Sims Reputation Mafia

How griefers use the Sims reputation system to extort in-game money from new players:
The Sims

It didn’t take long for a group calling itself the Sims Mafia to figure out how to use this mechanic to shake down new users when they arrived in the game. The dialog would go something like this:

“Hi! I see from your hub that you’re new to the area. Give me all your Simoleans or my friends and I will make it impossible to rent a house.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m a member of the Sims Mafia, and we will all mark you as untrustworthy, turning your hub solid red (with no more room for green), and no one will play with you. You have five minutes to comply. If you think I’m kidding, look at your hub-three of us have already marked you red. Don’t worry, we’ll turn it green when you pay…”

Randy Farmer @ Building Web Reputation Systems blog

Via Boing Boing.

Is this the inevitable way of things? Does the competitive nature of games (and gamers) necessarily invite blackmail and other abuse?