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Debt Lurks In The Lairs Of Dragons


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#1 lead_slugs

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

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THE world's most popular free online game has been accused of luring children into gambling after a Sydney boy bet more than $2000.
The 15-year-old from Quakers Hill, in northwest Sydney, was playing RuneScape, a game with more than 200 million users, allegedly infiltrated by crime "clans".
His mother, who asked not to be named, was shocked to see a $1200 bill on her credit card. Her son also spent $700 gambling on RuneScape on his mobile phone.
Video Game Addiction Treatment Clinic psychologist Emil Hodzic has had four Sydney teenage patients who gambled real money in games.
"I am seeing a number of teenagers presenting with video game addiction with a co-morbidity of problem gambling behaviour," he said.
"The parents aren't aware their children are also gambling and some owe 'clan leaders' real money, which is part of the reason they're stealing from their parents."

RuneScape players complete medieval quests for points, to buy weapons and food in-game.
Gambling clans also invite players to use real money, Mr Hodzic said.
"These clans are equivalent to a casino. When game developers find out about it they shut them down, but another springs up," he said.
"Parents need to be aware that RuneScape is not as safe and soft as people imagine it to be."
The teenager, who is now undergoing treatment for his online addiction, was also lured into recruiting for the clan, which offered him a 30 per cent commission.
"My son was encouraging others to do it and the clan leader was getting 70 per cent commission," his mother said.
"I know he spends a lot of time on the computer, he was getting up in the middle of the night to play, but I didn't realise there was a dark side."
RuneScape's developer Jagex Games lifted its restrictions on real-money trading last year.
"Before free trade, I played RuneScape the way it was supposed to be played," one player confessed on the online forum [Link Removed].
"But ever since the free-trade update I can't stop gambling," the gamer said.
The company warns of gambling scams on its RuneScape HQ forum, saying advertising RuneScape gambling games will not be allowed.
"Some players will attempt to build your trust in order to scam a larger portion of your wealth off you," it warns players. "Be careful." allowed an 'explosion' of gambling the site since the Jagex removed the trade limits last year"Kids are definitely being exposed to gambling without their parents' knowledge.
"Criminal gangs have been involved in other online gambling games so it should surprise no one that they may be targeting kids on RuneScape."
Earlier this year, the Australian Law Reform Commission handed down its review into the classification system.
"All online games remain exempt from classification for two years while the whilst the recommendations from the ALRC review are considered," a spokesperson for Justice Minister Jason Clare said.

http://www.dailytele...9-1226542293087


I tried to post this on RSB:

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More bad publicity for this game. Isn't this a warning sign that you should stop pushing out updates that causes 1/3 of the players to quit? Maybe a bit of focus on the community would allow you create/update content that retains players. The need for micro transactions or "refer a friend" program that reflects how desperate you are for players in-spite of it being your own fault generally.

Players want dialogue, not be shut out of the game update process


How is it that dicing was allowed to grow to such proportions that people are willing to risk and trust thousands of real life dollars on this game? You seem so eager to create incredibly complicated systems to combat such a simple problem. Dicing clans rely on fresh blood to keep the gambling wheel turning. Denying them that prevents the clan from ever growing.

Maybe this news will cause you to put more thought into that anti gambling update.


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#2 wolfmon

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

I like how they stick in there that free trade caused them to get their addictions.
You can tell they didn't play the game before it was removed in the first place.

If Jagex uses this as a reason to remove trade once again, I will be very disappointed.

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#3 nxt

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

Am i allowed to say the kid is an idiot?

When i was 15 i was trying my best to make rsgp so i could sell it for real money. Never thought about giving my (well parents) money to get rsgp. The parents are just as bad, supervise what your kid is doing. If he is having to wake up during the middle of the night to play the game you should probably look into whats going on at that point.

Clearly if you don't understand that Real Money > RSGP you're an idiot and you deserve it. I'm sorry but people like this annoy me as they blame everything other then themselves when they are the root of the problem.

#4 Cernunnos

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

Just curious, but what parent was irresponsible enough to let a teenager get a hold of their credit card?

#5 Sun Inc

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

It's hard out there being white and addicted to Runescape...
Out of the blue, and into the black, once you're gone, you can never come back.

#6 Catalan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:14 AM

Jagex will get around to fixing a problem like this years later when the damage has been done. You can tell it's Daily Telegraph Australia reporting quality when they say runescape has 200 million users lol.

