Generations who grew up listening to the newly emerging radio and eight-track cartridges, know what it means to have genuine face-to-face interactions with their peers. Today, the Millennial’s and Generation Z folks are becoming dissociated from their peers as they are raised and integrated into the daunting virtual world. With puberty being a time of embarrassing change and exponential growth in intellectual aptitude, adolescents are now hindered by the ever-present virtual world that Facebookoffers, result…
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The Legal and Ethical Issues of Online Gaming
Abstract: This paper describes the new market growing around online gamers: professional gamers, wagered tournaments, and buying and selling virtual items. After outlining and describing several prime examples, the paper then discusses the legal and ethical ramifications of the virtual world having monetary value. It shows that despite the positive effects of drawing more people into the gaming community, playing games for money compromise what many consider to be the purity of the gaming experience.
It used to be that computer games were for kids, or grown-up “techies.” While kids were just out to have fun, grown-ups played for entertainment or pride; being good at a game garnered respect from other gamers. Gradually, the gaming world broadened with the advent of adult themed games, the Internet, and the phenomenal growth of the personal computer. Today, the gaming market has a wide range within its audience. Children, even infants, are even encouraged to play educational games on their computer. Adults can log on for a quiet game of online chess or hearts, or role-playing game, or if their blood is a little thicker, a first-person shooter. The variety of experiences to be had by the online gamer is astounding. Role-playing games can have hundreds if not thousands of players, all playing simultaneously. Internet based games make it easier than ever to find a level of competition suitable for any player. With this newfound prevalence of gaming and gamers, a new market has emerged. This market centers not upon the makers of these games, but upon the players themselves and attaches real, monetary values to their virtual accomplishments. As this revolution draws near, what does gaming stand to lose or gain from its development as a financial enterprise, facilitated by its newfound popularity? This paper analyzes the impact of financial import in gaming from technological, legal, and ethical points of view.
To understand the new dynamic in gaming and online gaming it is helpful to have an analogy. Compare the development of gaming to the development of professional basketball. Certainly, when James Naismith “invented” the game of basketball, he wasn’t thinking of the NBA; he was just having fun with a ball and a hoop. A game of basketball would be played in the backyard. The best player in town would be known to all the other people who played basketball, but would only be famous in this limited circle.