No silk road for online gamers! Using social network analysis to unveil black markets in online games

Eunjo Lee, Jiyoung Woo, Hyoungshick Kim, Huy Kang Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online game involves a very large number of users who are interconnected and interact with each other via the Internet. We studied the characteristics of exchanging virtual goods with real money through the processes called "real money trading (RMT)". This exchange might influence online game user behaviors and cause damage to the reputation of game companies. We examined in-game transactions to reveal RMT by constructing a social graph of virtual goods exchanges in an online game and identifying network communities of users. We analyzed approximately 6,000,000 transactions in a popular online game and inferred RMT transactions by comparing the RMT transactions crawled from an out-game market. Our findings are summarized as follows: (1) the size of the RMT market could be approximately estimated; (2) professional RMT providers typically form a specific network structure (either star-shape or chain) in the trading network, which can be used as a clue for tracing RMT transactions; and (3) the observed RMT market has evolved over time into a monopolized market with a small number of large-sized virtual goods providers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1825-1834
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356398
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 10
Event27th International World Wide Web, WWW 2018 - Lyon, France
Duration: 2018 Apr 232018 Apr 27

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018

Conference

Conference27th International World Wide Web, WWW 2018
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period18/4/2318/4/27

Keywords

  • Community detection
  • Network analysis
  • Online game black market
  • Real money trading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Lee, E., Woo, J., Kim, H., & Kim, H. K. (2018). No silk road for online gamers! Using social network analysis to unveil black markets in online games. In The Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018 (pp. 1825-1834). (The Web Conference 2018 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2018). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3178876.3186177