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Should Gamers be Prosecuted for Virtual Stealing?

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by

Kristin Ross

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of Should Gamers be Prosecuted for Virtual Stealing?

Stance
The author clearly does not believe that gamers should be prosecuted for virtual stealing.
Essay Summery
Alex begins his essay by telling us the story of the Dutch Supreme Court convicting a teenage gamer of virtually stealing something from another player.
Audience
Author's Biography
Alex Weiss is a student at Arizona State University.
Genre
Alex's essay, in my opinion, seemed to be an argumentative essay.
Analyzed
&
Presented by:
Kristin Ross
Should Gamers be Prosecuted for Virtual Stealing?
I believe the author's target audience was other college students and/or gamers.
By: Alex Weiss
Alex's essay was written as a blog for one of his classes.
- Slate (an online magazine) published it in early 2012.
He titles the essay as a question, but throughout the essay, his own opinion becomes quite obvious.
This essay would certainly appeal to other gamers, but he explains the relevant facts about MMOs for anyone who may be unfamiliar with gaming.
Strategy
The author's tone is argumentative.
He uses his own personal experience and opinions to express the reasoning behind why he is against the court's ruling.
Conclusion
"Stealing something that doesn't exist,"
he says.
Alex goes on to explain his "disappointing" teenage years as an MMO thief.
"Video games are not work or investments for which people should be compensated; they are escapism."
Weiss, p. 727
Weiss, p. 727
Alex then goes into the basic ethics and rules of common MMOs, and makes the point that it is NOT against the rules of
RuneScape
to steal other players' belongings...
... Causing me to also question the court's ruling.
Why was someone prosecuted in the real world for something that wasn't against the rules in the virtual world?
Works Cited
Response
Although I agree with the author that this particular gamer should not have been prosecuted, I believe that the author is biased.
Let's look at some of the reasons behind my conclusion...
Two of Alex's quotes have already been mentioned.
During his "disappointing" teenage years, he dedicated an insane amount of time and money to an MMO called EVE online.
He also states that video games are merely escapism, and that they shouldn't be compensated for...
...Which translates to me, that they are only a waste of time, unworthy of any value.
I find that offensive, not only to gamers; but to any hobbyist.
- Artists spend massive amounts of time and money on their supplies and masterpieces, often for the joy of "escapism."
- Body builders and health nuts spend time and money on gym equipment, because exercise is a stress reliever. "Escapism."
- Writing and blogging (which the author himself currently does) take up a lot of time. But it's fun, right? "Escapism."
Yet, somehow, those hobbies are far more socially accepting than gaming.
Some gamers even create cute little videos, like this one:
In conclusion, I believe it was a well written essay with facts and evidence to back up the author's opinion.
I agree that the teenage gamer should never have been prosecuted for something that wasn't against the game rules.
I disagree with the author's overall view of gaming in general.
Graved1gger. “Guild Wars vs. World of Warcraft.” Video. Youtube.com. 9 April, 2006. Web. 30 March. 2014.
Bullock, Richard H., Maureen Daly. Goggin, and Francine Weinberg. "Should Gamers Be Prosecuted for Virtual Stealing?" The Norton Field Guide to Writing, with Readings and Handbook. New York: W. W. Norton, 2013. 727-29. Print.
He has worked as a content manager, social media manager, and freelancer.
He also occasionally does stand up comedy at open mike.
Full transcript