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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
How to buy a piece of Star Wars
Screenshot from Star Wars Galaxies, Lucas Arts
The familiar and alien merge in Star Wars Galaxies
Money and artefacts from the Star Wars Galaxies game are turning up on auction sites barely a month after it opened its virtual doors.

On auction site eBay, Galaxies players are giving others the chance to get ahead in the online Star Wars world by offering for sale large sums of game money, raw materials and finished items.

One of the most expensive items on offer is 500,000 Star Wars credits being offered for $550 (343) of Earth money.

It remains to be seen whether game operator Sony allows the auctions to continue because it has tried to stamp them out in other games it runs.

Future clash

Star Wars Galaxies has been eagerly awaited by many fans of the films as it gives them a chance to live and adventure in the hi-tech Universe.

Although online the planets and places in the game function like a working world.

Players take on different professions and improve their skills and abilities by practicing the skills associated with that trade.

The game gives people the chance to be bounty hunters, merchants, craftsmen or outlaws and pirates.

Many people try to get around the time-consuming business of getting better at their chosen virtual profession by buying a ready made character on an auction site or buying game goods that help them reach a new level of proficiency.

Screenshot of Star Wars Galaxies, Lucas Arts
Meet new species and fight with them
The first players only started adventuring and living in the Star Wars Galaxies world in early July but already some are selling the first fruits of their virtual labours.

On auction site eBay some players have started offering game characters, large piles of cash, raw materials such as wood and steel, chemical extractors and even homes.

The market for these game items has yet to settle down because some sellers are charging much more for cash than others.

The Star Wars Galaxies game is being run behind the scenes by Verant, an arm of electronics giant Sony.

Sony/Verant took a dim view of players trading items for the hugely successful EverQuest game and attempted to stop the buying and selling.

However, its efforts appeared to have failed as sites such as PlayerAuctions.com do a regular trade in EverQuest items, player accounts and experienced characters.

Verant has yet to announce a policy on Galaxies trading.

The Galaxies game has its own game marketplaces and these might mean that fewer items leak from the virtual world in to the real world.

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