The Prince and The Pauper: The Transaction of Virtual and Real-Life Capital
The dominant argument against these transactions focuses on the inherent purpose of games and their separation from reality. These players argue that violating that separation threatens the essence of these environments, and is plain cheating.
I feel REALLY strongly about this, as it suddenly becomes a mockery of the game when some 30-something rich playboy lawyer, can be the biggest badass on the game, because he went on e-bay & bought some veteran's account. He didn't have to EARN what he got, while the rest of us work hard & toil for things. It's not a matter of it not being 'fair' life isn't fair, I know that but it's a matter of responsibility & respect. When I see a guy slay a huge beast & get rewarded for it, I respect him, cause he worked for that reward, he deserves it, but when you just buy it, it sort of takes away from the point of the game. [RO, M, 25]
However, I would like to absolutely stress my opinions on the topic. MMORPGs are places where people come together and be who they want to be. To stress, MMORPGs are places where people come together and be who they _want_ to be. Perhaps being overly dramatic to drive home the point: the fat can be skinny, the ugly can be pretty, the shy can be outspoken, the handicapped can be whole, and the poor can be rich. The playing field is leveled. Act, speak...BE who you want to be. Operating outside of the in-world context erodes, and in some cases destroys, this fundamental approach. [SWG, M, 29]
Using real-world money to buy and sell in-game items is cheating, just like combat macroing is cheating, The only legitimate and fair path to success in an MMPORG is for the player to play the game -- time at the keyboard. Shortcutting that by using a macro or by buying a pre-made character or high-level item is ultimately unfair to other players who wish to advance in a legitimate manner. [AC1, M, 36]
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