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Future Crimes is a futurist-oriented group dedicated to studying and discussing the effects of scientific and technological progress on crime, policing and the criminal justice system. Learn more...

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One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we’ll need a new definition. — Alvin Toffler

Latest entries in Virtual Worlds

Augmented Reality – Explained by Common Craft

“Love Plus” A Japanese Dating Simulation Game

Second Life Police Department

Spoofing Life: Reality Altering Technology Enables Crime

Spoofing Life: Reality Altering Technology Enables Crime

As we come to rely more and more upon technology as a filter for our life experiences, opportunities to bend reality abound. In theory, none of this is new.
Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Many governments around the world have criminal statutes preventing “unlawful assembly” crimes.  Generally speaking, an unlawful assembly refers to a gathering of individuals who come together in order to commit an unlawful act or to behave in a violent, boisterous or tumultuous manner.  While nations around the world differ in their tolerance of public gatherings,...
Virtual Currency, Real Money Laundering

Virtual Currency, Real Money Laundering

Over the past decade,  a number of new alternative forms of payment have been introduced throughout the world in order to keep up the growing volume of electronic commerce.  The most famous of these companies is PayPal,  which in 2003 became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay. Paypal made it easier for payments to be...
World Record Set for Sale of a Virtual Item

World Record Set for Sale of a Virtual Item

Ante raised in price of virtual world goods. Virtual World goods are a multi-billion dollar a year business.  We knew people were willing to fork over small amounts of money for virtual islands, couches, dresses and shoes.  Now a world record has been broken for the sale of the most expensive virtual item to-date–the Planet...
Avatar Identity Theft: Police in Britain Make an Arrest

Avatar Identity Theft: Police in Britain Make an Arrest

November 30, 2009 Real-world arrest for man who stole RuneScape virtual characters by Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter A man who hacked into accounts to steal virtual characters and their possessions on one of the world’s biggest multi-player online games has been arrested. In what experts believe is the first case of its kind in Britain,...
Theft of Virtual Goods: A Case Example from Germany

Theft of Virtual Goods: A Case Example from Germany

A good article in German explaining how police in Germany dealt with the theft of virtual goods within the MMORPG Meetin2.  What do you do when the victim of the robbery is an avatar?  How does the avatar sign the police report? Of course the questions are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the main point is a...
Dutch Virtual Theft Leads to Arrest

Dutch Virtual Theft Leads to Arrest

The case below is another example of real world law being applied to virtual environments.  Could this case have been charged as burglary? Did the criminal enter the “structure” with the intent of committing the theft? Would it be more appropriate to charge the matter as “unauthorized access to a computer system?” From the story...
Avatar Murdered!   (Sort of...with a heavy dose of media-hype)

Avatar Murdered! (Sort of…with a heavy dose of media-hype)

The below case is interesting.  It refers to the “murder of an avatar”…more on that in a moment.  First an overview.  Police in Japan arrested a woman after she accessed without authorization the computer of her husband and deleted his profile from the popular game Maple Story.  The woman said she did so in retaliation...
QQ: China’s New Virtual Coin of the Realm?

QQ: China’s New Virtual Coin of the Realm?

Do Virtual World Economies Threaten “Real Economies?” What is most interesting about the story below is that it demonstrates how the extent to which virtual world economies and currencies have grown.  The fact that the Chinese government moved to protect the RMB/Yuan from QQ Coins say much about the state of affairs and how seriously...