CampBots Draining Casino Owners

by prokofy on 26/12/06 at 4:24 am


By Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Rumours, Conjecture, Conspiracy Theories, and Inside Dope for Inside Dopes

You’ve seen CopyBots. You’ve seen anti-CopyBot spamming defeaters. You’ve seen anti-anti-CopyBot defeaters.

And now…you can see hordes of spam CampBots…like zombies…with Greek names! Surely there’s an ageplay/furry angle in here, too — we’re working on it!

Word is starting to perk up from the grid in the last week of legions of silent bots with names that sound like college fraternities, moving into camp-chair sites, filling them up, draining all the Linden dollars out of them…and then never spending on the casinos. They also don’t return IMs or reply to requests for friendship. They don’t talk. When owners eject them, they clump together at the edges of sims and begin to ghost and then respawn. Many are dressed alike.

Clarrice Claridge, co-owner of the Emerald Falls Casino and Games in Pruni, first spotted the “bots” last week and called the Herald to find out if we knew anything. She described several dozen odd avatars with pale faces….

…many with Greek names like “Delta” or “Omega” and the newest surnames, some in groups of 4 with the newest names, with birthdates of December 14.

Clarrice’s partner and co-owner, Detroit Oe, posted an account of the bots to warn other merchants at He published a list of the names of avatars he alleged were bots, including Psi Biddle, Theta Schnabel, Gamma Sellers, Lambda Dean and many other “Greeks”.

Some of these avatars were online tonight and remained unresonsive to IMs, but appear to have moved on from Emerald Falls to other camping venues; not a single one is present now at Emerald, though they have been there for days, owners and visitors said.

Detroit’s warning predictably met with a slew of hate posts about camping in general — there was little sympathy for an establishment that had upwards of 50,000 traffic most days and was ostensibly achieving their numbers through chairs, paying people to sit.


Clarrice made an interesting rebuttal to camp-haters by saying that she had a list of regulars who socialized, other attractions like skating and a train ride on her property, and owned most of the sim. And she also pointed out aptly that her campers are feeding the rest of the economy, not only her casino.

“I look at it this way, if I walk around and see campers at any place and they have prim hair, designer outfits, bling, poofers, sparkly shoes then they have been spending those Lindens they make at others shops. If I see default avatars sitting there it just makes me as mad as the next person about camp,” she said.

It’s not know if libsecondlife or any other scripters’ group has devised a way to log on bunches of avatars and have them camp for dollars and stay on 24/7; these days, with the rule against more than five alts now overturned, all bets are off, and you may not need any bot device in order to quickly create dozens of accounts and log them all in on one computer or a network or through groups of friends. Lindens have been alerted to the situation with the multiple alts appearing at camp sites, but appear not to have taken action.


In The Sims Online, we all got used to these bot pizza parlours where 4 roomies would move in with identical outfits and names, never talk, and answer IMs with the same taglines over and over again. They would keep their lots locked, or if they were opened, when you visited, they never interacted. You began to get suspicious about them when you kept IMing, and even if they fell off their routines, passed out, and were lying in a pool of their own pee and crying, they’d keep IMing the same iditioc tagline to you about happy pizza time.


It strikes this conspiracy theorist that there could be more method in this madness. Of course, the most likely hypothesis is that the campbots are just kids with a new gold-farming scam. But if ever the Lindens (or their close winking and nodding friends in various scripters and developers groups) were to devise a really thorough and effective way to end the camp scene, it would be by logging on to the grid massive numbers of alts to camp and suck up dollars. If they methodically filled up every casino sim to 40 and kept all the chairs at the slots filled — yet never played the casino games and never bought a single thing from the vendors — they’d force owners to go broke. A few days — weeks, tops — of that kind of over-camping at the top 20 list and they’ll have the camp-chair kings screaming “uncle”.

To be sure, then the socializing and ready cash they supplied for new residents would likely be missed. We’ll wait to see whether these frat-bots ever surface at any more casinos and become more than one business’ nemesis on the premises.