Edited by Catalan, 24 December 2012 - 01:14 AM.

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#7 boom1

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:42 AM

looks like free publicity for jamflex :l
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#8 Array

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:50 AM

Personally I had fun without freetrade (been playing since 03/04), today EVERYONE is money hungry, both the players and jagex
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#9 Gohankuten

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:52 AM

I laughed when they said that whenever a gambling method pops up jagex shuts it down.  Flowers have been in use for awhile now without a hint of nerf bat to them.

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#10 ToeJam

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:38 AM

Quote

RuneScape players complete medieval quests for points, to buy weapons and food in-game.
RuneScape's developer Jagex Games lifted its restrictions on real-money trading last year.
"Before free trade, I played RuneScape the way it was supposed to be played," one player confessed on the online forum [Link Removed].
"But ever since the free-trade update I can't stop gambling," the gamer said.
The company warns of gambling scams on its RuneScape HQ forum, saying advertising RuneScape gambling games will not be allowed.
"Some players will attempt to build your trust in order to scam a larger portion of your wealth off you," it warns players. "Be careful." allowed an 'explosion' of gambling the site since the Jagex removed the trade limits last year"Kids are definitely being exposed to gambling without their parents' knowledge.

A few points I noticed. First off, we complete medieval quests for points that allow us to buy weapons and food in game? Way to go by the reporter for not doing their research properly.

Lifted restrictions on real money trading? Surely this is only in relation to micro transactions and that is controlled by Jagex themselves.

The 'free trade lift' by the player probably refers to his age - if he's 15 now then in 2007 he would have been 10.

The last bit is more the parents responsibility to take an active interest in their childs online experience. Jagex have given all the information that they can and take action where they can... but a lot of the onus (as it should be) is on the player & their responsible guardians to ensure common sense is used.

View PostGohankuten, on 24 December 2012 - 01:52 AM, said:

I laughed when they said that whenever a gambling method pops up jagex shuts it down.  Flowers have been in use for awhile now without a hint of nerf bat to them.

That isn't what the article says

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"These clans are equivalent to a casino. When game developers find out about it they shut them down, but another springs up,"

It referred to the clans themselves and game developers in general (not just Jagex).

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#11 Dakk.

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:38 AM

The kid is an idiot for not knowing the actual value of money. The kid's mom is an idiot for not having a good enough connection with her child to know what he does on the internet and letting him in on her credit card info.

And Jagex is an idiot for doing little for gambling. Maybe this incident will make them do something?
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#12 Duke Narked

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:59 AM

I've been saying this all along.

15 is an impressible age. Especially today's 15 year olds, that don't have jobs, because their parent believe that being a child is about acting like a child so they allow them to have unlimited access to their money. This is a down right stupid act of Parenting. I hope that kid gets the flogging of his life so he learns that money isn't a thing that grows on trees.

I really hope Jagex takes this seriously, Gambling at this age will cause social and addiction problems down the line. Gambling in videos, like pokemon and other games, can lead to serious imprecation on a child mind, associating gaming with gambling. Am I the only one that see this?

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#13 Magick

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:28 AM

I am not surprised, it was about time one of these situations popped up.

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#14 Jaddy

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:51 AM

View Postwolfmon, on 23 December 2012 - 08:59 PM, said:

If Jagex uses this as a reason to remove trade once again, I will be very disappointed.
jagex shouldnt use this as a reason to remove free trade. however, it is an example of a way bigger problem that came to light with free trade. namely, the amount of botting and RWT'ing.
you can say all you want, but in the period where we did not have free trade, the player base changed drasticly, so that when the free trade returned, instead of going back to how it was, before the trade limits, it became totally different. of course it is silly to say that there was no scamming/rwting/botting before the free trade. but the trade limits changed the players, wealth became more important, so that when free trade was rereleased, the hoarding started, along with extreme amounts of rwting.

so yes, the trade limits are part of the cause, but no, keeping free trade around isnt gonna help either. i think RS would be better off with the trade limits. simply because the current ecomony is totally wrecked by free trade. because rwting is causing troubles like described in the OP, even though the kid and the parents are to blame, this would not have happened with trade limits.

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#15 Rodney King

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

This isn't the first case of kids stealing parents credit cards, blowing out mobile phone plans etc. to pay for RS items/gamble/stake. I've heard wonderful stories both from my old clan as well as others of people blowing weekly pay on RS to stake; maybe not the the extent of using stolen credit cards, but I've sure I've read news articles of this happening in the UK/Netherlands/Portugal/US within the last few years.

