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Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D'Ovidio

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2011
4 pages
This document from the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is the transcript of an interview with Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D'Ovidio, two experts in the field of crime in virtual worlds and online gaming communities.
The interview was conducted by Cornelia Sigworth, a BJA Policy Advisor. Both Dr. Regli and Dr. D'Ovidio are working with BJA on the development of curriculum materials aimed at increasing awareness of crimes committed in virtual worlds and providing assistance to State and local law enforcement agencies to increase their capacity to combat these crimes. The interview questions dealt with the following topics: how are people exploiting virtual worlds and online video game worlds for criminal purposes; what makes virtual worlds and online video game worlds attractive targets for criminals; what are the biggest challenges facing the law enforcement community when it comes to addressing crime in the virtual worlds and online video game worlds; what types of economic crimes occur in these worlds and what should law enforcement be looking for in that regard; since people can buy or sell anything in the virtual world that they buy or sell in the real world, can they also steal anything in the virtual world that they can steal in the real world; what role can the gaming industry play in assisting law enforcement or helping to prevent some of this criminal activity; what are the gaps in Federal and State legislation for having the proper legal tools to arrest and prosecute people who commit crime in these environments; and finally, what role can parents play to safeguard their children who play in the online gaming world.