612 Lawns

What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.
~Thomas Paine

When is lying illegal?

That's a fundamental question in any system of laws. If you and I agree that you'll give me a dollar, and in return I'll give you two back later, we have a contract. If I skip town, I have committed a crime: fraud. It's the most basic of crimes, and simply boils down to lying. Of course, there are a thousand ways to lie and be nothing more than a cad. If I tell you I'm a lousy pool player, we bet a dollar on a game, and it turns out I'm better than you, you're a sucker, I'm a con artist, and there's been no crime. Yes, I misrepresented myself, but it was a matter of judgment, not fact.

And there are plenty of cases where lying is a sanctioned risk. If we play a poker tournament -- a legally constructed one, regulated by our fine system of government -- it's not only acceptable to lie, it's expected. The card player who fails to lie effectively will almost always lose. It's a condition of the game.

Consider if you will, Eve Online.

Last, week, Dentara Rast -- a character in CCP's Eve Online massively multiplayer online world -- pulled off an impressive stunt. He ran a classic Ponzi scheme and walked off with 700 billion ISK (in game money, and quite a lot of it). Normally, this kind of in-game bravado would generate nothing but a confuse stare from someone not deep inside the Eve universe, and little more than scandal-of-the-week titillation and subsequent yawns there. But I believe this case is more interesting than that.

I believe Dentara Rast committed fraud.
I believe he owes the IRS a lot of money.

Admittedly these are bold statements likely stuffed with straw, but they have deep implications, and bear argument.

The Scene of the Crime

Eve Online is a unique persistent world. It's the only successful, long term Science Fiction world. Science Fiction is hard. As our friends-in-spirit at 2d6 feet posited recently, it's harder because of the details. Fantasy worlds have extensive shorthand. Toss me into a quasi-medieval setting, tell me there are elves and magic, and I've got a whole library in my head to fill in the blanks. But in a science fiction world, you need to tell me a LOT more. Are there aliens? What do they look like? What's the technology do? What does a spaceship look like, and how does it work? What are the moral codes and motivations?

Is there money?

It's a real question. The two largest competing SF universes have radically different answers. Star Wars' Han Solo works for cash. We see him loading the Millennium Falcon with crates of the stuff. His world is filled with the crimes of acquisition. Star Trek's James. T Kirk lives in a universe that grew beyond the need for commerce. It's never explained in great detail, but some sort of vast communism or invisible spirit guides the known worlds of the Federation.

Eve takes the Star Wars route. Money isn't only important, it's everything. Piracy and scheming drive most of the Player-vs-Player (PVP) interactions, and PvP is what Eve is all about. Eve embraces capitalism in a way that goes far beyond the auction houses and crafting of World of Warcraft. Eve embeds the idea of a corporation into the roots of the game. A corporation, by definition, is an entity created to act like an individual person in a marketplace. Anywhere from one to an infinite number of biological individuals create a commune of ownership, and drive that new fictional individual towards a common goal.

In Eve, corporations are formed, engage in exploration, exploitation and extermination in the pursuit of wealth for their members. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated community, corporations can create initial public offerings to grab new investors. Most often these public corporations are formed to pool the capital required to purchase the blueprints for the games most powerful ships. These blueprints can then be copied and sold, generating cash for dividends. Shares can be traded on the open market, portfolios managed, speculations made.

This user-controlled market is entirely unregulated. Eve is a pocket universe for students of unfettered capitalism. As one would expect, there are good actors and bad actors.

And it's the bad actors that are interesting. Financial scams have an easy time of it in Eve. Anything beyond a simple purchase involves a transfer of wealth between players. Someone has to give a real person in-game cash to buy something -- in this case shares in a corporation. And once that money's sitting in the corporate account, the CEO can just transfer that wealth to an alternate character, and disappear. There is no SEC to go after the bad guy. There is no court in which to make an accusation and seek recompense.

