In the world of MMORPGs, there is only one cardinal sin: that of ninja looting. If you?re unfamiliar with the term, ninja looting simply refers to the act of stealing items that you have not earned from players that could have otherwise used them. Ninja looting takes many forms in MMOs, but is almost universally looked down upon.

Today, we?re positing a new theory: there?s nothing wrong with ninja looting. Sure, it?s upsetting to the players that have earned the kill, but beyond that, there?s no real damage done. Plus, ninja looting helps to make a game environment more realistic ? there are jerks in real life, so why wouldn?t they exist in our favorite role-playing games?

This is one reason people are drawn so strongly to EVE Online. It?s not that people there are jerks on the whole, just that people can be jerks if they choose to be. Freedom of choice empowers players to do the right thing, but it also empowers them to do the wrong thing.

It?s not the result that matters, it?s the choice.

The next time you lose an item to an unscrupulous player, try to keep that in mind.