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IGE Goes Down

One of the SWI folks forwarded this amended complaint against IGE.

Signs of things to come: "This case involves IGE's calculated decision to reap substantial profits by knowingly interfering with, and substantially impairing and diminishing the intended use and enjoyment associated with consumer agreements between Blizzard Entertainment and subscribers to its virtual world called World of Warcraft."

Let's get this straight: IGE acted illegally because it reduced the amount of fun that WoW players were having!

Important things to note:
Just like with every other technology developed in the US, reaping substantial profits is only ok if you are following the rules.
Some of the rules you have to follow are informal, behavioral expectations that exist within a community or culture that are so embedded that no one feels the need to formalize or overtly enumerate them.
Virtual worlds will only survive if there is a separation between Real Life and Game Life, because the agreements between parties are different.
This case - win or lose - will at least partly define the legitimacy of actions taken by all companies and actors in the virtual world gaming community.

For those of us that believe in the fun of profit and the profits of fun, the line that's drawn will basically dictate our game designs, or relationships to our games, our expectations of the gaming community, and the extent to which RL invades our imaginations.

Keep an eye out. [All the news and documentation available here.]

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