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A duplication bug (dupe bug) is a video game bug that replicates a valuable gaming element or gaming currency. When a dupe bug becomes known, gamers may exploit the bug to move ahead in the game. This type of exploitation occurs most frequently in ongoing multiplayer gaming.
Dupe bugs can undermine overall gaming processes. As such, game manufacturers may take action against those found to be exploting dupe bugs.
Modern gaming products include intrusion detection systems, making the exploitation of dupe bugs less common as time has gone on. However, some of the effects of previous dupes are still being experienced. For example, in currency duping, numerous dupe bugs can cause the virtual economy to experience inflation. This causes the cost of player-to-player transactions to increase along with the amount of virtual money in the system. In the case of item duping, the item that has been duplicated may quickly lose its value when the item's price falls as a result of increased supply.
For example, in the multiplayer online role-playing game known as "RuneScape," the Pink Party Hat was duplicated more than two million times. Prior to being duped, the Pink Party hat was a scarce item. As a result of this duping bug, the Pink Party Hat (known currently as the Purple Party Hat) became the least expensive hat.
Rollbacks have been enlisted to combat this form of gaming exploitation. This process takes games back to earlier points in time before the duplication bug took place. Another solution is to ban those who exploit duplication bugs. Still another solution is to disable the game temporarily, or simply let the dupe bug run its course.