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36 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 213 (2015-2016)
Online Gaming and the Pay-to-Win Problem: Legal Deterrence or Industry Self-Regulation

handle is hein.journals/laent36 and id is 239 raw text is: 








      ONLINE GAMING AND THE PAY-TO-WIN
PROBLEM: LEGAL DETERRENCE OR INDUSTRY
                    SELF-REGULATION?

                         SIMONE  DARAKJIAN*

     Online  games that started off as games of luck, skill and patience
have been transformed into pay-to-win games.  Players with the deepest of
pockets, who  can purchase  any in-game  asset that would advance  their
gameplay, win.  The game is no longer a game. It is being destroyed by the
exploitation of commercial opportunities and the black market sale of in-
game  assets. It is turning into a business, pure and simple, and is depriving
dedicated,  skillful, and patient players  of  their expected   in-game
experience.  Moreover,  players are regularly discovering and exploiting
new  alleys through which to engage in these Real Money Trading (RMT)
transactions to avoid any transaction costs.
     A  number  of scholars have addressed the initial question of whether
income  is generated when in-game  assets or currency are acquired. This
Note  addresses the more recent development  of the extensive trading of
these acquired assets or currency. Specifically, this Note addresses the
consequences  of large scale acquisition of in-game assets and currency as a
business, and not as the byproduct of recreational activity. In doing so, this
note addresses possible solutions through state regulation, taxation, and
industry self-regulation. As  the majority of  RMT   transactions occur
between  foreign and US  players, these transactions are taxable in very
limited circumstances.   Therefore, this Note  concludes that the  most
plausible way to deter gold farming and RMT transactions may actually be
through industry self-regulation and not through legal means.





     *J.D. candidate at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, 2017. This Note is dedicated to
Arthur Hovsepian, whose love, patience, support, and PC gaming hobby made this Note a
possibility. Thank you for being my rock for the past ten years of my life. My utmost thanks to
Professor Katherine Pratt for not only agreeing to be my faculty advisor for this Note, but also for
her unending support and guidance; to my parents for their unconditional love and support
throughout my entire life; and to Patil Derderian for her invaluable friendship.


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