BEIJING, Aug. 28 -- Youths addicted to online games
have found ways to earn their living, by slaving away - often literally -
quarrying, scalping and even stealing the virtual equipment of the games. These
are precious and costly - in real or virtual terms - weapons, rank, robes and
This virtual thievery is very real and does not bode
well for the future of the young robbers who are plunged into online larceny.
They themselves are often the victims of bosses who virtually enslave them for
12 hours a day.
It's time for the government to ban and for gamers to
boycott unidentified transactions for virtual weapons and accessories - because
an underground network of theft may well lie at its heart.
China Youth Daily reported last Tuesday that the
Chinese Internet world is distorted and threatened by countless "black hats" or
"crackers," who sneak in servers and personal computers for unjust profits.
A typical dirty business is stealing users' passwords
from QQ, a dominant Chinese instant messaging program, and from online games.
Some users or players possess virtual items or
equipment in their accounts, including virtual currency, virtual costumes to
dress in the user's virtual roles, and powerful weapons in games like the World
These items are obtained through exchange or purchase
with real money or investment of time. They are virtual, but valuable to some
Crackers come to steal these items and hawk them on
online auction sites like taobao.com.
Being indignant at such crimes, I also feel sorry for
those criminals. Many of them are even more wretched victims, of the
unconstrained online game business, than legitimate users and players.
They are addicted young players who wasted too much
time in the games and become losers in schools and, as adults, have difficulties
in finding a regular job to support themselves - so they turn to online crime.
Some of them, induced by experienced crackers, join
the business of online larceny, and mostly function as tiny worms in a huge
These petty black hats master no real technology,
such as programming: all they do is spread Trojan horses, worms and viruses that
are developed by real experts, and collect valuable data, as an Internet
security engineer told the China Youth Daily.
As far back as January, CCTV broadcast an
investigation of underground online game equipment workshops in China.
Young men who should have been in college or even
schools are hired to play online games at least 12 hours a day, in order to
collect equipment, which the workshop bosses then would sell domestically or
There are no minimum wages, hardly any days off and
no real beds for these online gameslaves. Overnight steamed rice is their daily
Numb and dull in real life, over-excited in virtual
fights, who could make better slaves for this postmodern industry, whose motto
is to turn persons into batteries for the matrix, to squeeze the real world for
the sake of the virtual one?
Government and society should take effective measures
to restrain the online game industry. A good idea might well be to ban the
transactions for virtual items through those e-shopping Websites.
(Source: Shanghai Daily)