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The Warriors Stood in the Shape of a Heart 427

An anonymous reader writes "Here's a picture of Warsingers funeral. Warsinger was an in-game persona in the rather good MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot". and generally well-liked. The real person behind Warsinger was a 32-year-old with heart trouble, who really died. So the players on his server organized an in-game funeral.At the funeral, players from the three realms of Camelot, who normally kill each other gleefully on sight, stood in the shape of a heart (check the pic above); the two figures in the center of the heart are Warsinger's real-life sister and girlfriend."
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The Warriors Stood in the Shape of a Heart

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  • I wonder... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OneNonly ( 55197 )
    How many people they had to kick for spoiling the fun and and getting free kills?

    It's next to impossible to find a (FPS) game with friendly fire enabled that you don't find kiddies shooting you in the back for fun - let alone not shooting the other team..

    *Oops, trigger slipped*
  • Impressive... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gounthar ( 212393 )
    Wow! That's what I call an online community! I don't play Dark Age of Camelot, but my deepest sympathy goes to his family.
  • by korpiq ( 8532 )
    ... as the first "religious" ceremony in virtual reality? Only quoted religiousness, as the ceremony does not seem to lock into any one religion, and does not make a statement of belief.

    Probably not the first one either, but the first one to draw enough eyeballs through slashdot to be publicly remembered.

    This makes one wonder whether gaming was his foremost achievement in his life, and if so, was it fullfilling. Probably at least the latter.

    Rest in peace. And loved.
  • This gesture..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkSeibzehn ( 606650 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:27AM (#4205322)
    just further proves the depth of the relationships that are kindled through online gaming. For all of us who have logged on at 4am just to talk to friends and occasionally do some killing it is nice to see this sense of community alive and well. I just hope there weren't any trolls wandering around causing unnecessary mayhem at such a sacred time.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @06:31AM (#4205453) Homepage
      For all of us who have logged on at 4am just to talk to friends and occasionally do some killing....

      I find it humorous that such a statement can be made in this day and age... Back 30 years ago (or today in a public school) that same statement would land you in jail or a looney ward. Today... It's a common statement among the plugged in crowd and is understood by the non-plugged in.
    • I doubt any trolls could have disrupted the ceremony, as they were all posting to slashdot at the time.
    • "just further proves the depth of the relationships that are kindled through online gaming."

      Hmmmm I am going to have to disagree with this (at least in my own experience). I don't believe that any online relationships have any TRUE depth. I don't think that you can really trust, know who a person is, emphasize with then etc until you can look them in the eye, see their body langauge, smell them touch them and just generally be in their presence.

      After spending much of my time online in gaming/chat and other online venues I have found that all the online relationships that I ever had (and I am not talking about only romantic relationships/nor am I excluding them), no matter how much friendship/loyalty/love/etc was claimed by both sides, the relationship was really just one of convenience.

      Or maybe its just me. Either way I am sorry to hear of this loss and this post is not intended to say that the person who died was not well liked by the online community he was a part of. I am only countering the statement in the post I am replying to, offering an opposing opinion that online (gaming) relationships have little or no depth in MY experience.

      I welcome any thought out rebuttals but please if you disagree with me, mod me down and move on, don't waste your time or mine with a mindless rant or string of insults.
      • Re:This gesture..... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Pedersen ( 46721 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:08AM (#4205641) Homepage
        After spending much of my time online in gaming/chat and other online venues I have found that all the online relationships that I ever had (and I am not talking about only romantic relationships/nor am I excluding them), no matter how much friendship/loyalty/love/etc was claimed by both sides, the relationship was really just one of convenience.

        Then I am truly sorry for you. Your experiences have been noticeably different from mine, since I've been involved with MUSHes for 8 years now (similar to MUDs, but different codebase). My cycle was one of newbie to pretty good coder to do-nothing. That's me right now. I log in to these sites still just for the friendships I've still got. I haven't written a new line of code in at least four years. But I still log in to say hello to my friends. After all, they're the only part of the whole online experience that matters. And I wish your experiences had been more similar.

      • Re:This gesture..... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:51AM (#4205799) Homepage
        Sorry, it's just you.

        I played EQ for nearly 3 years and have some solid friendships that have come of that. More importantly, I have my wife, who I met in game. We chatted in game, then via Internet audio (Gamevoice), and then met and dated for awhile before going further.

        And I'm not the only one either - a couple of our best friends met via a MUD while in college and have been married for nearly 8 years. And my father-in-law met his second wife online.

        Of course, I know a bunch of people who treat relationships as convienences, and I've watched them burn people left and right both online and in real life (when they met). Mostly because they never quite got that there was someone on the other end of the pixels and they were due just as much respect as you yourself are.

        I know I was honest with other people online, and so maybe that's why it's worked for me. I know our friends and my father-in-law are the same way. Because, frankly, if you don't treat others well online they're not going to trust you or treat you well either. What goes around comes around and all that.

