Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are generally recognized to be an emerging and lucrative creative industry, but few have noticed that the production and retailing of MMOG goods is almost as lucrative as the games themselves. MMOG worlds contain enormous amounts of real world economic value, yet are not under the jurisdiction of any governments or legal systems. These extraordinary circumstances could potentially give rise to social problems. In this study, I discuss three of the most serious of these problems: the prevalence of criminal-like activities such as scamming or market manipulation inside MMOG worlds, the operation of companies producing and trading in MMOG goods, and the ownership rights of MMOG goods. I identify the possible social impact of these problems and discuss the policy challenges that each of these problems could present for Hong Kong.
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