Problem gambling in Australia is getting worse and worse, we have the highest rate of per capita expenditure on gambling:

http://www.smh.com.a...0520-1ewls.html

The parent is this isn't blameless, she should be more aware of whats going on, I'm sick of parents saying "oh, but I had no idea" or "it's not my fault I can't control them".

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#16 Brogusa

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

I find this sad, yet amusing at the same time. They honestly think that exposing kids to gambling at a young age is harmful? It's dependent ENTIRELY on the kid and the way he/she was raised along with the role of the parent(s). Saying things like RuneScape creating gambling addiction in young kids would be the same as saying violent video games breed killers. It's completely ignorant and it's also total bullcrap.

Here's an example:

I live in NYC, so I've been exposed to many things at a young age that archetypal suburban moms wouldn't let their kids near (dirty rap, suggestive music videos, alcohol, cigarettes, violent video games, R-Rated films, pornography, gambling etc.). I can honestly say that I turned out alright. Listening to 50 Cent, Eminem, Ice Cube, etc. hasn't given me a foul mouth, watching music videos like the one for Gasolina by Daddy Yankee or Pam Pam by Wisin y Yandel hasn't done anything adverse to me. I do not consume alcohol, I do not smoke cigarettes, video games like Dead Space and God of War have't turned me into a psychopathic killer, films like Saw and Freddy vs. Jason haven't desensitised me from torture and mindless killing, seeing my cousin's Playboy under his bed hasn't turned me into a pervert, going to Atlantic City and seeing my uncles play the slot machines hasn't made me want to do anything of the same, and so on and so forth.

It's entirely dependent on the kid along with the way he/she was raised and how the parents are around them.

#17 I Saradomin3

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

View PostThe Puppetmaster, on 24 December 2012 - 09:29 PM, said:

I find this sad, yet amusing at the same time. They honestly think that exposing kids to gambling at a young age is harmful? It's dependent ENTIRELY on the kid and the way he/she was raised along with the role of the parent(s). Saying things like RuneScape creating gambling addiction in young kids would be the same as saying violent video games breed killers. It's completely ignorant and it's also total bullcrap.

Here's an example:

I live in NYC, so I've been exposed to many things at a young age that archetypal suburban moms wouldn't let their kids near (dirty rap, suggestive music videos, alcohol, cigarettes, violent video games, R-Rated films, pornography, gambling etc.). I can honestly say that I turned out alright. Listening to 50 Cent, Eminem, Ice Cube, etc. hasn't given me a foul mouth, watching music videos like the one for Gasolina by Daddy Yankee or Pam Pam by Wisin y Yandel hasn't done anything adverse to me. I do not consume alcohol, I do not smoke cigarettes, video games like Dead Space and God of War have't turned me into a psychopathic killer, films like Saw and Freddy vs. Jason haven't desensitised me from torture and mindless killing, seeing my cousin's Playboy under his bed hasn't turned me into a pervert, going to Atlantic City and seeing my uncles play the slot machines hasn't made me want to do anything of the same, and so on and so forth.

It's entirely dependent on the kid along with the way he/she was raised and how the parents are around them.

^^^^^^THIS... My parents would not let me watch DragonBall Z when I was smaller because they thought it would make me violent. This is totally wrong and I'd write an explanation but I think very similarly to the guy above. Every person is different and not because they are encouraged to do something does it mean it will happen.

Edited by I Saradomin3, 28 December 2012 - 11:21 AM.

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#18 spoonheb

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

I'd like to point out firstly that SoF and Runescape gambling is not real-world gambling simply because the pixels have no official cash value, and to sell or buy the pixels would break the terms of service and should get you banned, this is why Jagex is not forced to declare that their game has gambling in it.
Also if these kids spend that much on buying the gold and have an 'addiction' it certainly is not gambling because for it to be gambling they would have to cash out. These don't strike me as the type of people who say "that's enough" when they win big, they will keep going and the odds of making money (rsgp) will decrease and eventually they will lose it all regardless if they won a few big flower pots.
It is quite sad that people outside looking in and even people within the community think that there is legitimate gambling in Runescape, there is not, the internet is a place for anonymity you do not know who you're trusting to pay out if you win and more importantly it is against the ToS therefore it is not gambling because to cash out should get you banned. (I'm not saying it does)

ToS = terms of service

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