Role Playing Game Fun
by Ted L Glines
Role Playing Games (RPG) are very popular with online gamers. Every day, millions of gamers from all around the world will sign on to their favorite RPG, become part of a team consisting of other gamers, and they will enjoy hours of killing monsters and defeating awesome foes, all while upgrading their own RPG character. Such play is addictive. It can also be dangerous.
Yvette is 18 years old and she loves to play World of Warcraft online. This is a great game, full of strategy and battle, and Yvette loves the teamwork with her other team players. As in other RPG environments, there is a sense of friendship with your team members, and it is fun to talk to them during the game. More than anything else, Yvette enjoys the social aspect of the game.
Over a period of many thrilling games, Yvette found herself talking more and more to a team-mate named Damian. He was nice and friendly and always helpful during battle situations. He was 22 and he loved to dance. During one of their brief game-talks, Yvette gave her email address to Damian. Over the next month, Yvette and Damian shared personal information via emails. All was going well.
At one point, Damian mentioned a Website where he could buy a special piece of equipment for his game character. It only would cost $9.50. The Website would access his RPG character account and install the equipment for him. Then, said Damian, his character would be unstoppable. But he was broke - his credit card was maxed out. Yvette, being her usual sweet self, gave her credit card number to Damian and told him to go for it! What was $9.50 between good friends?
One night, Yvette Googled Damian's full name, hoping to learn more about him. Her wish was granted. Yvette found out that Damian was a registered sex offender. And, according to the birth date given, he was 43 years old. Yvette was shocked. She could not believe what she was reading. But, after several readings, Yvette knew this information was true .
Yvette wrote an angry email to Damian, accusing him of lying and saying that she never wanted to speak to him again. She told Damian to never again send her any emails nor contact her in any way. Their relationship was finished. That's what she thought.
The emails continued. Damian began sending crudely-written sexual fantasies involving himself and her. Another charge appeared on her debit card. Luckily, a friend referred Yvette to HaltAbuse.org where an Internet Safety Advocate took her case. Yvette was advised to cancel her debit card and have a new one issued with a new number. She did so. HaltAbuse filed an official complaint with the Internet Service Provider hosting both of Damian's email addresses. Both of those email accounts were closed.
Yvette has heard nothing more from Damian, and her new debit card is safe. Yvette still plays World of Warcraft online but it is not so much fun anymore, because she is constantly on the lookout for Damian entering her game. Yvette says that she will never again give her personal information to anyone unless she knows them well. That is an excellent personal rule for everyone.