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LIVE: The Future of Virtual Worlds…

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Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (aka MMORPGs) have been taking the world by storm since 1978 with the code-based game, MUD.

View from 2022…

Richard Bartle discusses how Law and Order is increasingly becoming important in MMORPGs and how it is becoming transferable in online worlds. When players own items in online world, do they have a claim on the intellectual property?

When people misbehave online, can you ban them? Are we responsible for our actions online and should we be held accountable for them? The lines between real life and online are becoming blurred. Gamers are paying real currency for objects or advantages… Electronic items are being bought and sold for money – making game playing a lucrative business.

But what about tax? When you win a virtual sword which is worth an in-game value of 800g, that 800g could be worth £32… If you cash that £32, it’s income – you should pay income tax. So where do the laws stop… Or start for that matter.

The lines are blurred. Within 10 years time Parliament could be charging tax on virtual earnings. Richard Bartle argues that in 2022, virtual games will become real – too real. They will no longer be ‘fun’…

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