Not into computer games, but this story is fascinating. We’ve all heard about how people gather virtual goods (swords, cash, immunity) in online games and then sell them on eBay — apparently this is now a $4.3 million eBay market. So this dude reverse engineers protocols and violates the terms of service of Ultima Online — he figures out how to script the game, sets up a little server farm in his closet, and creates a bunch of players. He sets these virtual players to work mining virtual gold in the virtual world, then sets up a business selling the gold on eBay for real cash. Gets rich doing it. His biggest danger is getting caught. What if someone walks up to one of his electronic slaves and tries to talk to it? To solve this, he routes incoming messages to an IM service, which is piped to his cell phone. Now his slaves can converse with other players wandering by no matter where the guy is at the time. He was never caught, but finally decided to throw in the towel and confess all. I find all of this mind-blowing.
Music: Can :: Butterfly