A court fined online Lineage gamers on charges of selling in-game cyber money for hard cash. It is the first fine slapped on non-gambling online gamers for cashing items.
In a fast-track trial, Busan District Court ruled Thursday that the two in-game items traders identified as Kim, 32, and Lee, 32, should pay 5 million won ($5,000) and 3 million won in fines, respectively, for trading game items for hard cash.
The Korea Game Development & Promotion Institute said the volume of money-for in-game item deals in Korea topped 830 billion won in 2006 and will exceed 1 trillion won this year.
In the ruling, judge Kim Jong-soo said, “The two purchased numerous cyber game items used in Lineage between May and July last year at 10 percent below street prices through game item trading Web sites. They made more than 20 million won in profit by reselling them.”
But game experts said the ruling did not reflect the criteria on illegal money-for-item deal set by the culture ministry in February last year.