I guess one shouldn’t really be surprised that there is terrorism in a game called World of Warcraft but I didn’t realize how deeply it was embeddd into the game.
There is an interesting little piece about this, and the value of studying it in relationship to real-world terrorism, over on Wired:
“Warcraft has a history of in-game terrorist activity. Early on, players found a curse in a high-level dungeon that would turn them into living bombs. They would then teleport to major cities and detonate themselves, killing nearby players. These suicide bombers gradually began to target areas where large number of players gathered, usually at auction houses or banks. Eventually, attacks occurred with enough frequency that some players simply avoided dangerous cities.
Virtual bioterrorist Allen and his guild, domus fulminata, used a similar teleportation technique to spread an epidemic throughout in-game cities. Using a contagious curse called Corrupted Blood that could kill most players in seconds, Allen and his guild purposely infected other players and created a semi-permanent well of disease in cities’ non-player characters. Allen and his group found the chaos caused by their actions humorous.”
This reminds me of some of the controversies surrounding virtual sexual assaults in places like Second Life and even dating back to all-text worlds like LambdaMoo. There is a fascinating piece, in fact, called A Rape in Cyberspace that I highly recommend.