26 Responses to “CampBots Draining Casino Owners”

  1. urizenus

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Good story, Prok.

  2. Mako Mabellion

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Looks like a gold farmer who didn’t know the art of subtlety and didn’t realise how much attention he’d get by doing this to me – probably came here from some MMORPG where the owners were unresponsive and the users couldn’t do anything.

    The bots almost certainly use libsecondlife, but I have no idea who coded them, and apparently they’re not that well-written. I could code better, though I won’t…

  3. Artemis Fate

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Hehe that’d be an interesting strategy, shutting down the Camping chairs by camping like a madman.

    I really hate it when these “camping chair/casino owners” say “oh we’re helping the newbies!” which is such a lie that they might not even realize it (i’ve seen some club owners who camped when they were a newbie and believe it, even though it’s clearly nothing else but a traffic-cheating device), I mean, that wouldn’t fly in Real life. I couldn’t give to a homeless person by throwing them a penny for every hour they sit in place. They’d lock me up for cruelty.

  4. Just a thought

    Dec 26th, 2006

    the difference there Arty is that second Life is not real life.

    If LL did away with the top (insert number here) system and listed all search results in alphabetical order, as well as removing the payment option for the classified listings (as in, pay more to get a higher place in the list), why then the problem of “cheating the traffic listing” would vanish.

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    I’ve always felt camp-chair was an addition to an already-existing scam, casinos in SL. Casinos are designed to make their owners rich and create a thin fiction of payouts to keep people coming and helping to make owners rich.

    However, Clarrice made a good point, I found and one often overlooked about these establishments. People *like* to gamble and they like to come to a club and socialize AND get free money. You are not merely playing on vulnerabilities, you’re offering something *people want*. Calvinists may preach fire and brimstone, but at the end of the day, adults in this game get to *do what they want* and what a good share want is to come to clubs, gamble, get free money, and hang out socializing.

    Her most salient point is that while no doubt her SL partner’s casino operation make a profit, it’s a small one given that he and she are essentially using their business to pay for newbies’ shopping sprees — something other business owners should be grateful for. Every business in SL has camp-chair money in it at this point, so anybody getting all preachy and moralizing about camp is de facto hypocritical. All of us benefit from camp. It’s the starter fluid in the economy that the Lindens no longer pay (they don’t even give $50 to new basics anymore).

    I think the top 20 places should be replaced by a list that simply returs all items in search by traffic. Sure, the top 20 will game it but that’s hard to prevent. At least you have the ability to keep browsing down the list and finding the non-gamers right behind them with genuine big traffic for their content.

    Anything that monkeys with search and traffic right now, when it already is done many days, is inflicting huge damage to the economy. Search, combined with traffic, is what makes for most people’s sales with inworld business. Keep your paws of it.

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Ah, this just in. Our inimitable source of varying degrees of quality has come through on this story, not surprisingly. He sent me an email, but since he posted the same thing publicly on Second Citizen today also, I feel it can be published.

    [8:48] nimrod Yaffle: The camping bot is real… just an FYI… the person (which
    will remain unnamed) who informed me about the original Copybot, was working on a
    campingbot at the time. Last I saw (a month ago) it was fully automated, and you gave it
    LMs for it to TP to when it was forced to stand… then it read hovertext from a packet it
    recieved, and if it has a certian word, it sat on the item
    [8:48] nimrod Yaffle: And “the person” != Eddy… (! = does not)

    So…once again we have a product of libsecondlife being used to rip off other people.

    Many might feel it’s more than fine to rip off camp-chair establishments.

    Of course, that’s how abuses and the erosion of civil society always get started — people begin justifying the use of torture not everywhere, but just on Iraqis…they begin justifying theft not everywhere, but only on campbot

    These are worlds apart in meaning and scale; it’s the *mechanism* of erosion I’m talking about here. Justify using criminal methods against one portion of the population just because they are universally hated.

    I think the Lindens need to adopt the same attitude toward CampBots as they do to CopyBots. After all, logging on multiple, farming alts like this is a menace to disrupt events and normal residences just as much as being used for the “just cause” of fighting camping.