CCP is well aware that they have created a world where bad actors can thrive. Their own FAQ makes this clear:

"A scam is the act of obtaining goods from other players through misinformation, confusion, pressure or by taking advantage of basic trust. Players enter into business dealings with others at their own risk and are strongly urged to exercise good judgment and common sense when trading. Scams that relate to issues such as password scams or account theft scams are more serious and will result in an immediate ban."

The Offense

But if you're playing for fame, not just fortune, you need to put on a show. This is where Dentara Rask made good theater. His scheme was interesting, but unoriginal. He ran the EVE Investment Bank, in which he promised a return on deposits. And he delivered. If you got in early, he paid you your return, and most likely, you reinvested. It was, of course, just a Ponzi scheme. Investors were paid out of the capital from new investors. When the pyramid become too big to manage, he pulled back the curtain and proclaimed himself the victor. He'd amassed more than 700 billion ISK (in game cash), perhaps 10 times the previous record for a market scam. He gloated in the forums about his prowess. He basked in the glory of hatred, even posting a video confession complete with I'd-like-to-thank-the-academy antics. He took out a bounty on his own head, so people would hunt him down. The act of me writing about this plays further into the ego trip.

But there's a catch. What if he committed a real crime?

If this was a "real world" scam, few would argue that this was fraud. In the US (and we don't know where he lives) he would mostly likely be guilty of racketeering under RICO.

The first argument against the fraud case is one of substance. After all, this was imaginary money, right? Not really. Eve ISK is a fungible asset. While no regulated market exists for converting ISK into cash directly, there are markets available. CCP sells 30 day time cards for 120 million ISK. Time cards are available legally for $14 a piece. So the implied value of an ISK is roughly $1.17E-07. Put another way, that 700 billion ISK is worth 5,834 time cards, or $81,667. (A figure worthy of note, as it bumps the value up into the realm of the money laundering -- a swiss-army-knife-meets-sledgehammer of a law if ever there was one.)

The second argument is that somehow this path of conversion is illegal, and thus in itself not a crime. This is spurious: fraud does not require the underlying transaction to be in legal goods. If I bilk you on a drug deal, I still committed fraud, I'll just never sue you for it.

The third argument is that according to the EULA for the game, CCP retains ownership of all in game assets. Note that this is not a law, this is an agreement between CCP and an individual player, and I don't believe it frankly matters what CCP claims, as long as the market exists to convert the in game assets into real world assets (which it clearly does). CCP can ban you for it, they could even sue you for copyright violation, but none of this matters to the fraud argument.

The last remaining argument is that of poker: implied consent. Did the players who lost money to Dentara Rast enter into the transaction with an implied consent to be deceived as part of the game? Honestly, I don't think there's a clear cut answer. Certainly, CCP admits that scams can happen as part of the game. They denounce them in public forums, but they also make it clear that whether they do anything about them is a decision they will make on a case by case basis. They have, in the past, made victims whole. This is clearly different than a poker bluff -- I don't believe that the Bellagio has ever given a penny back to a loser at their poker tables. At least not me.

My opinion (and no, I'm not a lawyer) -- there's at least a case for fraud.

The Punishment

The second major issue here is taxation. Taxing in-game earnings isn't remotely a new idea, and a bevy of academics are already front-running the IRS.

The logic is simple in concept (if complex in application). Dentara has acquired wealth – as clearly as Al Capone acquired wealth in his bank accounts and rum-running operations. The IRS doesn't particularly care if that wealth is US currency or not (Topic 140). If I work for a company who pays me in gold bars or candy bars, I still got paid, and I still owe taxes. Remember, the IRS did threaten to assess whomever caught McGuire's 62nd home run ball, and it took the White House to calm them down.

The fact that this wealth, if converted into US dollars, would crash the real-world market for ISK or game time cards is also irrelevant -- just ask anyone who excercised a non-qualified stock options at the end of the dotcom boom. The alternative minimum tax caused people to sell their houses to pay taxes on worthless stock.

