eBay delisting most virtual items

The ubiquitous auction site is canceling auctions for all virtual items and property...with one major exception.

Over the past few years, both gamers and nongamers alike have been baffled by the premium prices commanded by in-game items in Second Life. Just this past November, an English teacher became a real-life millionaire by selling virtual property in the life sim, which has become so popular that congressmen are using it to hold virtual sessions. So-called "gold farming"--the practice of creating in-game currency for real-world sale on auction sites--has become so prevalent, sweat shops devoted to it have opened up in China and other Asian countries.

Over the weekend, though, the most popular auction site on the planet began removing listings for in-game items--with one major exception. Though it now prohibits the selling of in-game items for World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, and other massively multiplayer online role-playing games, eBay will continue to allow sales for items and property in Second Life.

Speaking to GameSpot sister site News.com, eBay spokesman Hani Durzy explained the logic behind the apparent double standard. "If someone participates in Second Life and wants to sell something they own, we are not at this point proactively pulling those listings off the site," he said. "We think there is an open question about whether Second Life should be regarded as a game."

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Discussion

252 comments
ThErEdNiNjA0329
ThErEdNiNjA0329

To Mooshu922887: Firstly, I have read several comments about "Second Life" being a game. Technically its not. For all people who think Second Life is a game, go get another life. You can't prove a difference between WoW and Second Life even if its free. Have fun. I kind of want to join but I haven't decided fully...

skywalker333
skywalker333

oh... smooth.. really smooth... second life is not a game but wow is... the hypocrisy behind his words is disgusting.

Rimsa_Laded
Rimsa_Laded

"Everything is for sale, from better weapons to lap dances from Lycra-clad werewolfs." What game is this? BEST GAME EVER O_O

MajorGHz
MajorGHz

This is simple, Until you have experienced Second Life you will never know the true value of the game. the limits of the game and where it can lead you is up to the person playing. you are basically placed on a piece of land with a nice set of tools to build anything your little mind can put together. after time as the game goes on you end up with a whole new world. The Ultimate reward for most people is the same as you would get if you were an Artist. There is a limitless amout of people you can meet from all over the world. You can look around any corner just about and find a dance club where you have Live Streaming Audio and Video that is embedded within the game. you can dance the night away with 30 or so different people and there is new people everyday. you can build your own house and cars and you can even you create your own look shapes and fashion. you can have pets and children get married and the posabilities are endless. with so many people at hand you can't imagine the publicity you can get for your real life business or institution. You can do research or take courses on just about any subject you can think of within the game fully interactive 3D. Basically the rules are simple Legally speaking Ebay has obligation to not allow certain items to be sold on thier site and it may or may not be thier choice. Gold Farming was part of the terms you agree to before you begin play those games. some of them include WoW, FFXI, EQ2. Then if you play Second Life and you agree to thier terms it basically tells you that you are not to copy and or sell any work of another player/person per individual copryright. therefore the objoct that was created to be placed in the game is distributed by his/her or player/person who wrote the agreement for that specific item. "Linden or $L or Second life Money" is generated by the items that are made by the players/persons and placed into the game. you don't necessarily go out and "BUY" money to use in the game. it is possible to generate money without spending money and the choices you make while in the game will refelct the amount of Linden you make and obviously some have shown some outstanding business skills and made more than $1M. when you generate money within the game it can be used to pay a premium monthly cost witch allows to to own islands, land parcels homes and business. $L can be transfered back to $US. you can have real jobs running night clubs as a DJ or a Security Guard. or scrub floors in the Malls and make money doing it. if you got texture or scripting skills you can create the items in the game. people don't have detailed cloths fashions realistic movements, look, feel, dance moves, animations, Floors, walls, lights without the people that take the time to digitally create texture and animate them. that is where description Work and Game come in to play. but thats just it you can be or do anything you want so to some it is a part or fulltime job and some it is a game full of fun times meeting new people just like many have done in chat rooms almost since the beginning of the world wide web. it can be a job within a game or it can be a game within a game that is up to the player/person to decide. as long as it remains to be a popular place to hang out the game will always get more and more realistic by the day. Since mid 2006 you have been able to goto Live Performances from Real Life Stars thanks to the Steaming Audio and Video capabilities. If this doesn't help you understand this decision made by Ebay then I don't think you will ever understand until you experience it yourself.

Kbs64
Kbs64

What??... um ok

GrgSpunk
GrgSpunk

All they have to do now is do it for Second Life and stop the selling of email addresses with the word ps3 or wii, and we're set.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Ebay is going to be responsible for the collapse of the Chinese economy

nosobriety
nosobriety

mmm...never played second life, this whole controversy sounds stupid and doesn't sway my interest in wanting to play the "game" either. so it like the more money you shell out for virtual accessories, the cooler you are? that's funny as hell.

Karjah
Karjah

"whatever happened to capitalism and the free market?" It gave way to real public freedom and moral responsibility. We all know this kind of activity is wrong so ebay shut it down.

NWA_31
NWA_31

Wait a sec. Second Life is behind this whole gold farming thing, why did they ban WOW for ? Its like war on terrorism by invading Irak...Oh wait.

jacyp
jacyp

HK-Ghost: The thing is: Second Life is a life sim, but whatever you create inside it, it was you who did it, its open source, you can program it, modify by your own. Got it? It's literally your intelectual property. That if you don't copy someone's work. Besides, it all come down to the user's license agreement. If second life dont create any barriers to this kindda stuff, no problem. But I'm 100% positive that any other major game company, blizzard and etc, have a clause on their user agreement license that forbid the use of any aspects of the game for comercial purposes. It's standart procedure, the game is owned by blizzard, only they can win money with the game.