  7. Jesse Malthus

    Dec 26th, 2006

    These are libsecondlife creations. I know of at least three people who have camping botnets. (I used to do it, but it wasn’t worth wasting my bandwidth on it for USD$1/4 hours)
    You might also think back to another, non-copybot tekkiwiki scandal that you outed, that might help give you some insight on methods.

  8. reg api

    Dec 26th, 2006

    The are several different groups of large numbers of bots – dozens or hundreds of accounts – created by several different people using the registration api. In order to gain access to the registration api, people have to apply to the Lindens and provide a reason for receiving access. It is improbable that the reason they gave to the Lindens was that they wanted to get paid by using campbots, so the use of the registration api to create the accounts is quite likely to be a breach of faith on the part of the person doing so. The libsl programs used to operate the bots are imperfect, and can enter error conditions that cause the server they are connected to to endlessly resend packets, which can cause a good bit of lag that affects others attempting to use the sim.

  9. Jesse Malthus

    Dec 26th, 2006

    reg api: Half right, the registration API can and is used to make large numbers of accounts. However, I have *never* seen a libsl program create an “endless resend condition” on the sim side, nor creating undue lag. The uptime bot in Kula (3) has been running since the scripter’s trade show and hasn’t affected the sim in the least.

  10. nobody

    Dec 26th, 2006

    That you don’t know of something doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, it just means that your knowledge is incomplete. The packet resending problem occurred in Hooper, where the large quantity of dancing bots have been running semi-continuously; with visits from other groups of bots run by different people; at the time there was a ping sim of over 6000, although other sims were behaving in relatively normal fashion. Second Life is so unreliable that the fact there was a large number of bots experiencing problems in a sim with an abnormally ping sim time doesn’t mean the bot were causing the problem, it could be unrelated or the sim’s problem could be causing the bots to have problems.

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Do they still teach logic and use the Socratic method in schools today? You have to wonder, when you see these kinds of posts. People who call themselves “scientists” doing this “scripting” and “programming” imagine that if one test they ran in one sim worked ok, then “it’s ok”. Aren’t they aware of the Niels Bohr effect, the examiner influences the examined? Have they ever heard of field-testing in a variety of settings? Double-blind studies? Random studies? Repeat experiments? Is there any kind of methodology taught these script kiddies? Is there any peer review — ever?

  12. urizenus

    Dec 26th, 2006

    I was wondering when we would see camping bots. When the heavy camping started of course my first thought was TSO and then the legendary mazebots and pizzabots that guys like Nyk made. This interview is really a Herald classic from early ’94.

    But my favorite part is the first comment from Dyerbrook/Prok! A bot lover in those days it appears. Shock!!!

  13. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Yes, I confess, I was a bot lover. I loved AFK gardens because they all came there and roamed around on the seemingly straight paths designed for botting, but I had a few secret traps for them. They drove up the traffic, so it was kaching every morning. What’s not to like? Those were the days…

    Today, I don’t have that fastidious and hateful attitude toward camping that people all have, I guess because those times when I happen to stumble across camping casinos or hunt around for them in a story like this, I see my tenants sitting in them, even some well past the newbie stage. So, I’m fed by camp money — who isn’t. It’s all part of the Great Circle of Second Life.

    Where I begin to loathe camping and dance-pads is when they are land held by one person shared on a sim. That person then has a veto on your FPS or even your ability to fly into your property. They wouldn’t have that traffic if they didn’t use camping chairs. So I wonder, especially if they are selling the girls and the pron and the sex and clothing and what not in vendors, why do they even NEED camping? Doesn’t that excess traffic only kill the experience of the place? They could have 25-30 customers instead of 40 — and probably make the same money, after all that payout they have to make. I see people routinely walking away with $150 payouts from camp.

    I guess I feel that as with most vices, the way to drive them out is to simply create more virtues. Newbies need more entry level jobs. People should find other ways of creating them.