Dentara's only real defense would be one of recognition. If he hangs onto the ISK, never converting them into a more tangible asset, he could argue that he had not yet realized any gain or income on which he could be taxed. He would argue that -- at most -- he had a taxable gain on the difference between his investment (the amount he has paid to CCP as an Eve Online customer) and his return (the $81,666), and as a capital gain, it shouldn't be payable until the asset is sold.

He might win that argument. And should he choose never to sell on the open market or convert into game time cards, he might avoid all taxes. The reality is that the IRS has remained relatively silent on the issue of in-game earnings, but I don't expect that to last long.

He might, in fact, owe the IRS $12,250. Or, if the IRS was feeling particularly frisky, they might see this as self-employment income and hit him up for $15,077 (assuming he's otherwise unemployed).

How are these two issues connected: fraud and taxation? While the IRS has so far declined to pursue virtual earnings, they've been known to be spurred into action when faced with criminal activity outside the realm of tax evasion. Frank Wilson only grabbed on to Al Capone's leg after the FBI was unable to bring him down on prohibition charges. If Dentara was actually pursued under RICO, the FBI might be inclined to use the tax-hammer once again, as rounding up injured parties to testify in a fraud case could be exceptionally difficult. And once the FBI walks into the room, everyone pays attention -- not just Business Week and Terra Nova.

Imagine a world where this happens. Where someone drops the dime on Dentara Rask (hey, there is a 15% bounty on tax evaders), and he has to cough up the dough. Imagine the implications. Whole genres of gaming now become taxable activities. Does Blizzard establish two sets of servers: one where you can transfer accounts and assets, one where you can't? Does over-the-air television start generating an implied receipt of a good, and thus trigger a gift tax? Can a hacker who downs your server now be the subject of a class action suit for all those "workers" denied their place of employment? Do I owe someone money because I listen to Pandora all day long and have never paid a dime?

And what if Dentara Rast is underage? Has CCP somehow violated child labor laws? It doesn't really matter, the IRS will still want their pound of flesh. The tax man must be paid.

The going rate in my neighborhood is $20 for a small front lawn by a entrepreneurial teenager.

Best case, this kid's got 612 lawns to go.

Comments

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Read the article, Guysmiley. It states that you can trade ISK for a game time card, which is apparently worth $14. You yourself say that it can be traded for game time.

I did read the article. I also play EVE. I am saying I disagree with the points made in the article. You don't seem to understand the GTC concept entirely. You can purchase GTCs from CCP for real money. You can then sell said GTC to a buyer paying in ISK. You can convert real money into ISK, you can't go the other way around. He could buy GTCs, but he can't unload them for real money without using eBay or something similar. If he did so, and manages to somehow do that 8000 times, well great. Then he would have reportable (taxable) income.

Hi all! Long time reader first time caller. Felt compelled to register after reading this article.

Some guy getting a major score like this is unlikely to get the IRS worried unless he does exchange the ISK for dollars in bulk (prolly get, what? $30k maybe.) And if he does realise the cash then he should be paying tax on it.

Julian Dibble (who wrote the excellent My Tiny Life) played Ultima Online for a year earning money through gold and item trading and attempted to declare his virtually earned income to the IRS without much luck.

If the IRS does start taxing in-game loot (highly unlikely) there're going to have to tax EVERYONE. Good luck with that.

What if ten years ago your aunt gave you a stuffed toy for passing an exam and six months later you realised you had an ultra rare Beanie Baby that was worth $3000? Or it turns out that old picture in the atitc was yet another missing masterpiece? Point is, unless you actually sell them nobody is going to tax you on it.

As for the legality of it? This shtick is the very reason why a lot of people have joined Eve, It's the wild west baby! The idea he did anything illegal is a joke, I suspect.

Guy, both of your posts to which I have responded have followed the formula of you stating the impossibility of transferring ISK into USD, and then explaining exactly how to do so. That fascinates me.

