People who play a computer game about wizards killing each other were outraged when their "virtual funeral" for a fellow player was attacked by a gang of enemy characters.
The game, World of Warcraft, is played by more than 6 million people around the world. And much like the real world, players from one side are required to be the enemy of players on the other side -- it's part of the game's cruel and pointless design. (Gamers are connected to the massive virtual world through the Internet.)
For reasons yet to be explained, a group of players decided to hold a "funeral service" for another player who reportedly died in real life on February 28 ... and they decided to hold it in an open-combat area.
They announced it on a World of Warcraft message board.
A gang of rival players known as "Serenity Now" thought that was a fine way to slaughter a whole lot of enemies with minimal effort.
In a hilarious video that even makes sense to those who have never entered this "Lord of the Rings"-style world of wizards and elves and dragons, the Serenity Now gang raids the solemn lakeside funeral and slaughters dozens and dozens of dimwitted mourners.
But first, an "advance man" goes to the memorial service to check things out. When his marauding horde is just about to reach the funeral, he brutally kills the character representing the girl who reportedly died in real life.
Then the gang makes quick work of all the mourners. Finally, the advance man returns to the virtual corpse of the supposed real-world dead girl. He genuflects and says she liked fishing and snow and playing the combat style of World of Warcraft.
The raid has led to much hand-wringing about player ethics, with many people apparently shocked that a game about wizards killing each other would be used for exactly that purpose.
The funeral raid happened on March 4, and just three days later the brutal video appeared on Google, apparently as a "recruitment video" for the Serenity Now gang.
Even those who found the raid distasteful say it was idiotic for the "funeral' to be held in an open combat zone.
It's not the first time World of Warcraft gamers have taken their hobby a little too seriously. There was outrage last month when a transsexual (in real life) started a club for homosexual players that advertised itself as friendly to such persuasions.
The game company said no, and the whole stupid mess led to 1,000 World of Warcraft employees going to "sensitivity training."
The company recently banned more than 5,000 players and suspended another 10,000 accounts for various virtual crimes.
Also here's the video. All the people get annilated. I think it's halarious. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7667194685876573666&q=world+of+warcraft+pvp