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Internet "Funeral" Ambushed-On-Line Characters Killed
Publius' Forum ^ | 4/4/06 | Warner Todd Huston

Posted on 04/04/2006 8:59:34 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus

Now THIS is a crazy story. (Funeral Ambush Story)

I am sure many of you are aware of the computer game Warcraft and the large community of on-line players who have created characters and have gotten to "know" other players through this outlet. Many of these people have been playing this game for years and their characters have gained a certain level of notoriety amongst other players. They then form clubs (called "Guilds" in the game language) and fight other clubs for status. Whole communities of these characters have been formed and real people spend thousands of hours in this electronic world.

Many of these players become quite attached to their on-line world and invest a lot of time and emotion into the game. They feel they are involved in something larger than themselves and feel they have made actual friends through the game.

Now, it happened that one of the long time players passed away in real life and many of his player "friends" decided to have a funeral service within the game to memorialize his passing. Word got out to other players that this little electronic service was taking place. As it turned out, other players who did not share the solemnity that befits a funeral service decided to enter the area in the game's matrix where the "service" was taking place and kill all the characters that were there to pay their respects.

In so doing, they recorded the video that follows the game play and placed this video on the net for others to see, displaying their electronic massacre as a humorous video, enraging many, amusing others.

So what can we say about this?

Those who think the mass "murder" of characters paying their respects was funny claim that no harm could have been done. After all, they say, this is a silly game, not real life. Not only was no one really killed at this service, no one had really died for which to have such a service in the first place. They point out that this was a game created for the sole purpose of killing each other in mock battle. That the "funeral" goers were being absurd memorializing a mere computer program, a character that is not real in any way, shape, or form.

Of course, those who do not think this is funny say that the attackers have no respect and should be ashamed of themselves. Supporters of this "service" point out that the attack is merely a reflection of a coarsening of society. That this "funeral" crashing and the subsequent faux massacre of its participants is just another example of the disrespect too many have for their fellows in real life. They lament that too many today feel nothing is sacred and that, everything being relative, we may as well see every situation as fodder for our enjoyment, no matter what form that enjoyment takes.

So, who is right? Is it a silly game not to be taken seriously or was this electronic "service" just as important as a real life funeral service?

There are so many philosophical considerations with this story that it boggles the mind.

Is what happens on the internet "real"? Should real emotion be invested there? Can one truly make friends on a device that screens all real contact out of the experience? Can you truly be friends with someone that you cannot touch, cannot see, do not truthfully know their location, what they sound like, act like?

As to the "funeral" service, isn't it true that all such services -- even the ones in real life-- are merely ceremonial remembrances, anyway. The person who is the center point of the occasion is gone. So, why shouldn't we invest the same respect in an electronic world that we would in the real? The sentiment is the point, after all isn't it?

Yet, on the other hand, this is quite a lesson in real world human nature, isn't it? Have we not seen funeral service attendees in the Mideast attacked by their enemies over and over? For that matter, weddings, too? Do we not see protesters of the left picketing the funerals of American soldiers in this country today? Is this fake massacre in a game a reflection of man at his most common disrespect for his fellows?

And what would we do about it all if we make a decision on what is right and what is wrong? Do we regulate the internet? Make the operators of the games and communities liable? Ban people from participation and reward those who do the "right thing"? Who decides, anyway?

I'd say technology has fast outpaced the philosophical considerations about the world of the internet, for sure.

TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Miscellaneous; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: funeral; huston; warcraft; wifidriveby
Weird, for sure!
1 posted on 04/04/2006 8:59:39 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Mobile Vulgus

"Get a Life" Ping.

2 posted on 04/04/2006 9:15:21 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: Mobile Vulgus

In all honesty, the whole point of WoW is to go around and kill characters, so why should anyone be ticked this happened?

3 posted on 04/04/2006 9:16:08 PM PDT by Kenny Bunkport
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To: Mobile Vulgus

I saw the youtube video for this a while ago and I have to say it made me laugh.

4 posted on 04/04/2006 9:19:02 PM PDT by Hexenhammer ( Oregon: She dies by her own prescriptions)
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To: Mobile Vulgus

I haven't played this particular game, but I've played in other online enivrons. It's silly how attached people get to their characters and to the online "reality" that they create.

For me it was about blowing off some steam for several hours. For others it's a whole soap opera.

That being said, I know it's quite possible to become attached to people you never actually meet. Most of my current crop of friends I've met through computer contact first.
5 posted on 04/04/2006 9:22:22 PM PDT by birbear (I took an IQ test and I flunked it of course. I can't spell VW, but I drive a Porsche.)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
I play Counterstrike and then only the Deathmatches. A little violence, a little mayhem, throw in some carnage and I burn an entertaining hour or so. I try to use the sniper rifles when I can, but the good hiding places on the maps for snipers get familiar to the other players over time. Sniping works best on a new map. Other than that, I do not play anything online.

Image hosted by
What We Are About To Do Here Is What The Good Lord Would Call A Cleansing of the Wicked. I Call It A Good Old Fashioned Texas Ass Kicking.
6 posted on 04/04/2006 9:59:34 PM PDT by speed_addiction (And the Lord said, "Who shall I send? Who will stand for us?" Said I, "Here I am...Send me.")
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To: Mobile Vulgus

A wi-fi drive-by?

7 posted on 04/04/2006 10:31:27 PM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: birbear
Off topic.

I saw your tagline and have only one comment:

Fahrvenugen (which I probably spelled wrong, too!)


8 posted on 04/04/2006 11:23:37 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Kenny Bunkport

I would say the "people" planning the funeral should have contracted for better "security". :-)

9 posted on 04/05/2006 7:56:34 AM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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