EDIT: I apologize if I'm being rude. I have a personal interest in the author; I saved his life, once. Online. With help.

What if ten years ago your aunt gave you a stuffed toy for passing an exam and six months later you realised you had an ultra rare Beanie Baby that was worth $3000? Or it turns out that old picture in the atitc was yet another missing masterpiece? Point is, unless you actually sell them nobody is going to tax you on it.

That's what the story of the million dollar baseball is an example of. If the IRS finds out that you have said masterpiece or beanie baby, they will tax you regardless. The examples you put forth work because the IRS isn't combing our attics looking for rare treasures. They do read the news, though, and if your name hits national headlines on some sort of prize, they're going to come after you.

Rabbit, this is a great article that I would put front and center of your journalism resume. Belongs in print.

I believe there is a legal-umbrella here similar to what happens when you buy Live points. This kind of thing has been worked out legally a million times before.

Again, answer my question: Where does the IRS say they consider in-game currency income? That is the crux of what I am getting at. I maintain that it isn't "real" money unless it is somehow converted to real money. CCP does not condone turning ISK into hard currency, it cannot be done easily. If he hassles with selling it through eBay, then is when I say it becomes real income.

Otherwise, why do I not need to file a claim with the IRS for WOW gold I made selling thorium bars?

Everything I wanted to said has been said, so I'll just add: great article, and fascinating topic. Keep it up!

Since I don't play EVE, I would need clarification on the game time cards: is the person just credited with 30/60/90 days when they turn in X amount of ISK, or would they receive a physical card?

If a physical card is mailed out to the person, then I could see how it could be a means of making money, and how the IRS would get involved. It's untaxed earnings at that point, really. However, if it's turned into a time credit, I would feel really uncomfortable if the IRS were to pop their heads in, as no true income has been realized.

However, keep in mind that I'm not an accountant, and thus my concepts may be a little fuzzy and out there. It's a great article for trying to wrap your mind around, though, rabbit. Keep the good work up.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

I apologize if I'm being rude. I have a personal interest in the author; I saved his life, once. Online. With help.

Heh. Wait a minute, I'm the one with the debt not paid here dude....

Man it's just a game. As I understand it, getting $$ by any means is PART of the game. Live and learn

A few things to keep in mind (some of which Rabbit alluded to in his article):

1. Whatever in-game "assets" are obtained, remember they are subject to the license agreement and not an actual owned asset of the player.

2. I agree with a lot of what Guysmiley said (although, perhaps not with his tone -- no offense, I just have never played Eve), the IRS is not going to tax in-game "assets" until there is a real-world recognition of the value of the "asset". Moreover, I would argue that unless there is an exchange of real world value between two people/entities, there is not any "income", imputed or otherwise. Much like the old days when you could "win" an additional "man" or a free game on a pinball machine, part of the understanding or initial exchange between the player and the game publisher/owner/operator/etc. is that through good play, the player could receive additional playing time. Think of the 30-day game cards the same way. Through good play -- in this case, an in-game scam of fellow players -- a player could receive additional game playing time. In the pinball context, the player's benefit of the bargain in paying his/her 25 cents is that he/she gets the enjoyment of playing the game and, if he or she does well in the game, he/she may be rewarded with (a) a recordable high score, (b) an extra ball/man, and/or (c) a "free" game.

[As an aside, I don't receive any "income" from having to go to extra-time after my soccer match is tied 0-0 after regulation -- and that is true regardless of whether I am participating in the game or watching it in the stadium (after having puchased my ticket -- which is nothing more than a license).]

It is only if I try to alienate, transfer, sell or otherwise dispose of that added time for real world value (whether it be monetary or otherwise) that it becomes taxable revenue.

3. Beyond legal concepts like "assumption of the risk" (similar to the risk associated with getting injured from a tackle in football when you, as a player, participate in the game), I am having a hard time seeing a colorable cause of action for scam described in the article. So long as the individual did not hack the code of the game (the football equivalent of throwing a punch or sabotaging a player's equipment -- I would use the analogy of "using steroids" but apparently that isn't outside the "four corners" of the sport) . . . . you get the idea.

