the account without the owners permission.
The lawyer of Belmont shared his view on Runescape’s in game currency: ”He saw an opportunity to carry out a spiteful act .These credits (gold) do not have any real value. I would compare it to Monopoly money”.
Belmont admitted to the offense and was ordered to pay £16 compensation and serve a eight-month conditional discharge.
Source: The Sun
While this story does seem like nothing but a falling out between two friends, stealing in-game items has led to bigger repercussions for some. In 2012, Dutch courts issued a youth 144 hours of community service for stealing in-game items fro ma 13 year old Runescape player. The Dutch courts claimed the items had a intrinsic value to the 13-year-old gamer because of “the time and energy he invested” in earning them while playing the game.
In-game items may not have any tangible value in the eyes of a average person, but those in the know are all too aware of their value. Second Life has produced a number of success stories in terms of player earning real money by trading in game items and property. The sales of World of Warcraft account (and most other MMORPG accounts) can earn players a tidy figure. Diablo 3′s real world auction house is also a example of in-game items commanding real life financial worth.