If you want money, where do you go? That’s right folks, the bank. But what if you wanted lots of money? The bank again, this time wearing something to disguise your face and holding a weapon. Okay, one more question. What if you want a hell of a lot of money? I’m talking billions here. A guy named Cal had an idea to get some money. He worked hard and was good, passing security checks and eventually working his way up to be the head of a bank, and then disappeared with the money. A lot of money. All the money. Seven hundred and ninety billion in fact. Not only that but Cal left a video behind that mocks the people who trusted him with their money and taunts all those who lost their fortunes. And to add insult to injury, he didn’t even commit a crime, meaning every single person who lost money has no chance of getting it back or even any chance of justice being carried out.
So, how did he do it? How is it that Cal is still wondering the world and isn’t in hiding? How is it that he can empty a bank’s vaults and not commit a crime? Easy, the bank was the bank in the online game EVE. The bank, modelled after a savings and loan, was designed to work as real banks do. Players would put in-game currency in, the bank would loan money out to businesses or single players who would pay back the loan in installments with interest, and the profits gained would be given as interest on player accounts as well as turning a profit for the bank itself. As EVE’s players all fill the roles in the world, without NPCs getting in the way, all Cal had to do was play nice for a while, work his way to the top of the bank and, in August 2006, just walk off with the money, teaching EVE Online’s players a valuable lesson in the process.
Unfortunately, a lesson taught is very rarely a lesson learned. In June this year, the new head of the bank took another two hundred billion (at this time around eight percent of the total money) and instantly traded it away for real money to put a deposit on his real house and pay for his son’s real medical bills. Despite the hundreds or even thousands of players who lost the result of hundreds of hours play time I think he made the right choice, how about you?