He did it for his family.. While it was wrong, I can't honestly say I blame him, and if I was in his position I might have done the same thing. And even more he knows what he did was wrong, and is willing to live with the consequences. Looks like there are still some good people in this world.
At least the game producers realized the embezzlement was simply a part of life (an unfortunate part), and didn't boot him because he stole the in-game money, but rather because he broke the rules of service.
Hopefully the people he stole from remember it's just a game, but I have a feeling someone is going to try to sue him, people are just that pathetic.
Oops, I should clarify that I don't support embezzlers, and people who do it in real life should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. What I meant was, the Eve Online producers realize that when you simulate an economy on that scale, you are going to simulate the good and bad parts, and can't punish people in real life for their actions in-game. If there were an in-game justice system, I'd be all for sentencing his character Bernie-Madoff style.
So let me get this right - people pay with real world cash to get game world cash(either by buying a subscription and taking an opportunity cost hit by playing, or directly buying it), put this converted real-world cash into his virtual bank, and then he embezzels this converted real-world cash from his virtual bank to pay for real-world expenses, and no one thinks this unethical or illegal?
Sorry. I have medical bills, I have expenses, I have a house - I would NEVER think of stealing real or virtual cash in order to pay for these expenses! I know it currently is not illegal, but it still is highly unethical.
Again, would anyone have had any problems if he has "only stolen a couple of cents out of each player's real world bank account" to raise $5100 for expenses? After all, its not like anyone will miss a few pennies individually - they probably have that much lost in the nooks and crannies of a single couch at their home. After all, he had a good reason for STEALING the money - so that makes it ethical and legal enough for me.
Now, had he turned to the community and asked for help ("I am struggling with high medical expenses for my son, if you can afford to donate anything - even a penny - to help my son get his needed medical expenses, I would be eternally grateful") then I might have sympathy for him.
So, RL trumps game life and no harm done? I disagree. Can I blame him? Yes. Do I understand why he did this? Entirely. It is easy to say "well, its only monopoly money, so I am not really stealing anything" without realizing its roots are in real world money, mainly because so few people actually think fully about what things really represent.
I agree with Dan222. No matter what the situation is stealing is wrong. Real money or not. If someone stole your WoW account and sold it in Ebay would you not be mad? I mean it was the sake of his family. Your bank steals your money because the CEO needed the money for whatever reason would you not be upset? It is pathetic not because people will sue, its pathetic people don't care and say what they will as long as it doesn't happen to them. I bet if it was your money you would not be so sympathetic.
I'd almost agree with you if the guy embezzeled in-money game and used it to purchase things in-game. If the game made it clear they expected some of this behavior and were going to simulate courts and other consequences for such actions (ie, you get caught, your character is put into a "prison" or possibly lynched), then I would agree.
However, because this wasn't part of the game, because people invested real-world money, and because his embezzelment took it back out into the real world, I feel his crime is a little bit more deserving of punishment - such as paying restitution to the people for the $5100. This could be divided up amongst those who suffered game losses and would be applied as a credit to their accounts against their monthly fees. THAT would send a clear message.
dan222, kpride017 it's pathetic to compare this with real life. come now it is just a game. it's meant for you to try things you wouldn't do in reality. because if you just act the exact same way as in reality than there's no real reason for you to play that game just live you life.
kpride017 stealing money in the game is not at all like stealing an WoW account. because you still have your character just that it was riped off. it's more like being fooled in WoW to give away your money or items, but you would still have your account.
now think a bit about it. isn't murder a crime too? how about when we play a shooter in multiplayer mode. I guess to you shooting at your friends character would be just like shooting your friends in real life?
bogdan22, people paid for the credit with real money, which the guy stole. The equivalent in real life would be killing a character, and the person behind it dieing as well. See what I mean? People will have to replace the in game currency using real money. In the end, the guy made players suffer a monetary loss. Obviously, the game currency had a real life value, and he took it. How is this different from stealing?