A morally gray area in online gaming is the action of scamming or ripping off other players, but should this ingenuity be rewarded and the stupidity punished or vice versa? My first experience with scamming was during my younger MMO days as a Runescape player. My memory falters in parts but I can recall an individual offering to show me a great spot to gather loot in The Wilderness. At the time The wilderness was a free-for-all PvP area which removed all items from your inventory bar the most expensive 3.
However, what I didn't know was that certain bugged items that were worthless actually registered as the most expensive in the inventory. So as I equipped my newly acquired Dragon armor I was confident that I would be able to avoid any scam should the situation arise. He then traded me some items saying it allowed me to get into the secret location before several of his friends showed up and tore me apart before I could even reach for my sword. So after losing all of my items I was extremely bitter and as maturity avoided me at that age, I proceeded to nerd rage in every way possible.
More recently a group of EVE Online players committed what I personally to consider to be the perfect heist. In 2011 two players pulled off a scam that promised investors a 5% return of their deposited ISK. Over 4,000 players participated and although some cash was paid out, the duo walked away with one trillion ISK. To put that into perspective, the duo could purchase time cards with the value of $51,677.50 and legally sell them in game.
I don't think I could ever intentionally scam anyone in any online environment, purely because my conscience would eat me alive. However, I totally understand the thrill, risk and payoff associated with the games that allow scamming to take place. What do you think? Should scamming be more mainstream in MMO games or do you feel it's an unnecessary downside to MMO gaming.
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