Players of the Icelandic internet role-playing game EVE Online found themselves facing a mirror image of a very real crisis when their virtual bank almost collapsed after it was pilfered by its own boss.
The game's EBank, which holds virtual game credits earned by completing tasks and trading, suddenly found itself deficient to the tune of 200 billion interstellar kredits (really) when the player in charge of it decided to abscond with the funds.
Apparently, the culprit - an Australian known only as Richard - then exchanged the funds with a third-party for around £3,100 worth of hard cash to pay for his real-world debts.
While no charges are imminent outside the game, Richard is unlikely to be welcomed back by a community that once trusted him with its assets.
He told Reuters why he did it: "It was a very on the spot decision. I saw that as an avenue that could be taken, and I decided to skim off the top, you could say, to overcome real life (difficulties)."
Next time players feel like committing online robbery, we suggest they stick to blowing up each other's spaceships and work their frustrations out that way.