I haven’t been playing EVE Online for long. I only signed up to the 14 day trial last week and I’m still getting to grips with the game and it’s hugely complex OS like interface. I’m currently still spending a third of my time deciding on what do to and two thirds figuring out how to do it. I don’t mind the learning curve though because it was to be expected and I’m actually enjoying knowing that there’s so much to explore. One of things that definitely appeals to me about EVE is the full-on sandbox virtual world that it offers and knowing how vast and limitless it is.
Although it may be old news to long term EVE players, a colleague of mine found a fascinating article on the BBC news site posted today. Apparently, a few weeks ago, billions of ISK were stolen from a player run bank called EBANK and sold on for £3,115/$5,086. My first reaction was “damn, that’s so cool!” and my second reaction was “I didn’t know there were player run banks in EVE”. Guess we learn something new every day.
Unfortunately it wasn’t some exciting armed break-in into a heavily fortified vault (cue blazing gunfight) or anything like that. Turns out it the chief executive, Ricdic, just withdrew it on the sly and the then traded it for real money which he used to pay off some medical bills and put down a deposit on a house. His account was then banned by CCP. Still, he’s several thousand dollars better off and, presumably, people with savings in the bank have been screwed over.
This is a prime example of the lack of consequences in virtual worlds and how it enables people to go beyond their moral code. I highly doubt that Ricdic would’ve ripped someone off for $5k in real life and, even if he had, gotten away with it scott free. The bottom line here is that he essentially made money at the expense of others – stole from them – yet there was absolutely nothing that could be done to him in return.
It makes me wonder a lot about where the line between real and virtual worlds is drawn and to what length developers should go to enforce rules and regulations. I find it very curious (and almost a little hypocritical) that CCP have a policy of non-interference with their game world yet still banned Ricdic, not for stealing the ISK, but for selling it on. I wonder why they decided that particular act warranted banning and not any other.
Anyway, I better log back into EVE and finish figuring out how to play it. I’ve got to embark to on my master plan to impersonate a 16 year old female cheerleader called ‘Sparkle’, cozy up to the leader of some mega-corporation, eventually earn his trust and then stab him in the back and steal all of his cash. I’ve got a upcoming holiday to pay off, don’t cha know.
On another related noted, I’ve updated my post with the movie for the documentary Another Perfect World with an official 30min preview.