The growth of the Internet has given birth to a new type of computer game: games which players can play on any computer, with thousands - even tens of thousands - of players around the world. In the world of MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), also known simply as online games, players can meet other players, become friends, engage in battle, fight shoulder to shoulder against evil, find their virtual destiny - and play, play, play... However not all is well in these virtual worlds, where virtual evil can become greedy reality. Online games are played by real people, including thieves and con artists who make real money by stealing other people's virtual property.
This article will explore how MMORPG passwords and virtual property are stolen and how other malicious acts are committed against MMORPG players.
Online games involve exploring magnificent virtual worlds and completing tasks - known as quests - which gain the players money, valuables and experience, not points as in a more traditional computer game. These virtual riches, which are earned with the character's blood, sweat and tears, can then be spent on other in-game valuables. These attributes, once purchased are used to complete even more difficult quests, earn more money, or to enable the character to simply continue wandering the game - there is no “Game Over” in online games.
Online games have rules that are determined by the developers and administrators of game servers. These are the people who spend their time and real money creating and supporting virtual worlds, and this is how they earn a living. Online games can be purchased at stores or downloaded from the Internet, but in order to play you usually have to pay a monthly subscription fee. The money from these monthly fees covers traffic costs, support for game servers, the creation of new virtual worlds and new items for players (swords, spears, ships, etc.). Players can “live” for years in these rapidly growing and constantly evolving virtual worlds.
The world of online games moves very quickly: each year new games are released and the army of players continues to grow. Almost immediately after the licensed version of a new game has been released, pirate (rogue) servers begin appearing. These rogue servers offer free versions of the worlds provided in the licensed, fee-based games.
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