Insane, right? I mean, let’s say our friend John has his Bonebiter (one of countless powerful weapons in WoW) and a man steals it somehow. Should the thief be convicted of a crime and punished in the real world? Did you snort with laughter at that question? Why?
The victim worked many hours to “earn” the object. The victim used it daily and depended on it. He derived happiness and satisfaction from it. So why shouldn’t depriving him of it be punishable by law? If you say, “but it’s just something he used in a game,” I’ll say that golf is also just a game. Want to see what happens to me when I steal a new set of golf clubs?
If you say, “but the Bonebiter doesn’t even exist,” I’ll say it exists in exactly the same way that the songs and software I download off Bittorrent exist. And yet stealing them is a crime. The only difference is that when I steal a song, nobody else is deprived of the song. When that guy stole John’s Bonebiter, he was left unarmed and forced to go find a replacement. That theft actually hurts more, not less. —David Wong —A World of Warcraft World (PointlessWasteOfTime.com)