Those who typically don't game on a weekly basis – if at all – would label consistent playing as a sign of "obsession" or "addiction." For those of us who actually do spend a good deal of time dumping hours and dollars into various titles, it's called an "investment," or just falls in line with numerous other monthly bills that need to be paid. Why? Because we "invest" our time and money into what we love, similar to the passion of building a collection of hardback books, purchasing digital media from iTunes or even subscribing to Netflix. Speaking from personal experience, non-gamers just don't get that point of view.
So when news arrived of a banned World of Warcraft gamer offering to pay Blizzard cash to be allowed back into the popular MMORPG, it came as no surprise. After all, how much money and time had the gamer already dumped into the game before Blizzard swung its mighty Ban-hammer? Was it more than $1000 USD, because that's what the gamer is currently offering on Craigslist.
"I got my WoW account banned yesterday during the archaeology bot ban wave," the gamer writes. "I wasn't a gold farmer or seller, never bought gold. I just botted archaeology because it's a boring profession. I'm looking for a WoW Account Admin (WoWAccountAdmin@blizzard.com) to un-ban my account for $1000 USD. No questions asked - your anonymity will be preserved."
The gamer claims that the offer is indeed serious. "I live locally and can meet you in person wherever you like with cash, PayPal you money as a gift (non-refundable and non-disputable by me), leave an envelope under a tree, or pay you in any other manner you prefer," he adds. "You will definitely get your money if I get my account back. You will have my full information - name, address, everything. Email me and I will give you my phone number and we can talk."
Did you catch that? You will definitely get your money if I get my account back. That line itself leaves a window open for the gamer to completely ignore promised payment even if a WoW admin decides to take pity and unlock the user's account. Nevertheless, the plea is a perfect example of the value players put on their "investments" whether they're buying ammo for "killing simulators" or farming tomatoes.
Based on the listing, Blizzard has seemingly accused the player of farming gold. Unfortunately, that's usually frowned upon in most MMORPGs and will result in a permanent ban. There's probably no way the user will get his account back. Still, let's see if anyone actually takes the bait...