Blog Post

Virtual Goods Banned From eBay; Second Life Gets An Exemption

This has been buzzing around since Friday, when Slashdot amplified it: eBay has made a decision to ban auctions — real money trade, in industry parlance — for the characters, currency, weapons, attire and accounts of online games such as World of Warcraft, City of Heroes and others, effectively cutting off an already big and fast growing underground economy, though there are many alternatives around. The value of this economy has been estimated to be between $250 million and $800 million US a year, according to experts, though no real numbers are available.
Given that a significant slice of the multi-hundred-million-dollar business took place on eBay until now, the move presents a significant opportunity for other players in the market, reports CNET News.com, such as Internet Gaming Entertainment.
eBay said its decision stems from a desire to protect users, but didn’t explain it well. Greg Short, director of Web development for EverQuest II publisher Sony Online Entertainment, eBay’s move is likely a result of its wanting to avoid the time-consuming annoyance of dealing with customers who are defrauded over virtual-item sales.
Ed Castronova, a professor at Indian University, said another sign the real-money trades (RMT) market has been deemed too risky is that IGE, which does millions and millions of dollars in annual business brokering virtual goods sales, has not been purchased.
On Second Life, eBay’s policy: “We think there is an open question about whether Second Life should be regarded as a game.”

20 Responses to “Virtual Goods Banned From eBay; Second Life Gets An Exemption”

  1. After reading this post I decided to download Second Life. I have heard a bit about it but never felt any real intrest in it. In my opinion most of the remarks here are correct it is not a game. In my best attempt to describe it it is quite simply another form of internet mixed with a 3D My Space. a bit more complex but really similer to a sims online feel about it. It is obviously intended for you to spend money hand over fist. To enjoy this “Second Life” the way it is ment to be enjoyed I suggest a “Second job” to support it. I realize some make money while in this 3d internet but I am guessing it is far and few at best. A good example is the fella above me making the remark of a six digit income. Course we all know he is full of shit either way If you enjoy shopping on the internet and chatting on the internet then I am sure you will enjoy this experiance. If you take comfort in being somone you are not like owning large houses and such then again I am sure this will be your thing. If you enjoy Everquest 2 keep the game you have it is far more fun. Also you can make just as much capitol in real life in everquest 2 as here. Dont bother to argue I have made a many dollar in Ultima Online in it’s hayday. Anyway this is my opinion take it for what it is worth.

  2. After reading this post I decided to download Second Life. I have heard a bit about it but never felt any real intrest in it. In my opinion most of the remarks here are correct it is not a game. In my best attempt to describe it it is quite simply another form of internet mixed with a 3D My Space. a bit more complex but really similer to a sims online feel about it. It is obviously intended for you to spend money hand over fist. To enjoy this "Second Life" the way it is ment to be enjoyed I suggest a "Second job" to support it. I realize some make money while in this 3d internet but I am guessing it is far and few at best. A good example is the fella above me making the remark of a six digit income. Course we all know he is full of shit either way If you enjoy shopping on the internet and chatting on the internet then I am sure you will enjoy this experiance. If you take comfort in being somone you are not like owning large houses and such then again I am sure this will be your thing. If you enjoy Everquest 2 keep the game you have it is far more fun. Also you can make just as much capitol in real life in everquest 2 as here. Dont bother to argue I have made a many dollar in Ultima Online in it's hayday. Anyway this is my opinion take it for what it is worth.

    Also i read somwhere that ebay called off it's sale of vertual goods because it is a copyright infrigment in most games and they were about to get there asses sued. I am sure they didnt do it for the "protection of there customers". There a buisness and there about making money and nothing less.

  3. mo spengler

    Hey grimm, were u named after your past, present or future?

    Second Life is a game. However, some people work in the gaming industry, so for them its a very real experience and NOT a game. They deal with the demands of a few million people on a daily basis. some of the people who work in SL have also contributed to other 3D or virtual assets or products, ie: softwares, tutorials, advertising, film making and so on. I shudder to think that anyone alive can be that vacant as to not see this without being told directly.

    RE: EBay – I figure EBay will awaken just around the time they are being trodden under foot.

    Q: Why create a company that deals with a modern concept of business/trade only to shun real innovation?

    A: Blind comfort (reportedly, ignorance is bliss).

  4. Italo Eber

    Hey Grimm … you seem like one who works or will work for a so called "moron" … to hard for you too fit!? .. too hard to understand? … geeks thing right ?… When you come to use your brain for once you will realize that it is worth being in the so called "geeks" world … because imagine if all the people who are not in SL were like you … man what a world… hahaha …now go back to the production line…

  5. Italo Eber

    Well… it is Definitely a game, "come on". Isn't World of Warcraft or The sims a game. Why a game need to have scores and stuff. Regarding objective, what is the objective in the sims? what is the objective in life? I dont know…"to live" maybe. So yes like any other game in which you have real money involved, like any other fiction world it is a virtaul world. Video games are more of a "get away" experience, even when it looks like life, which gives us another point, why people demand fidelity to reality in other games and dont call SL a game? I dont get it.
    It is a virtual wolrd that characterizes a different experiencem, it doesnt matter which one. So its a game.
    Regarding ebay… just taking no responsability for one more service they might provide and losing customers.

