April 05, 2004

Real World Manipulation via Virtual Games

I'm not so happy with the development of real world manipulation in virtual games.

"We used the map to give creatures some interesting behavior. Some creatures only hunt at night. Some hang around close to parks." If a player wants to find that creature, they'll have to travel near a park in the evening hours. ... It has a community dimension to it, I chat with other players, I also know how far I am from them and finding out some are less than a few hundred meters to me is really exciting. Over the past month, I bumped into a player who turned out to be the creator of the game, I had to race to pick up a flag that had been put on the map at equal distance between me and another player to encourage us to meet.

Especially when the game participants are likely to be kids, this has some real risks involved. Being able to lure people to a particular destination at a particular time has long been a successful strategy for criminals. It's reasonable that there will, at the very least, be a period where the brighter muggers, rapists, and murderers will hire hackers to lure their targets to a convenient spot.

Posted by TMLutas at April 5, 2004 08:17 AM