A computer-based simulated environment created for players to interact with each other is called a virtual world. This world presents a perceptual stimulus to players as if they are in the real world, but more often than not, it is depicted in fantasy. Multiplayer online games commonly present a world alike to the real world because there are rules to follow, and the interaction is done in real-time. Each day, over a hundred million users enter these virtual worlds, and some spend all their days and money to play these online games. In this world, they can build their own castles and have as much money as they want to.
So what is virtual economy? Virtual economy is an evolving economy that exists in the virtual world. This economy usually involves swapping of virtual goods, and users enter and play with this economy for leisure, which implies that it does not have the same characteristics as the real economy. It is only done to be an entertainment and not to be a means of surviving, however, some players exchange virtual gold or online currency for real hard cash.
In all online games, there is always some sort of currency where you can buy your avatar goods for aesthetic reasons like clothes, but some are bought for the avatar’s practical use. An example of this is purchasing armors and weapons. For users to obtain these currencies, they have to do some sort of work in the virtual world, like farming, but some people find that annoying and bothersome. Thus, they resort to buying and/or exchanging online currency or other virtual goods for real money. Doing this trade is illegal and against the terms and conditions when users first registered with the online gaming service, because with all items found in the game, whether it’s platinum, armor, gold or online currency, copyrights belong to the development and production company who produced the game. Therefore, it means that users are not legally allowed to buy and sell these items with another user.
As a step to resolve these exchanges in the real world, developers have taken steps to stop online game trade of their intellectual property rights. They have banned accounts caught buying or selling items. Some ignorant users pay no attention to this, but keep in mind that since you have agreed to the terms and conditions when you registered, if you are caught exchanging virtual goods for real hard cash, you will not only lose your account but the developers could sue you, in yes, a real court.