When Does Paying Real-Life Money For Virtual Items Become Cross The Line?

Answer us honestly, how much real life money have you actually spent buying virtual items for your computer or mobile games?

From extra storage space on Pokemon Go to custom weapon skins on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it’s not exactly breaking news that someone with either too much cash or passion on their hands paid for something “fake”.

$1,000 for a rainbow knife? Shut up and take my money!


However, we’re willing to bet that no matter your answer, it’s definitely nowhere near how much you’re about to read.

$10 for a set of lives on Candy Crush? That’s child’s play — try spending a whopping $1,750 of real money on fantasy MMORPG RuneScape’s in-game currency instead.

No, that’s not yellow earthworms that’s someone’s bank account.


We know what you’re thinking. Yes, people still play RuneScape, and yes, people are still paying real money for a game.

To put things into perspective, that’s how much entry-level diploma holders are getting paid each month.

Buying virtual items with real money

That, you loyal readers, is called Real-World Trading (RWT).

Courtesy of – but not just limited to – Carousell, RWT is the act of trading anything outside of a game – in this case, RuneScape – for in-game items or services.


Market rates for one million of such currency even go as low as 25 cents.

Surely such a deal can tempt even the most casual of players.

Transactions on Carousell

Although some might consider this next person to be taking things a little too far. When he agreed to purchase 1.2 billion RuneScape currency for SGD$1,750.

Source: Facebook

Just take a moment for that to sink in.

Uploaded on the seller’s Facebook account, the rest of the conversation takes place exactly like how any other transaction on Carousell would, with the buyer transferring money over to the seller’s bank account first. Looks like not only you can make money off of playing games, it’s actually a lucrative business after all — take that, mom.

And in case you’re thinking the poor guy just fell for the oldest scam in the book, here’s proof of him actually receiving the coins.

Source: Facebook

Courtesy of RuneScape’s in-game trade.

In fact, here’s another example of “Samuel” buying a total of 2.1 billion worth of in-game currency.

Source: Facebook

At SGD$3,625, that’s way too much money one should be spending on an online game.

Against RuneScape’s rules

While it is technically not illegal to do so in the real world, RWT is officially against the rules of RuneScape.

Game items must only be exchanged for other items/services within the game.

As stated by developer Jagex, this includes the following:

  • Buying a RuneScape account on 3rd party websites
  • Paying someone to increase your account’s experience
  • Paying someone to completely quests and activities on your behalf
  • Purchasing gold or items on 3rd party websites

Their rationale for the ruling is that cheating practices are often involved in the process of RWT. Most of the time, accounts sold have actually been stolen from their original owners. Otherwise, allowing others to access your account would mean a compromise in security.

So in case you’re actually considering doing so, such attempts are in fact, a breach of agreement with Jagex’s terms and conditions.

Common in games nowadays

Terms and conditions aside, is $1,750 too much of an amount to be spending on video games? Or is it just as much a hobby as something like collecting memorabilia — which can be pricey in its own right.

Before you judge, remember that everyone has their hobbies.

Such as using a bird with fingers on its wings to battle a prehistoric red dinosaur.


So who are we to say what they’re doing is wrong?

In fact, we’re fairly certain such a practice is prevalent in other games as well.

Featured image from Facebook.