By Joseph Leray

Members of SteamRep -- "a non-profit site that partners with community administrators to improve the safety of game-related trading" -- have uncovered what they believe to be organized fraud in "Team Fortress 2", Valve Software's massively popular, team-based FPS.

After conducting lengthy and detailed research, user base64 alleges that a group of Russian gamers are using stolen credit card numbers to buy and trade in-game items, and then selling those virtual items for real-world cash, often at a loss.

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As part of his just-concluded keynote at the DICE Summit here on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Valve founder Gabe Newell said that the team behind the popular animated shorts for "Team Fortress 2" is prepping comics. This, he said, is part of Valve's transition from being a "video game company" to an "entertainment company." More on that in my next post, which I'll be filing shortly.

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