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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=13362)

The correct answer choice is (D)

This question refers to games discussed in passage B, and online games that are intentionally commodified—games in which virtual assets are made into real world commodities in trades for real world currency (most online games prohibit such real world commerce in virtual assets, the author offers in the first paragraph of passage B).

Answer choice (A): This is a very popular wrong answer choice, because the author says that with respect to games that are commodified, even in-world sales for virtual currency would be taxed regardless of whether the buyer cashes out—but the author of the passage refers to the sale of virtual currency for real world currency, not for real world items.

Answer choice (B): It is possible that some such games allow avatar trades, but this is not mentioned in the passage, so it fails the Fact Test and should be ruled out in response to this Must Be True question.

Answer choice (C): The author of the first passage mentions that Castronova noticed a lively economy within the game he played, that players of that game got wealthier as they played more. This is not, however, listed as an attribute of commodified games in passage B’s discussion, so this is unconfirmed by the passage and should be eliminated.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice, and one that shows that you can’t necessarily rely solely on the line referenced by the question. At the beginning of passage B the author provides that most games prohibit real world trade in virtual assets, but that those that wish to encourage such commodification can do so by granting intellectual property rights to their players.

Answer choice (E): The author of passage B discusses the trade of real currency for virtual items and for virtual currency but does not mention whether commodified games allow for trade in various types of virtual currency. As such, this choice cannot be confirmed by the information in the stimulus and thus fails the Fact Test.
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Why is D) correct? The author of passage B) only talks about intellectual property at the beginning of the passage.How am I suppose to make that connection? Also, why is A) wrong?
 Steve Stein
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Hi Angie,

Interesting passage--in that one, the author begins by saying that real world trade is encouraged when game creators grant participants property rights within the virtual worlds that have been created. This intellectual property refers to virtual currency and virtual items that only exist in the world of the game that's been created.

I hope that's helpful! Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

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Hello, I tried to view another explanation for this question and it didn't help at all. Why is the answer D, how do you even infer that when intellectual property was only mentioned in the first paragraph, why isn't it A? I do not understand. Thank you for your help.
 David Boyle
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Jkjones3789 wrote:Hello, I tried to view another explanation for this question and it didn't help at all. Why is the answer D, how do you even infer that when intellectual property was only mentioned in the first paragraph, why isn't it A? I do not understand. Thank you for your help.
Dear Jkjones3789,

"intellectual property rights in their creations" is around lines 25-30. Also, answer A, about "selling real items for virtual currency", may get it backwards, since the games seem to allow selling virtual items for real currency.

Hope this helps,
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To anyone with Jk Jones question.. line 55 says ".. even of in-world sales for virtual currency...", which I understood as real items for virtual currency (ANSWER A). After watching Ready Player One it seems clear that "in-world sales" are the same thing as virtual sales within the game-world, so line 55 may as well be saying "even of sales of virtual goods for virtual currency, regardless of whether the participant cashes out."

Does this reasoning look right? I may be off the mark here.

Thanks, Alex

Editing this comment: it seems like now line 55 is actually saying "even of exchange transactions of real currency for virtual currency..." which would still make A wrong. OK I get Admin's response now to why A is wrong. I'm leaving this post here in case it helps someone else work through this tomfoolery.
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Could anyone please clarify what lines 55-56 mean by "in-world sales for virtual currency" and by the participant "cash[ing] out"?

For the first phrase, I was confused as to which world "in-world" was referring to; I thought it meant the game world rather than the real world, which is why I chose E as my answer. And the second phrase I didn't really understand at all - does it mean cashing "out" as in out into the real world? If so, I feel like that would strengthen E as the answer.

Thank you in advance! That one sentence really confused me, which was an issue since it was so important to the point being made. As such, I also wanted to ask - do you have any general advice for when there's confusing wording like that?
 Adam Tyson
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"In-world" refers to anything that takes place only within the virtual realm, snowy. Look back to line 32 to help here:
what about the player who only accumulates items or virtual currency within a virtual world?
"Cashing out" is selling the virtual property for money in the real world, and is comparable to the fishing analogy at lines 48-50:
such as fish pulled from the ocean, which is taxed only upon sale.
In general, when confused, try two things: 1) use context to sort it out, or 2) guess and move on to another battle! Sometimes the latter is all you can really do, and so you should focus on what you DO understand so that you don't get bogged down and miss opportunities for points later in the section.
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This is one of the most confusing RC questions I've studied. I understand the logic regarding the correct answer, but I have some questions:

The first paragraph talks about multiplayer games that encourage real-world trade in virtual items by granting participants intellectual property rights in their virtual creations. How is this supposed to be construed as being "intentionally commodified"? Can intellectual property be considered a commodity? And does encouraging trade mean that the virtual items have been 'intentionally' turned into commodities?
 Luke Haqq
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Hi mtdaniel!

To your first question, it can be construed as commodifying because the mentioned games that encourage this enable people to buy, sell, or trade. To your second, yes, intellectual property can be commodified.

And to your third, yes, encouraging in this context is intentional. It's possible that the word "encouraging" in some contexts might not necessarily be intentional--for example, if someone forgets to do something (perhaps lock up a bike) and this omission "encourages" someone else to do something (such as take the bike). In this context, though, the language is clear: "...some actually encourage it, for example, by granting participants intellectual property rights in their creations." The word encourage is followed by the additional language that these games are "granting" participants certain things. It might have been a bit clearer if the subject in this sentence had been "game developers" rather than "games," but other than that, there don't seem to be indications that these verbs reflect a passive omission as in my example rather than intentional acts.

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