As more and more people take up residence in the virtual world — sometimes also called digital or synthetic worlds — through their participation in one of the many “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games” (MMPORGs) currently available online, the potential for monetary abuse and malfeasance also increases.

While the original virtual worlds were built by private gaming companies for their subscriber base and were fully controlled by the designers and their all-encompassing End-User Licensing Agreements (EULA), new MMPORGs have emerged that provide individual players with more freedoms — including the ability to create, seclude or launder wealth. The likelihood of this new technology being co-opted for unscrupulous purposes is great, since historically the same has happened in response to other advances in technology. We’ve already seen how “property” created as part of the game can be misappropriated, even leading to violence.

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