Yahoo reports that two teenagers, 15 and 14-years-old, have been convicted for virtual theft in Holland. The teenagers had stolen a virtual amulet and mask in the MMO RuneScape from a 13-year-old. Well, stolen is perhaps not the appropriate word, since the alleged criminals apparently had forced the 13-year-old to transfer the items under violence – using punches, kicks, threats and what is believed to be a +2 Dagger.
“These virtual goods are goods (under Dutch law), so this is theft,” the court said in a summary. The 15-year-old was sentenced to 200 hours service, and the 14-year-old to 160 hours.
Cases like these are, fortunately, unusual. This particular one is absurd but comprehensible, which isn’t easy to say about other bizarre MMO-related news. Shawn Woolley, a 21-year-old EverQuest player took, according to his mother, his life because of his addiction to the game. Another man named Alexander Ponamorenko went even further by killing his 22-year-old Lineage 2 rival Alexander Blyoskin in Moscow when he gave him the mean eye at a Lineage 2 gathering.
Some might also remember Chinese Legend of Mir 3 player Qiu Chengwei, who was nice enough to lend his buddy a very sought-after magical sword. When his friend sold the sword for real money, Mr. Chengwei gave him a visit and stabbed him to death. The murdered was later given the death sentence.