  6. RoseEnglish

    I make a 6 figure income from second life after 3 years of holding an account there….does that make me an every other person who makes a RL living from creating content a looser?
    Definition of looser is someone whos achieved nothing n life real or virtual and then slags off the world ( virtual or real ) because they somehow feel cheated as though the world owes them a living
    Work hard and you may work that inferiority complex off.

  7. Hey Grimm,
    what happened to you..did you get booted out of SL. You are in no position to pass judgement on people you know nothing about. If you have never tried SL maybe it's you that's the idiot.

  8. Second Life is web 2.0 in a 3D coat. Those who call it an existence spend too much time on it, those who say it's a chat-room spend too little.

    It's internet in 3D
    nothing more, and certainly nothing less.

  9. Second Life is a Complete Waste Of your Time, it is a Game/chat room/ For sociely Retarded Morons who are not capable of Being In Like situations In real life…. Picture A virtual world where every Loser and Pathetic band camp dweeb you knew in highschool congregates and you have Second Life, I believe it is Called Second Life because it is made for people who dont quite fit into thier first life.

  10. Mystik Boucher

    Oh, sorry, if the bottem line doesn't say it at all, please read the title of the story "Virtual Goods Banned From eBay; Second Life Gets An Exemption"..

    I know you're all just defending SL and what it stands for, that's great, but don't jump to conclusions by reading 2 lines of an article.

    <3

  11. Mystik Boucher

    I am a SL resident and this is GOOD news. If you read the bottem lines it cleary states Ebay is questioning to allow SecondLife into the system. For many who don't know, Ebay founder and his firm have invested $8 million US into SecondLife. It would hurt them twice not allowing SL into their system.

  12. SL May not be a game, but I can definitely see where ebay would be coming from. And to be completely honest, I agree with them. ebay should be used for the sales of physical items only. Something that can be sent out to you through the mail (or picked up for things like a car)

    If you're looking for an avenue to sell your online creations outside of SL, there are already a few avenues available, such as SLboutique and SLexchange.

    Just my view on it, and btw, I am on SL as well, look me up as Heather Kincess (2nd character, but been active since Feb 2006)

  13. Gregg Niven

    First let me say I completely agree with the experienced opinion that Second Life is NOT a game.

    I too am a long time resident, I own too much land, and have met some of the best people you could ever hope to run in to. Buying and selling are as much a part of Second Life as they are in your First Life.

    As for Ebay? I have spent quiet a large sum on thier site over the last several years. I actually built a custom bike using only parts ordered through Ebay.

    If Ebay is concerned about fraud, perhaps they should look the current band of thieves lurking within thier own domain. I have been ripped off numerous times and have yet to recieve any compensation from Ebay. Paypal is excellent and I would recomend all on line purchases to be paid using thier free service.

    Ebay you have lost a customer who alone has spent over $60,000 REAL US Dollars. No more soup for you Ebay!

  14. Nupe Flossberg

    If eBay wants to take a back seat while another entrepreneur makes a profit on this new medium then so be it. eBay was groundbreaking in their area of choice. Apparently they have lost their cutting edge drive by enjoying the money that comes with success.

    -Nupe Flossberg-
    SL Resident

  15. blue maloney

    yes second life in my opinion is more than a game it can be what you want it to be..its a vertual world where anything!! and everything!!! is possible..and i meen anything . is it addictive? YES !! it can be..but for all you people out there who havent tried it ,, come and se for yourselves..it is a massive world.. look me up if you do i dont bite ……… blue maloney…….

  16. Nano Ashby

    I don't look at it like a game. I don't get points, or a rating, there is no direct competition – unless you go looking for it. I spend time building, gardening, floating in a rock pool, flying exploring the mainland, and shopping (erhum, don't we all) and I can't see how that is a game, to me it's a virtual world where I own land, have things, some things I can't have in the real world (jet craft under thunderbirds style sliding patio, it's hard to arrange in the real world, you know?)

    and when people who are rude or abusive, say 'hey, it's just a game' I just have to roll my eyes and tp home.

    I would love to see the general terminology swing away from 'game'

  17. I'm still not sure what I think about selling virtual items on a system that is not controlled by any aspect of Second Life. Always a chance of getting dupped, swindled by people…not knowing if they really have a second life account or not.

    I much prefer SLEXCHANGE and SLBOUTIQUE because theyhave a better understanding of what secondlife is, and I feel more confident
    as an individual must be VERIFIED as a resident to use or sell on the site.

    Whether banning items or not on ebay…I wouldn't use it.

  18. Stephanie Lemaire

    I am also a Secondlife resident, and I was going to join ebay to sell some of my virtual creations, including some things I have done in the real world and taken into Secondlife, but if your going to stop Secondlife and our customers, well then you have just lost a customer yourself Ebay. As Alexander above states it is not a game and people spend a lot of money here. Pity you need to do a rethink.

  19. Alexander Anderson

    I am a second life resident myself, and no it's not a game. It would be called what most describe to be the fabled, "metaverse", or virtual existence. Ebay could, with a little work, create an area where you can use your lindens, second life's virtual currency, to purchase items much life ebay for the real world. Read some of the news on second life at Lindenlabs.com, I think that's it…just look for linden labs in google and it's the first one on the list. Anyways, I reccomend giving second life a look if you have the time, it's free, and after you get the hang of it, it's an experience you'll never forget.

    Send me an instant message if you're even logged in, I am known as Delta Klata. See you later!