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

Speaking to GameSpot sister site News.com, eBay spokesman Hani Durzy explained the logic behind the apparent double standard. "If someone participates in Second Life and wants to sell something they own, we are not at this point proactively pulling those listings off the site," he said. "We think there is an open question about whether Second Life should be regarded as a game." That explains what they're doing...not WHY they're doing it. Why should SL not be considered a game? I would assume that they're closing down WoW stuff (etc..) in the basis that the stuff was created by Blizzard, so it's not yours to buy/sell? -Ghost

Behold
Behold

I'm glad that people aren't stupid enough to play WoW...oh, wait.

forever_zero
forever_zero

I'm glad I sold my WoW character before all this hit the fan....

illisium
illisium

"We think there is an open question..." Seems to me they could have just gone with the explanation that Linden Labs doesn't use a ToS that prohibits this kind of commerce. They're not the only ones who take that stand, either; when this started, Richard Garriot thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. "Seems like that if this "Second Life" game is the main culprit...." It's not. Recently, Second Life has received a disproportionate amount of this press, but the majority of the sales remain in the more "traditional" domains, particularly WoW characters and items. This announcement is a big deal, though. It might have an effect. "Wow. I can't believe somebody actually became a millionare" She has a million dollars in assets. If she tried to liquidate them, she wouldn't get a million dollars. "Second life is a game, it's like The Sims MMO" Just don't tell that to the people who play it.

Alcotamaysees
Alcotamaysees

Seems like that if this "Second Life" game is the main culprit of this whole gold farming thing, they would be the first to be prohibited from selling on ebay.

icstars2
icstars2

:? grr i wanted to be a millionare wah :P

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

And this is what the world is coming to....a pity for sure.

NooBAFIED
NooBAFIED

lol learning how to spell is the first step

JaMeS4418
JaMeS4418

Wow. I can't believe somebody actually became a millionare

Dryker
Dryker

Um... this DOESN'T make sense. ... I smell fish... is the boat in?

dapoochiman
dapoochiman

Oh man...looks like it's time to sell WoW gold somewhere different...

noncreativeman
noncreativeman

this makes no sense... not the story, just two people in a row mis-spelling sense. :0

markd751
markd751

Second life is a game, it's like The Sims MMO

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

It's crazy I tell ya - crazy!

Kcube
Kcube

@ Fishheads You own the problem..not the people having a good time ;)

fishheads111
fishheads111

wow...thatm thats just freaken retarded....dumb explanation not only thatm but buying purposed virtual items is..stupid, to say the least... I hate WoW anyways...so it doesnt bother me...and if u ask the fan boys why they like it...usually their answer is something someone in 98' would say if the game had been released then...they would say amazing and what not..when rele..it isnt... go ahead..pay your 10 dollars for 100 WoW gold, lets not PLAY the game to get gold to advance, lets PAY for it...lazy ppl prolly just didnt wanna type the extra L....

moospot
moospot

whatever happened to capitalism and the free market?

KirinIchiban
KirinIchiban

What a load of bologne! I remember when I could sell my accounts for hundreds of dollars after getting bored with an MMORPG, and that's how it should be. It never ruined the economy like these developers like to state. I used to like to play those types of games because they were the only games I felt rewarded me for wasting hours and hours on them because I at least turned out a profit in the end. The early days of Ultima Online were crazy. People were buying castles for thousands of dollars because of overpopulation. Nothing new in the MMORPG genre, no profit incentive after I'm bored with the game, so no new MMORPGs for me.

wakko19991
wakko19991

what? that's the dumbest explanation..someone at ebay must participate in secondlife

Theempire30
Theempire30

Good thing I sold my Runescape account on there before they got tough on this. ^_^

SnakeEater187
SnakeEater187

I don't belive it how ebay thinks its hipocracy

bunktaco
bunktaco

Ebay is allowing Second Life because the founder is an investor in Linden Labs which is the company that created Second Life.

Modx22
Modx22

What is Second LIfe????

bildo2020
bildo2020

i dont think its hipocracy....games like WoW and everquest have in their terms of agreements and what not rules about gold farming. I think its a good idea. Second Life on the other hand is completly different and dosent abide by the same rules.

jknight5422
jknight5422

"Probably because it actually does harm people to be in a sweat shop, and no, that's not really a choice people make." ---gelatinguy Putting those impoverished people out of work is even more serious. They'll have to go to another sweat shop or starve. There simply isn't enough jobs to go around. So when people ask how do you stop world hunger? Well one answer would be not destroying the sweatshops because they need them in order to live. I can't imagine them making that much money, compared to the companies that own the MMOs.

Merl57
Merl57

WTF law wit exception? hypocracy if you ask me.

Proman84
Proman84

Ebay is obviously having a double standard towards 'Second Life'. I also think the entire idea of buying online properties is simply idiotic.

zintarr
zintarr

All I can say is that I am glad I sold my WOW account when I did.

trevor_25
trevor_25

How can it not be a game? Whats the standard the definition of a video game vs a video like game. Ridiculous. I hate E-Bay. Its run by a bunch of buffoons.

gelatinguy
gelatinguy

I assume it has more to do with the gold farming sweatshops they mentioned, and less to do with items being virtual. They labeled it as that in the news story, but people here are right: Why would they stop something that is profitable for others and them? Probably because of a different reason. Probably because it actually does harm people to be in a sweat shop, and no, that's not really a choice people make.