WoW player offers $1,000 bribe to have account ban lifted

Quite a price to pay for not liking archaeology

World of Warcraft

Yes, it could be just another Craigslist hoax, but my go-to guy for all things gaming says he doesn't think that's likely, so I'll just shake my head in wonderment.

The Craigslist ad was placed on March 16 by a displaced World of Warcraft player from Irvine, Calif. It reads:

I got my WoW account banned yesterday during the archaeology bot ban wave. I wasn't a gold farmer or seller, never bought gold. I just botted archaeology because it's a boring profession. I'm looking for a WoW Account Admin (WoWAccountAdmin@blizzard.com) to unban my account for $1000 USD. No questions asked - your anonymity will be preserved.

I know what you're thinking: Archaeology is boring? Get out.

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Actually, you're probably thinking that this wayward gamer may have a hard time convincing a World of Warcraft account administrator, an employee of game maker Blizzard Entertainment, that he's serious about this grand plan - or that it's worth the risk. Here's the guy's best sales pitch:

This is a serious offer. I live locally and can meet you in person wherever you like with cash, PayPal you money as a gift (non-refundable and non-disputable by me), leave an envelope under a tree, or pay you in any other manner you prefer. You will definitely get your money if I get my account back. You will have my full information - name, address, everything. Email me and I will give you my phone number and we can talk.

Let's recap: This fellow is so distraught over having lost access to his World of Warcraft account - because he cheated -- that he is willing to take $1,000 out of his bank account and leave it under a tree.

I really do not understand gaming.

So it's a good thing I know someone who does. While he would never condone such an act, Stephen Heaslip, editor of the gamer site Blues News, says he can at least understand the player's basic motivation: "The $1,000 offer is not completely out of line for a player who wants to regain control of a character or characters they've spent hundreds of hours cultivating.

"I've seen players try to work game managers for privileges within a game, but I've never seen it externally like that," Heaslip adds. "It's not that surprising, though."

Heaslip also thinks it's unlikely that the bribe attempt will succeed.

I've contacted Blizzard public relations to see what the company thinks.

And I've dropped the WoW player a line, too. Who knows? Maybe he already has his account back.

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