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Thieves On World of Warcraft Should Be Punished Like Real Llife Criminals

Jul-24-2014 PST

Gamers who steal virtual items in online games, such as swords and wizard robes, should be punished in the same was as 'real-life' thieves, an MP has suggested.


Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, East Sussex, and Prime Minister David Cameron’s chief adviser on intellectual property, put forward the idea in Parliament on Wednesday.


He asked Mike Penning, the Minister of State for Justice, to bring forward legislative proposals which would see cyber criminals who steal online items with a real-world monetary value receive the same sentence as offline criminals.


Mr Weatherley is one of the 7.6 million people worldwide subscribed to play the hugely popular World of Warcraft, a so-called massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG.


Other popular MMORPGs include Runescape, Guild Wars, and League of Legends.


Players can spend large amounts of real-word money on items that only exist online, and should be offered the same protection as any other victims of theft, Mr Weatherley said.