Iâ€™ve just been introduced to a video of an event that took place in the virtual gamescape of World of Warcraft.
You can watch the same video here: http://tinyurl.com/lcuct (Be aware some of the text included on the video might fall into the “explicit lyrics” category)
I found it incredibly absorbing and was fascinated by the phenomenon, but some of you may find this occurence unsettling.
To summarise, what occured was that a group of WoW players decided to honour the real-life death of one of their number in the online world of WoW.
Their virtual ceremony was gatecrashed – “griefed” or “owned” – by a another group of game players who play against players rather than against the game.
To cut a long story short – the funeral party was devastated by the attack – in game terms and in real life..
Many of the characters were the result of hundreds of hours of game play and hundreds of dollars of subscription fees to the game.
I am wondering how others are positioned on this? Is it just a game, or is this transgression something more serious and the signal of things to come as the distinctions between online and offline existence become more blurred?
Interestingly, the Serenity_Now website http://www.serenity-now.org/ was hacked severely shortly after they crashed the funeral… is this fair play – a case of what goes around, comes around?
Under law, the hacking is a federal crime in most countries…. the online desecration of a funeral service is simply rude but not unlawful…
What do you think lies ahead for this sort of thing??
Some good extended discussion from the Other Players conference proceedings.