Edgar,

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I don't personally disagree with most of what you've said.

As to point 1: This remains irrelevant. Selling something you don't own, but that results in income is theft. The IRS has explicity said they expect thieves to pay taxes. I can come up with the specific code section if you like. I didn't believe it either.

I like your pinball example as a test case. It contains many of the actors and actions in common with the Eve thing. I think you would find folks who would tell you that if in fact the pinball machine cost 10,000 to play, and you could turn around in the line behind you and say "here, take my game" when you win that freebie, that that person has received a taxable gift. I'm not saying I agree with that, or think it's in anyway right. It's horribly wrong, but I think it's actually the correct interpretation. It all comes down to recognition. I don't see how this is substantively different than the Home Run Ball example.

In some ways, I would *love* for the IRS to press something like this, if only because I would hope the public outcry might result in some actual reform.

As for actionable: I think what makes this slightly different than the poker example is what I said in the article. If CCP sees *some* scams as worthy of compensation back to the injured parties, they're clearly reinforcing that this isn't just a part of the game. Selective enforcement on their part muddies the waters substantially.

Jolly Bill wrote:

If the IRS finds out that you have said masterpiece or beanie baby, they will tax you regardless. The examples you put forth work because the IRS isn't combing our attics looking for rare treasures. They do read the news, though, and if your name hits national headlines on some sort of prize, they're going to come after you.

Cite on that, please? The bolded part.

Possession, to the best of my knowledge does not trigger a tax event. I the owner of record of incredibly rare silver created by Paul Revere himself. They have been fully insured, they're listed in a national registry, there are photographs and detailed records of them at the Smithsonian...where they will probably end up when I die, to be shown along with other Revolutionary War items from my family. They have never triggered a tax event.

I own original art that has probably increased in value by 2000% percent or more since I've owned it. They, like everything else I own, are insured via USAA, an insurance company for military officers and their families. The art has been photographed, recorded, and the auction at which I won the art was noted in the Dallas paper. The art has not, and according to my tax attorney, will not cause a tax event *until or unless* I sell it. Same for things like my Crow crew jacket. It's worth a fortune if I found the right buyer, but it's not taxable just because it's hanging in my closet.

I don't believe tangibles cause a tax event under any circumstances unless you sell the item and create a profit (or loss), but I'm not an attorney, so I could be wrong.

As for the topic of gaming and taxes, I refer you to the Legal Affairs Febuary 2006 issue, which included this article: Dragon Slayers or Tax Evaders? written by Julian Dibbell - the author of My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. He's done an extraordinary amount of research into the topic.

You are correct Diva -- mere posession isn't taxable. It's the transaction that creates the asset or income that is a taxable event. However, windfall's count. So if you GIVE me that painting, someone's gonna owe. This is precisely why charities make out so well on gifts from collectors: simply handing them down a generation can be a bummer.

As for the dibbel article, hey, I did link it in my piece in the introduction to the tax section. It's excellent.

If you ever wanna lose that Crow jacket, I'll pay the tax on the gift (I assume there's a story there, and I wanna hear it.)

rabbit wrote:

Edgar,

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I don't personally disagree with most of what you've said.

As to point 1: This remains irrelevant. Selling something you don't own, but that results in income is theft. The IRS has explicity said they expect thieves to pay taxes. I can come up with the specific code section if you like. I didn't believe it either.

