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Recently, Dan and I got into a conversation about a video game that he likes to play, World of Warcraft. In it, you can interact with other players, giving them gold, trading supplies, and making things for them that they haven't learned how to make. He was telling me that this game shows just how honest people truly are. There are lots of people who would never rip anyone off in real life, but in a video game when no one knows who you really are, when you don't have to see that person again at work or school, people are surprisingly less honest. Without the social ramifications, people are much freer and more likely to cheat the system and other players. Dan says that he's seen this over and over again. He'll occasionally lend players money for things that they need to buy--and they'll never pay him back. Or try to trade and someone will run off with your stuff.

Sometimes, though, you meet a Makku. He was a player who had proven himself over and over to be entirely trustworthy. Dan had even given him his whole account before, when he's taken hiatuses from the game--and Makku has given him everything back. (To give you an idea, Dan's account could easily sell for a couple hundred dollars because of the things he has completed on the game.) Once in a while, there' s bit of a spark--someone who is honest, even though there isn't any real life repercussions for not being so, and it's people like these who are truly the most honest.


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