i'm coming to this party late i admit, but i'm an anthropology grad student and can make a few comments.
For one, no this guy was not an anthropologist of any flavor. The article states he's a "media professor." i have my own biases about media/comm studies people... but i digress on that.
An anthropologist would never go about doing research in this fashion; and i have to admit one of the reasons this article bothers me is due to my own discipline's outlines and ethics. We do participant observation and we have to tell our participants that we are studying them, and give those people the right to opt out of being in our study group and then we are ethically bound to respect that opt out. We're not allowed to experiment in this fashion; pulling strings to play "what happens?" We only observe, and participate as much as possible.
As to the content of the article, i haven't played CoH, but i study online communities so i can give a brief comment based on my own observations and readings.
My small opinion of what's going on here is this (note: i haven't read his paper yet, just the article). Yes, the developers have their rules. But as another commenter has pointed out, the community has made its own subset of community expectations which happens in any community; there are The Big Rules, and then the Community Rules that lay under those.
Also in virtual worlds there are many, many, many instances of communities using the worlds in ways that the developers never intended. Linden Lab did not intend for Second Life to become a huge social hub, they really meant for it to be a hub for creation and creativity (according to Thomas Malaby, in his book _Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life_). As the community finds new ways to use the world and the tools the developers have given them, then the developer has to decide which of these new ways to encourage, which ones to let languish, if any! They have to decide whether to push their own agenda to the detriment of the community uses, or encourage the community uses and still bolster their own ideas, etc. etc.
There's an interesting dynamic (which my research will be looking at) between developer and community. Who holds more power, how much each stakeholder decides to give in to another, etc.
At any rate, he was playing within the developer rules, but the community he was in had its own set of rules subset to that. So was he really following the rules? Who makes the rules in these virtual world spaces? to me those are the more interesting questions, not what Prof. Myers "discovered." What he "discovered" was nothing new and really, online worlds are reflections of the offline world. People are this rude in the Big Blue Room, a bit more muted as the anonymity of the 'Net allows us to be more bold, but you still see this type of action out here in the "real" world.
Just my 2 cents in whatever currency (virtual or otherwise) you want to put it in.