What do bakeries and Dead Space 3 have in common? You're stealing from both of them, you monster.
Dead Space 3's infinite resource "feature" is not a glitch, at least, not according to EA. But that didn't stop a British solicitor from suggesting that taking advantage of the "exploit" could be considered stealing, presumably in some bizarre legalese definition of the term.
"If you go into a baker's to buy a bun and they give you the wrong change and you walk away knowing you have been given more change than you handed over in the first place, that's theft," IP expert, Sara Ludlam, told the BBC last week.
"So, arguably if you go into this game knowing you are supposed to be paying for these weapons and you notice a glitch allows you to accumulate them without paying, that's theft as well," she said. "But it is arguable because it's a new area."
Now Ludlam's argument doesn't apply in this case for couple of reasons. One: The fact EA is aware of the exploit but is taking no steps to stop it indicates the company doesn't view it as theft. Two: The resources collected by performing the exploit do not allow players to purchase or craft any items they wouldn't normally have access to during the course of the game.
That being said, the fact we're having this discussion is rather unnerving. Gamers being punished for taking advantage of broken systems is nothing new; the line between an "exploit" and "high-level play" is slim and easily overstepped. MMOs have been banning players for acting against the spirit of the rules rather than the letter for years, but only recently has the idea of cheaters facing actual legal action entered the realm of possibility.
The only upside is that should this horrific future come to pass, you may be able to file charges against those amoral monsters who choose Meta Knight in Smash Bros. Brawl.
Source: The BBC