In response, selling something that results in taxable income (assuming the applicable jurisdiction taxes income, etc. etc.). My point was that I questioned the existence of the theft. Each player has a license to participate in the game world (through the software license). As part of that participation each player may acquire virtual assets. Those virtual assets are subject to the license and are not actually owned by the player. Through the participation allowed for in the game -- which in Eve's case, includes "bad acts" -- one player takes the virtual assets of another player (think "ganking" or other PVP acts in other games). I am still not seeing the theft. There has been no conversion of virtual assets owned by the game company and licensed to the players by any one player.

rabbit wrote:

I like your pinball example as a test case. It contains many of the actors and actions in common with the Eve thing. I think you would find folks who would tell you that if in fact the pinball machine cost 10,000 to play, and you could turn around in the line behind you and say "here, take my game" when you win that freebie, that that person has received a taxable gift.

Without question, you are correct. As I recall, however, an individual may receive a gift of up to $10,000 each year tax free (I am sure that there are some parameters/requirements around this, but you get the idea). Additionally, this is a form of alienation which has tax implications (notwithstanding the $10,000 gift carve out).

Short story, long: I think that virtual economies and virtual assets are and should remain taxable only upon real world alienations and transfers.

rabbit wrote:

As for actionable: I think what makes this slightly different than the poker example is what I said in the article. If CCP sees *some* scams as worthy of compensation back to the injured parties, they're clearly reinforcing that this isn't just a part of the game. Selective enforcement on their part muddies the waters substantially.

I don't see it quite the same way. As I understand it, CCP has stated a desire to stop and punish people that steal passwords and accounts -- this, to me, is a real world crime as opposed to a virtual world offense; specifically, in that, the bad actor is essentially converting a real world thing -- specifically the license to the game world itself -- for his/her own purposes without authorization. That is theft and may be fraud, etc. etc.

Similarly with hacking. That is outside the bounds of the game and thus can be and should be punished.

I am not aware that CCP had stated that some in-game scams (that don't result in password or account misappropriation) may be punished. Has it?

I'll dig it up tomorrow (its from forum threads on Eve), but they have said that they have in limited cases made people whole even when a scam turned out not to be specifically an exploit (password theft, hacking, etc...)

As for the theft issue: I think it's new territory honestly, and one intimately tied to the issue of value recognition. If it's deemed taxable in some way, then there's legal value. If there's legal value...

All of these things are only decided at the edges -- where the boundaries are weakest. I think Eve and CCP are out on the edge -- the GTC trade-in system establishes a value path, the nature of the "scams" in Eve are larger and more obvious.

Hey, I don't WANT to be right here. I just think we, as a community of fairly like-minded geeks, are sticking our heads in the sand an awful lot when it comes to these issues, simply because they *seem* illogical and ridiculous to those of us on the inside.

Well to throw another "item" up on the table, does the IRS come round every month cause women are constantly using up highly valuable eggs? and well let's not even talk about how much money your average male has tossed away during his lifetime...
the way I figure it is that we all owe Uncle Sam a big pile of cash!

Nosferatu wrote:

Well to throw another "item" up on the table, does the IRS come round every month cause women are constantly using up highly valuable eggs? and well let's not even talk about how much money your average male has tossed away during his lifetime...
the way I figure it is that we all owe Uncle Sam a big pile of cash!

I used that example in my tax law class. Seriously. The professor came up to me after class and, under his breath, said "Impute this." I thought it was wonderful.

Imputed income is a troublesome concept but a fun one to discuss and mull over. Rabbit, thanks for posting the article.

and well let's not even talk about how much money your average male has tossed away during his lifetime...

I've been throwing money down the drain hand over fist!!! So to speak.

Ahem.

(P.S. Great, great article even if the IRS couldn't care less. Obviously brings up fun talking points as well as providing yet another venue for self-effacing whack-off jokes. The Masters should be happy with the traffic, too, as you got boing-boinged.)

Two comments:

ColdForged wrote:

P.S. Great, great article even if the IRS couldn't care less.

I think the issue is that at some point they are going to start caring, i.e. when the money changing hands is big enough. Rabbit's point is that there *is* real-world value changing hands here - real commerce is being done, and the scale is getting larger and larger. Once it gets big enough, the real world will intrude, especially if people start to use online games for things like money-laundering. When does it stop being fun and start being real?

