7 Other Weird (and Sometimes NSFW) News Stories About World of Warcraft and Other MMOs

By Brian Hanson in Daily Lists, Video Games
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

4) Second Life's Online University is Demolished


Thus begins the first part of this list that mentions Second Life, the bizarre self-parody of online superinteraction. In case you've missed any mention whatsoever of Second Life during your entire life on the internet: Second Life is an open source virtual world with almost no boundaries. Anything you want to do, you can. Provided you can make it, buy it, or otherwise.

Because anything is possible, Second Life is a virtual barrel of "griefing" monkeys. But more on that later. Second Life captured the attention of the intelligentsia early on, as ponderous pontificators from every think-tank imaginable were predicting great and amazing things from this virtual realm. Students would log in to Second Life to fly around and do their homework, tour famous museums, and learn valuable skills.

Or, more likely, they'd screw around and mess with stuff. Second Life's owner Linden Labs was gracious to most educational facilities and granted many of them their own virtual campus, but one - belonging to small California college Woodbury University - was accused not once but twice of harboring troublemakers and griefers. Linden Labs was not appreciative of Woodbury's unconventional teaching methods, and VIRTUALLY DEMOLISHED Woodbury's Second Life campus. Take that, virtual education!

5) "Corrupted Blood" Spurs Epidemic Research in World of Warcraft


Sometimes in virtual life, a little rain must fall; or sometimes, a little pandemic must infect thousands of players and kill them instantly.

In one of World of Warcraft's content expansions, a new raid was established with a powerful, high-level boss. A boss that cast an HP-draining spell, "Corrupted Blood," that sapped players HP quickly and fiercely, and could spread onward to nearby players like a virus. Blizzard's oversight, though, was that the "Corrupted Blood" debuff spell spread to various NPC characters and helpers, who were unaffected by it but nonetheless wandered into unsuspecting towns and villages, spreading it hither and yon, and killing random players by the thousands.

The situation played out like any major pandemic, and captured the attention of epidemiologists around the world. Healers attempted to cure the sick, while evil players took advantage of the chaos to loot and raid, and low-level, weaker players were killed instantly. It was a fascinating if not morbid simulacrum of reality, and gave naval-gazing technocrats plenty of fodder to chew on.

6) Media Discovers Marriages in World of Warcraft, Hardcore Sex in Second Life


Nevermind all that disease research, though: what people were really obsessed over in MMOs were sex! Sex, sex, sex!

In World of Warcraft, players were being introduced to each other in a fantasy setting; sometimes that would transcend the realm of Azeroth and into our humdrum lives on Earth, where real people would shed their avatars and hook up. Or sometimes they would get married in the game. Or sometimes both.

Or sometimes, they would trade sex for a flying mount. Hey, whatever.

Real sex for a flying mount is peanuts compared to the unrepentant, vile filth that's omnipresent in Second Life. Every sex act imaginable is available, instantly at the ready, in Second Life! Bestiality! Furry Vore! Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario virtual slash! Everything your sick, diseased mind could want!

Second Life's open environment is both a blessing and a curse. But mostly a curse. A dirty, dirty curse.

7) Second Life CNet Press Conference Assaulted by an Army of Flying Penises


Sometimes, those dirty-minded miscreant griefers can use their collective powers of disruption for the forces of good.

In the heady days of late 2006 when Second Life was enjoying its rampant success, raking in millions from perverts while think-piece authors praised the company's bold vision, a couple of hucksters by the name of "Room 101" staged the best prank in virtual history. (My opinion, not yours.)

During a staged press conference/interview between Second Life's virtual spokesperson, Anshe Chung, with noted internet news outlet CNet, Room 101 amassed an army of flying, wobbling penises. They flew triumphantly through the air, hither and thither, perfectly deflating the pretentious air of the proceedings.


Terrible censoring by yours truly.

The funny thing is, there was probably an NSA operative watching the whole thing. Hooray, America!

More from Brian Hanson:

Ten Reasons Not to Buy a Next-Gen Console at Launch

Seven Reasons Why Heroes of Cosplay is Terrible

More links from around the web!

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