That's right, if you're buying gold, kinah, experience, kidneys... online, then you're totally slaying small Indonesian children. Slaying them from the fingers down.
Maybe that's a little extreme, but if you are purchasing in-game benefits for real life cash, you're certainly enabling the practice. For my part, I'd like to yell at you, "CUT IT OUT!".
There is nothing good or glorious about RMT'ing. You cannot justify it. It is bad for the industry, bad for the players, and bad for the developers. Right now, NCSoft is, I'm sure, wasting a whole bunch of time and energy on solving the "gold spamming" issue instead of developing. I'm sure Blizzard has put some time and money into the issue as well. In fact, name your game, and if it's at all popular, it's probably had to be regulated against RMT'ing in some way. Unless that's part of the game I guess. Still, how do games deal with the spam?
Spooner over at Spooncraft.com does a wonderful job of keeping us up to date. I'll link over to him for the latest communications from NCSoft regarding gold spamming. Read it if you'd like, but it's not necessary for this small rant. It's just the current problem.
The rant is nothing new, however. Even back in my days of FFXI, RMT'ing was a very real problem. It's been around since MMOs have gained popularity. How do we, as gamers, deal with it? How should developers deal with it?
I'd love to have your thoughts on perhaps some clever ways of dealing with it, because while we know what developers have done in the past, I'm sure there have to be some better ways. I know, I know, for Aion's part they just need to make it a bit easier to report these buggers, and have done well making blocking easy, but they could do more. Blocking and reporting are really the two tried and true methods. I think we'd all like to see something more...automated?
My suggestion is to put something in place sort of like Gmail's spam filter. Basically, let a user "block" another user as a "RMT" (a different designation from a normal block). When a certain number of users do this, it confirms a RMT identity and will be automatically blocked from everyone else. Each user could then go in and disable their RMT scanner, or even "unblock" individuals that they claim not to be RMTs. This could be highly automated, and if someone gets mistakenly RMT'ed (which would have to have been done by like 100 peopleganging up on them, which might mean they should be blocked for all anyways), they could simply send a personal email to a GM or an in-game ticket, explaining what's going on. RMTs don't contact GM's, so that would be simple as well. Periodically, the devs could even go in and ban accounts that have been caught by the "spam filter". Gmail can do it, why not an MMO?
That may or may not be possible, but from the perspective of the gamers, though, I have two suggestions:
- Don't buy it! - I don't care what "it" is, if you are giving money to anyone, you are encouraging and basically "voting for" their behavior. You are an enabler at that point. In a capitalist market, you money is your vote.
- Just block it! - Stop carrying on for 20 minutes in general chat about it, just hit the block button and get on with life. By complaining in-game for hours on end, you're giving these people even MORE air time. You're not really helping the issue unless you're trying to help others learn how to use the block feature. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Don't buy it, just block it. Words to play by.