A WoW player goes off and dies in real life. Apparently, he was a pretty popular player, and they decided to have an online memorial, in game. A perfectly understandable extension of the game-space if you ask me. But it was on a PvP server,
which allows player killing. (Back in my MUD days, we called that PK, not PvP, but whatever.) So another guild, of what are, admittedly, assholes, goes in and kills everyone there, including the "corpse" (someone logged the dead guy's account in and stood him by a lake).
On one level, it's completely funny, because it's obviously not a real event- it's only in a game, right? Well, not really- for the people paying their respects, this is a real issue. Aside from the comedy value (though not as good as Leroy Jenkins), this to me, shows two things. One, that people are having an increasing number of meaningful emotional experiences online, and two- that it is still very much a "frontier", with unwritten rules that somebody's got to enforce.
The next time one of these things go down, how much do you want to bet that there's some security present? And how far do they have to go from security to para-police (the GMs kinda provide a police force for the grievous violations of in-game ettiquite). I'm curious to see how far the in-game society can develop. I look forward to seeing a day where the rules and features are decided on not by some dictatorial owner, but a community- a game-structured democracy. Curiouser and curiouser.