Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
World of Warcraft and prostitution

The current story about World of Warcraft making the round through American newspapers isn't quite the publicity that Blizzard was looking for: On Craigslist, an internet site for free classified ads, a woman is offering that if a guy were to buy her an epic mount for 5000 gold, he could "mount" her. This being the first documented case of real world prostitution for virtual gold, the story spread like wildfire through the internet. Of course she claims that this isn't prostitution, she just sees it as a way to get a mount both for herself and her WoW character. :)

I don't see virtual gold prostitution taking off. There are too many servers, with players on any one server living in too far an area. The woman has to find a "john" playing on the same server, having lots of gold, *and* living reasonably close. But of course the story could lead to some interesting political and legal fallout, as especially US politicians are likely to jump on any connection between video games and sex. Video games are often considered to be "for children", although in this case it seems that the woman has a much clearer idea about the typical demographics of an MMORPG than any politicians.

Lets forget about legalities for a minute. Lets assume that the woman was making that offer in a state or country where prostitution is legal, and lets forget that trading virtual items for real world stuff is against the WoW terms of service. I googled for "WoW gold" to see what the going rate for gold on a US server is, and found 5,000 gold offered for about $600. I am neither an expert in buying WoW gold, nor in paying for the services of prostitutes. But the fact that you could get a woman to sleep with you for $600 isn't especially shocking to me. It's probably more on the high end of the price scale. "Man pays woman $600 for sex" wouldn't get a headline in any newspaper, not even in the US, unless the guy is a celebrity.

But now we add the legal aspects, and the story gets interesting. If you were to give 5000 gold in WoW to your girlfriend as a present, that would be perfectly legit under the terms of service. And of course having sex with a woman you barely know is also totally legal, unless you pay her. So for the "mount for mount" offer to be illegal, the prosecutor would have to define World of Warcraft gold as a legal currency or equivalent to one. But that would have huge ramifications on the whole "is virtual property covered by real world laws" discussion. If the law would consider the guy sending 5000 gold to the woman a payment in the legal sense of the word, then suddenly all the gold in World of Warcraft is legally considered money, and tons of laws about liability, theft, and taxes apply to it. This is exactly what MMO game companies have been trying to avoid for years.
I have never visited a prostitute, but I have been to websites where they advertise just to see how much that stuff would cost. And let me tell you, the ugly ones charge about 200 an hour, the hot ones charge about 300 and the super, super hot ones charge MAYBE 450.

I saw the pic of the chick looking for the gold, and that dude could have sold his 5000 gold and bagged a very fine woman who is worlds hotter than that skank in the photo and still had enough left over to go out for a nice dinner.
i still wonder why prostitution is illegal in most countries...
laws should not be based in religious morals.
as for her, well... who am i to judge....
Rofl David. So true. Having never scored a prost, I can't say I am familiar with the going rates, but my friend recently took a trip to Las Vegas and informed me that pricing for "top-knotch" hookers is right around 500 per hour.

I say good for the woman. Legal or not, if she can find a chump who is willing to shell out 600.00 for a quick lay, then she is a WOW marketing genius IMO.
It will probably turn out to be some sort of viral marketing attempt for a new movie...
I think its pretty obvious this was a prank played out on craiglist. Apparently the ad was taken down quickly and she responded the next day that the deed was done. Seems very quick to find a WoW player in her area and complete the "transaction" in last then a day.

Still its an interesting story even if its not true.
relmstein I thought so at first, then realized the player just bought the gold from a gold farmer. So she didn't have to find someone nearby with that much gold at all, just someone nearby with a few hundred bucks. less than one day seems reasonable, this is SEX we're talking about here! He probably bought the gold within the hour.

Of course it could be a hoax, but I know plenty of women who would do something like this if they were a gamer - not being sexist just that it's obvious many men would ;) Speaking of which, any ladies out there that need gold contact me! :)
5000 WoW Gold is around 150 Euro's, 300 USD top's...I doubt she would be worth it...xD
I won't be surprised that she can "finish the deed" within a day on craiglist. She did mention her mail box was full, and depends on the how old the server she is in, it could have lots of accumulated money. And if she found someone that lived close, one day is more than enough!!
I want to believe this occurred, because that would means I still have a shot at not be a virgin when I die ......
Well, not considering the age of these posts. I just want to add a truthful reality to this. Hookers are CHEAP! The don't charge $600.00 for a ride. They charge $X.xx for the "TIME" spent together. Although, being as the USA is with every other "commodity", women may be charging that much just cause they feel they can. (Come on, no Coke-Cola 12oz is worth a $1.00 - and go to a movie or game: 12oz = 3 bucks easy.)

That said. What should grasp your attention is not the fact that some woman is willing to... um... 'give a little' of herself for something in return with out a relationship. That's been going on since the gender came into existence. What should grab your attention is the "LAW" having WoW gold (or rather: virtual economy) considered as part of your REAL LIFE economy. Farm 80 knothide leathers in Nagrand, then sell them in the Auction House. You'll be shelling out TWO cuts before you get your gold.

One cut to the Very Virtual Auction House, and the other cut to the Very Real Uncle Sam in the White House for income taxes!

In anycase. I have to agree with yuk: Any hot WoW chicks that want to let me mount'em for some gold... I'm'a dig deep in my virtual pockets too!

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