To all of those thinking the government is completely uninterested in what you do in online games, read this article carefully. A man in Clearwater, Florida, apparently held that belief and is now paying for it. Christopher H. Bouffard was arrested Monday on charges of scheming to defraud and two counts of grand theft (info from Miami Herald). He had arranged sales of World of Warcraft characters for $760 dollars to at least two buyers, and never delivered them over after he received the money. He is now being held on $20,000 bail.
This isn’t extremely important, but it is interesting. It also paints a clear picture of the rising importance the video game industry has in society. When virtual objects are sold for real currency, and prosecution comes up over mis-dealings, we get to see just how much the world is changing and molding itself around gaming. I’m not trying to make it sound as if gaming is the center of society, but it is increasingly becoming a more important part of it. 30 years ago do you think any level of government would have even cared about fraudulent activity in a video game?