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When do you stop playing by the rules?

2006.04.12.03.06 · No Comments

Never knowing if they were real or not, my friends and I laughed at Faces of Death when we watched them. I forget how old we were, but it was under sixteen as we couldn’t drive yet. I know I’m a different person now, but how different? A month ago a video started circulating and I’d love to get opinions on it. A Horde guild leader (or officer, I’m not sure,) of a World of Warcraft guild had a stroke and passed away. In the spirit of fond remembrance her guild and friends all set a time to hold a ‘funeral’ of sorts at her favorite fishing spot, which was in a PVP area. As you may have guessed, the funeral is attacked by an Alliance guild who lay waste to the Horde. It’s barely even a fight. (YouTube, hi-res torrent)

I felt really bad when I watched it. The first time. As I watched it a few more times that old aspect of extremely dark humor reared its head a bit. The concept of ‘attacking a funeral’ is so ludicrous that it does seem funny to me. In my minds eye I can see a grieving family standing over a casket just before Cardinal Ximinez jumps into frame shouting “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” But my imagination run amok doesn’t doesn’t change the fact that a real person died and was being remembered here. I’ve no problem admitting a certain level of assholism myself; as I just admitted to, on some level, being entertained by a slaughter at a funeral. But I’m wondering what level of assholism one should regard the attacking Alliance party as. I mean, they were just playing the game, right? In a ‘roleplaying’ way of thinking they saw easy pickings and took it. It’s that “Hitler was a great speaker” way of thinking that forces you to realize that they had a great plan and executed it well. As someone else said, just like the real world doesn’t stop for death, neither does the virtual world.

But at the same time they knew what was going on and targeted the funeral explicitly. Obviously one can’t condone their actions. They used a real world tragedy to their advantage in a video game, slighting others in the process in a manner that’s morally reprehensible. I’d go so far as to say that they deserve a nice solid punch in the face. But they didn’t break any rules, so I can’t see taking any action against them as I’ve seen suggested. This is something that I’d love to hear others take on.

Tags: MMO

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