eBay bans sale of virtual loot

eBay has banned auctions of virtual gold, armour and other booty amassed in World of Warcraft and other online computer games.

The California-based internet auction house decided to bar sales of what was essentially computer code representing riches, swords and other items in games due to “legal complexities” regarding ownership.

“We decided it was best to just not allow sales of them,” Ebay spokesman Hani Durzy said of virtual game goods. “We are not saying they are legal and we are not saying they are illegal.”

eBay continues to allow auctions of items from virtual societies such as Second Life, where people represented by animated figures called “avatars” buy and sell homes and other “property” made of computer codes.

“Right now, Second Life is not considered a game so we are not applying the restriction to it,” Durzy said.

Enterprising young gamers have earned livings playing Warcraft and selling their booty online to those willing to pay to advance quickly through the different levels of the games.

Durzy compared the ban on eBay auctions of virtual game goods to the firm’s decisions to bar sales of alcohol or tobacco, which are lawful products controlled by complex governmental regulations.

Source: SMH

Related Links: World of Warcraft, Second Life