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The Castle Doctrine contest will reward in-game thieves with real money, home security gear

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To celebrate The Castle Doctrine's "very successful alpha test" and its Jan. 29 release, developer Jason Rohrer is giving away real money and real prizes — including a shopping spree at an ammunition store and a collapsible baton that might not be legal where you live.

Rohrer set aside $3,000 in earnings from the early access version of his burglary-themed online game, in which players build and protect their houses with traps and security systems. They can also steal from each other in an asynchronous multiplayer game where death is permanent. During the contest, the more you steal and secure in the game, the more you can earn in real life.

The exchange rate between in-game and real world money will fluctuate based on the in-game economy, but at current rates, players whose houses are worth $2,000 would receive $13. On the other end of the spectrum, houses worth $100,000 would receive $684.

Each of the surviving top eight houses will receive two prizes. The first: real-world versions of in-game paintings found in their houses. The second pool of prizes appears under the header "Real Security Stuff," and includes an assortment of items related to the game, including a dog club (not available in certain states) and a Door Devil home security door. Rounding out the real-world prizes are three $50 gift certificates to Custom Cartridge Company, a gun store in Las Cruces, New Mexico where you can pick up some ammo and accessories.

"Own the club that started it all," Rohrer writes, referring to his family's unpleasant history with aggressive dogs, which he chronicled last year in a post last year. "A heartwarming souvenir from Las Cruces, New Mexico. (Note: was never actually used to club a dog.) Way safer than a gun! Much harder to commit suicide with. More compact than a golf club, which was actually the anti-dog tool of choice in Cruces."

You can see all of the prizes and get details on the contest rules, payout timing and what worries him about the contest at the Linux, Mac and Windows PC game's official site. Rohrer will divide the purse between living players, based on The Castle Doctrine's stats at 8 p.m. ET next Monday, Jan. 27.