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Slashdot says…ebay pulls plug on virtual goods February 7, 2007

Posted by webofwebhead in Magic the Gathering, Video Games.

You can read the article HERE.  The Reader’s Digest version…ebay recently began delisting auctions for virtual goods…think “blues” in World of Warcraft, Credits in Star Wars, ‘toons in City of Heroes.  The basis for this deals with intellectual property laws and legalese within the eula in the games themselves.  (I found it interesting that ebay never announced this…they just started doing it one day and people noticed.)

For the record…yes, I have bought online virtual goods before…back when I was playing a lot of Galaxies my buddy bought a ton of credits and I bought some of off him…maybe five or ten bucks.  Of course, deals like this don’t make headlines, but selling fully developed characters for hundreds of dollars have from time to time.

It also appears that this has had a splash damage effect on Magic’s online version of the game.  This is interesting, because it seems to cut against the MtgO philosophy that you own the virtual cards and can do with them whatever you want, but we’ll see how it plays out over time.

As Walter Williams often says…one of the true tests of ownership is whether you have the right to sell your possessions.  I have a feeling that most people believe that they do “own” the virtual items they accumulate while paying real money for gameplay experiences…and it appears that other avenues will arise to fill the gap opened by ebay, at least for now. – B



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