So, I use Steam. Steam has several features that allow you to collect virtual goods on your accounts, like gun skins for the game Counter-Strike or trading cards that can be traded with others.
You can collect this stuff, but you can also sell these digital trinkets on a sort of market built into the Steam client. If you’re clever and patient, you can make quite a bit of money–or rather, online credit, since this money can’t be used outside of Steam. Now, I’ve been using this feature extensively for a long time. You pick up these trinkets pretty passively when playing games, so its not like it requires work. They hold no value for me, and I’d rather sell them for online credit to buy new games.
I’d give the money to the poor, but you can’t translate this online credit to real money without taking some risky actions–which means selling the goods to someone else through Paypal, which I believe is against the Steam TOS anyways. So, I’d been using the credit to buy games without spending any of my “real” money on them. (I was thinking of buying some Christmas presents for my friends as well.)
However, I stopped the practice. It feels like dirty money, since I basically earned it for playing video games, and earned it from people too eager to throw their money away on goods of no actual value.
Was I actually sinning when I sold digital goods? My cursory glance at the catechism suggests no, but I consider myself yet a toddler when it comes to the faith. I’d like to hear the opinion of someone more informed in the faith.