He created the bank of an MMO, he gained the trust of his community, he scammed them to buy a house, and all legally

Online video game communities are often full of curious stories. One of my favorite things is investigate and tellthis having led me to speak of events such as the Corrupted Blood of Wow, british sir in the Ultima saga and 2B2T in Minecraft. Of course, among all the video games, there is one that is a gold mine for stories about the curious interactions of its players: EVE Online.

It may not be as popular today, since it has been almost 20 years since its launch, but the CCP title is, without a doubt, one of the MMO most important in history of video games. In it, the players have a wide degree of expression, and that is what has allowed it to be full of interesting stories. From grand battles that took out thousands and lasted for hours, to rip-offs worthy of an Oceans saga movie, this game is legendary for its successes. Today’s story is one of those historical moments, telling us about the priorities and dilemmas that can arise when the real world knocks on the door.

If you don’t know him, eve online is a multiplayer title that focuses its action on science fiction and space. 21,000 years in the future, Earth is uninhabitable and players must inhabit the cold and unforgiving universe. Within that framework, you have an entire universe with over 5,000 star systems to visit. It is, frankly, a titanic MMO, and this is not the most curious part of his approach.

Not wanting to take players by the hand, CCP has left many aspects of the title in hands of your subscribersas long as they follow the rules. The most interesting facet of all is, without a doubt, the economy. With an open economy system, administration falls almost entirely in the hands of its players. This has led to the creation of a market based on supply on demand, but also to the occurrence of other more peculiar events, such as its manipulation and scams.

Many of the players worried that they could lose their money in unfortunate situations, and the answer to these anxieties was clear: EVE Online needed a bank, and this is where it comes in. Bankthe carrier organism of today’s history, and the financial entity biggest of its time in the MMO.

And it is that, like the rest of EVE, EBank was not part of any system made by CCP, but a body created and regulated by its founding members, among which was Ridicits CEO and protagonist of today’s story. The entity, as expected, worked only with ISKs, the currency of the game, since CCP it does not allow exchange it for real money. This will be very relevant later, yes.

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For a time, EBank became one of the pillars of the economy of EVE Online, helping all users to keep their money safe and offering loans and commissions to those who trust in their task. This led to thousands of clients throughout the digital universe, which allowed him to amass a large amount of money. Again, yes, only in ISKs.

Ricdic, outside of EVE Online, was not a banker, but a programmer, and in his day to day he had to deal with several problems, among which were medical debts resulting from his son’s illness. On top of that, he was looking to move, but didn’t have enough money for a down payment on his new house. In the end, out of necessity comes ingenuity, and he devised a master plan to be able to take advantage of his position in EVE and deal with his real-life problems that way.

Without much thought, he exchanged other players’ money for $6,300

Using part of the EBank funds, the administrator of this peculiar bank decided to take advantage of his position and the efforts of others to improve his situation and that of his son, something that took priority far above the trust that the MMO players had placed in him. As if it were fate itself, he received an email from someone looking to exchange real money for in-game currency, and without much thought, he agreed. This allowed to get 6,300 Australian dollars (about 4,200 US dollars at the exchange rate), which were key at that time in his life.

“It was a very spontaneous decision… i’m not proud of all this, that’s why I didn’t presume to have done it. But, you know, if I had to do it over again, I probably would have chosen the same path in the same situation,” Ricdic said, according to the book “Video Games, Crime and Next-Gen Deviance: Reorienting the Debate,” which deals with cybercriminology events in video games.

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All this did not go unnoticed by CCP, who, at first, surprisingly they didn’t want to ban the player. If the economy of the game is something that is controlled entirely by its users, the shady issues that arise there are also their responsibility and not the developers’. Things turned ugly when Ricdic executed the second part of his plan and did RMT (or Real Money Trading, that is, selling ISKs for real money). This, as I said before, it goes against the rules of EVE Online, and the study took action on the matter, kicking the player

“That the CEO of a bank stole the money and ran away with it it’s something that would happen in the nihilistic, ruthless and capitalist world of EVE Online. What happens is that we do not allow you to exchange it for goods in real life”, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, told the portal the player.

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In the end, this ends on a bittersweet note. For Ricdic, this is a story of sacrifices and priorities, talking about how he chose real life over the resources and trust of thousands of online players. For the latter, it was a bit the beginning of the end: Ebank closed a couple of years later, yes, but the mark of this huge scam remained indelible from 2009 onwards. CCP, for its part, did what it had to do, proving once again that the freedom of the players was very important to them, but also the health of their own video game. EVE Online is, without a doubt, a unique MMO full of fascinating stories that are based on a single principle: ”?what are they capable of players when you give them space to express themselves online?

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