Second, this kind of thing is exactly what EVE is about, as Guysmiley pointed out. Of course, milking people out of money is what gambling is all about, and it is regulated in the real world. Gambling chips are only worth something because they can be exchanged for real money ... but so can ISK, to a certain degree. I think what you are more likely to see with MMOGs is regulation, although what form it would take I haven't the foggiest. Wouldn't it be a kicker if a virtual currency was worth more than a real-world one?

rabbit wrote:

You are correct Diva -- mere posession isn't taxable. It's the transaction that creates the asset or income that is a taxable event. However, windfall's count. So if you GIVE me that painting, someone's gonna owe.

No, not necessarily. Estates have to be more than one and a half million dollars, after spousal property taking, before they trigger an estate tax from inheritance. And it's the estate that pays the tax...not the recipient.

Also Gift Tax, see IRS Pub 950 (PDF), is paid by the Giver...not the Reciever. See also: Internal Revenue Code section 102, 26 U.S.C. § 102 If you make a gift to someone else, the gift tax does not apply until the value of the gifts you give that person exceeds the annual exclusion for the year.

rabbit wrote:

If you ever wanna lose that Crow jacket, I'll pay the tax on the gift (I assume there's a story there, and I wanna hear it.)

I'll let you know if I ever put it up on Ebay.

Diva... totally with you, and never disagreed. There are bits and pieces and exclusions and caps all over the place. And there are all sorts of reasons you might not owe capital gains, self employment or other taxes, etc... I'm not implying I have all the answers, just that the questions are going to start drawing attention.

My thoughts on the subject have been represented by other posts here. Good article, rabbit. Just wanted to put down a clarification regarding game time cards for those that are unclear about how they are sold. It is not sold directly by CCP for isk. It is sold by other players in exchange for isk. They are sold in increments of 30 and 90 days. Don't know how that changes the dynamics of the arguments but there it is.

Eve does have some manner of market control. There are trade goods that cannot be produced by the playerbase. Their market statistics are mostly hard coded but with triggers set off by player interaction. There is also an official market which is basically scam free in the sense that what you see is what you get for whatever price is listed. People bypass those things and use the escrow market system to cut down ingame taxes on transactions or because the market system has no entry for their particular product. However, scams are rampant in escrow. Other than the market (which is still player driven, forcing unreasonable prices on the unwary), everyone in EvE is potentially out to get you.

Other than that, great discussion. Boo IRS! Boo real taxation on virtual dollars! Hooray EvE!

No virtual taxation without virtual representation! MMO players deserve seats in Congress. Cairne Bloodhoof has my vote for his environment friendly campaign and how he's helped control the Centaur tribes.

rabbit wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

I apologize if I'm being rude. I have a personal interest in the author; I saved his life, once. Online. With help.

Heh. Wait a minute, I'm the one with the debt not paid here dude....

Yeah, that's what I mean. I have an interest in you, as in, a business interest, as in, I OWN you.

Well, only partly.

And McChuck gets my vote for the most sensible response to this looming crisis.

McChuck, now there's a whole line of reasoning I didn't even think of. Rest assured, at some future point i will steal that idea mercilessly and ride it to fame and fortune.

McChuck wrote:

No virtual taxation without virtual representation! MMO players deserve seats in Congress. Cairne Bloodhoof has my vote for his environment friendly campaign and how he's helped control the Centaur tribes.

You speak much truthiness, my friend.

rabbit wrote:

McChuck, now there's a whole line of reasoning I didn't even think of. Rest assured, at some future point i will steal that idea mercilessly and ride it to fame and fortune.

As long as I can point to you when you're on TV and say to my friends, "I used to shoot toilets at that guy," then steal away. I'm not interested in fame and fortune, only a distant association with it.

McChuck wrote:

I'm not interested in fame and fortune, only a violent association with it.

Fixed.

Yoinked! Quite the clever response. We should make bumper stickers with Horde and Alliance logos and such.