  14. Jesse Malthus

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Prok, it’s the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal, not the Bohr effect.
    True, I was basing my statement off of anecdotal evidence. I would love to have more information on how and why such a resend bug can triggered.
    Also, I have never called myself a scientist. Programming is a hobby, something to do in my spare time. I also haven’t taken time to do a double-blind study, we fix bugs as they are reported to us.

  15. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    No, I realize Heisenberg has a famous concept — but uncertainty is one thing, this is about certainty and its built-in errors, it’s similar, but a different concept. Niels Bohr had a different version of it, read up on it. He talked about how an investigator, during the course of the experiment, would have an impact on the experiment that wasn’t always measurable.

    So…just because you need a hobby and want to hack around in your spare time, the rest of us have to suffer the erm…results…of your reverse engineering? How does that work?

  16. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 26th, 2006

    Here’s a source that perhaps you will respect, explaining your error, and the sillyness of trying to correct me, whom you falsely believe to be in error:

    “The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is frequently, but incorrectly, confused with the “observer effect”, as it relates precision in measurements related to changes in velocity and position of certain particles relative to the perspective the observer takes on them.”

    I’m talking about the observer effect. Once again, I can only say, that the constant desire to trump and play gotcha clouds one’s reason.

    Or look here, and see that it was Bohr who even gave the uncertainty principle it’s name:

    “In quantum physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle or the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle — the latter name given to it by Niels Bohr — states that when measuring conjugate quantities, which are pairs of observables of a single elementary particle, increasing the accuracy of the measurement of one quantity increases the uncertainty of the simultaneous measurement of the other quantity. The most familiar of these pairs is the position and momentum.”

    Bohr dealt with both of these issues.

  17. Bob Perry

    Dec 29th, 2006

    Hey all…I havent really wrote a response here but I believe it is a problem. I came up with an idea though and invented a product to combat this. Sry if you don’t like people advertising their products but… It is a CAMPING ZONE. You click it to login and then your name enters its list. The amount of time and payment is changeable. The zone for how far the people can stand is changeable also. But most important,id has a verification system every X minutes. It asks simple questions and the avators need to respond within a minute ( ex. 2+2=) Search Bob Perry in places to see it work.

    remove if you believe its to much of an advertisement

  18. Artemis Fate

    Dec 29th, 2006

    I’m just savoring the irony of the people who gamed the system of traffic to the point that it killed developer’s incentives, are getting themselves gamed and now they’re bitching and complaining.

    “It asks simple questions and the avators need to respond within a minute ( ex. 2+2=)”

    How can a blingtard be expected to know such questions!? Why…that would take something of a 1st grade education, you can’t expect them to have THAT!

  19. Joannah Cramer

    Dec 29th, 2006

    Hmm. the rather obvious (though seemingly missed) next step for this sort of “advancement”: camp site owners using bots to generate traffic without having to pay anyone a dime. Would expect to see the ‘campbot’ on sale pretty shortly…

  20. Artemis Fate

    Dec 29th, 2006

    “Hmm. the rather obvious (though seemingly missed) next step for this sort of “advancement”: camp site owners using bots to generate traffic without having to pay anyone a dime. Would expect to see the ‘campbot’ on sale pretty shortly…”

    Excellent point, cut the newbie out of the equation entirely and just game the system.

  21. Joachim Karlfeldt

    Jan 2nd, 2007

    Actually quite humorous that the campbot dillema may have changed the dynamics of the camping economy in the favor of the casino/store owners. I’m not sure if anyone has done a cost/benefit analysis yet, ie: is it less expensive to run a campbot net than to pay campers.

    I guess if owners switch to campnets the argument about camping being good for the SL economy will finally be decided. ;)

  22. Jeff Swan

    Feb 28th, 2007

    High! Interesting site you have here… Thanks for it! – find out everything on gambling online

  23. Stef

    Mar 24th, 2007

    There are tons of them now lol look up the name Mannequin in secondlife and see what day all 101 of them were born.

    101 people joined SL on the same day and picked the name Mannequin go to any camping area and you will always find a Mannequin there.

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