This week, Jagex announced an update to Rule 2. This update reverses their update earlier this month where they originally said that luring was not a scam. This is a very sensible update – and Jagex is to be commended on taking this action and reversing their earlier position. Here are the relevant parts of Rule 2:
Rule 2 - Item Scamming
Effective date: 28th March 2007
You must not scam or deceive other players. Lying to other players for your own personal gain is not in the spirit of the game.
What are some examples of item scams? Some examples of item scams are:
- Offering an item and then removing the item within the first or second trade screen.
- Offering an item and changing the agreed price within the first or second trade screen.
- Misleading players by providing false or inaccurate information, for your own personal gain.
- Luring players into the Wilderness under false pretences.
It seems from the thread on the Jagex forums, that there are a lot of people with the attitude "Tough. Life's hard. Get over it." when it comes to cheating or scamming in game. They and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I have yet to come across a situation where cheating, or deceiving someone for one's own gain is right. I'm not talking the little white lies that are part of the lubricant of society: "No honey, that outfit doesn't make you look fat", "No really, it's delicious – it's just that I'm not very hungry right now". Those sorts of little white lies rarely do any harm. While I can appreciate that in a game where thieving is a skill in its own right, it might be hard for some people to understand why stealing from other players is wrong, it is wrong, and one must learn to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate targets for one's thieving skills.
Deception with intent to profit, and that's what "Luring" is, goes counter to good behaviour in both real life and RuneScape. The vast majority of people are honest law-abiding souls. They don't go around robbing banks, stealing little old ladies' pension money, or taking candy from babies. But there are some who do. Criminals, like the poor, will always be with us. There's not much we can do about that – crime has been a problem for civilised societies for several millennia. The earliest known legal code, the code of Hammurabi, was written around 1750 BC – before even my time! But just because crime - and criminals - exist doesn't mean that we should all sink to that level. If you wouldn't lure someone down a dark alley and rob them in real life, why would you do so in a game? Perhaps because you feel that (a) you can get away with it, and (b) they're not real people. Well, they are real people and you might, or might not, be able to get away with it… but it's probably not worth losing a character you've spent a lot of time developing to find out if you can.
It is in the best interest of the game that Jagex take cheating, scamming and deceiving of players very seriously. Not just because the victims of these crimes are hurt by these things, either. Wholesale cheating and scamming affects the character of the game, the way even honest players feel about it, and is generally detrimental to the game atmosphere. This is, after all, a game, and we're supposed to play it for fun – if it becomes a place where cheating and scamming are endemic, then it's not going to be nearly as much fun for any of us – not even for the cheats and scammers.
Andrew Gower himself commented on the topic in the official forums, saying that the Blokes at Jagex Towers are, to a great extent, writing the game for people like themselves, which is understandable and in many ways, perfectly appropriate. However, this might also be the source of some of the issues that have surfaced with respect to scamming, luring, et al. TB@JT are a self-selected group of smart, dedicated gamers. They're not scammers. They're not cheats. It's often hard for people of goodwill and good intentions to see what other less well-intentioned folks might do with something that they themselves didn't see as potentially open to abuse. This can sometimes lead to policies, in real life as much as RuneScape, which hurt the very people they are supposed to protect.
It is very good to see Jagex coming down on the side of the honest players and taking steps to protect them which at the same time don't make things harder for them. I hope this is a precursor of more good decision-making over at Jagex Towers. But only time will tell. Which reminds me…I wonder what they're up to now at Jagex Towers. Maybe they're working on some secret new skill or transportation method? Who knows…I’m sure we'll find out soon enough.
Did You Know...
... that you can get a new small essence pouch from the Zamorak mage in the centre of the Abyss, rather than killing abyssal creatures for it?
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