        This isn't saying to be a doormat. Nor does it mean that you can't do well in the game -- I was in the uber-guild on my server and was one of the best equipped characters of my class.
        • Just wanted to echo that sentiment. My wife and I met on TooMush [] when the admins there were kind enough to provide us refugees from the temporarily siteless SouCon MUSH a temporary home to play. (We'd both been playing on SouCon, but hadn't played together until the TooMush move).

          A few weeks after we started playing together, we started talking on the phone. Then a few meetings in person, then a long period of dating. We were married August 2, 1997, and so far, so good.

          Ironically, when friends of ours told us that they were dating people they'd met over the Internet, our first reaction was to freak out. "Oh," we'd say, "the Internet was different back when we met online ('93 and '94). It's not the same anymore." Which is, of course, true, but to a degree we're just vulnerable to the same stupid hysteria that affects everyone else (read: non geek types) regarding online relationships.
        • Re:This gesture..... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cruciform ( 42896 )
          Ah, but you actually met, that's the difference. I believe the intent of the previous posters message was to relate to the online-only friendships.
          I've probably met thousands of people online in the last few years, and still keep in touch with a few, but none have the intrinsic value of friends that I have experienced in person.
          I've found there is a much greater sense of loss when I must walk away from someone I have known personally, rather than one I have known digitally.
          If the friendship moves beyond the online stage then it is much more likely to survive the petty squabbles and such that sometimes arise online due to misunderstandings, or the simple bad choice of a phrase.
          Then again, it depends on how deeply one is entrenched in online communities. Persistent communities are more likely to experience extended relationships than transitory states like IRC.
      • by Xerithane ( 13482 ) <xerithane@nerd[ ] ['far' in gap]> on Friday September 06, 2002 @01:20PM (#4207441) Homepage Journal
        After spending much of my time online in gaming/chat and other online venues I have found that all the online relationships that I ever had (and I am not talking about only romantic relationships/nor am I excluding them), no matter how much friendship/loyalty/love/etc was claimed by both sides, the relationship was really just one of convenience.

        I agree with you, and think you are totally right. I know a lot of people who have the "in depth" relationships online and it really seems (not a flame/troll) that these people lack real social skills, or are at least uncomfortable with themselves.

        I have never met someone who talks about EQ or Muds who is a well-rounded individual. Fit, eats right, talks right, and has any degree of charisma about them. They all seem to be either shy, ugly (sorry, but it's true), can't speak well, or has about as much charisma as a lepar.

        I'm not saying a lot of the people online aren't nice. Many of them are really nice, and friendly. The problem is online they aren't who they are in real life. I know people from IRC, I used to IRC when I had more time for open source projects but that was why I was there and why they were there. Not because we needed a social interaction outside of reality.

        I welcome any thought out rebuttals but please if you disagree with me, mod me down and move on, don't waste your time or mine with a mindless rant or string of insults.
        Don't worry, I think I'll get hit with it now.. :)
        • Limited Viewpoint (Score:4, Interesting)

          by kaladorn ( 514293 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @03:26PM (#4208520) Homepage Journal
          I started using IRC waaay back. Then gravitated into MUDs, good old Compuserve games, and various NGs and Forums. And I'm a frequent participant on several mailing lists.

          That said, I have to say you seem to have a very jaundiced perspective when you say you've yet to meet people who are fit, eat right, talk right, and have charisma about them who play EQ or MUDs.

          I have quite a few friends who play EQ or DAoC(even to the point of disappearing for an entire weekend to play). Many of them are highly paid programmers, sales support engineers, application designers, etc. People who work in close-knit real-world teams all the time. Many of them also play ultimate frisbee, softball, soccer, etc. - team sports. And a fair few have webs of social contacts that boggle my mind, and I have so many friends I can't keep up with them all.

          Now, I've met some of the people you seem to think all EQers or MUDers represent... there are some. But then I've met plenty of maladjusted or poorly socialized people outside of the game world, so I have no reason to suspect a huge correlation.

          Your assumption seems to be that these people are developing on-line friends INSTEAD of off-line ones. My experience has been that off-line friends get sucked into common on-lne activities and that the intersection of the on-line and off-line friend sets is high.

          The Internet has allowed me to meet people in Australia, Sweden, UK, Tasmania, NZ, Spain, Germany, etc. A lot of them have offered me a place to stay when travelling. I've purposefully travelled to the US to meet many of my on-line buddies (after knowing them for a few years on-line) and real-world friendships I expect to endure have formed. Some have even blossomed into annual pilgrimages. None of that could have happened before the Internet very easily. And these aren't unhappy, poorly socialized, unfit, or immature folks - quite the contrary.

          Then again, this may reflect the character of the populations of the lists I hang out on, the forums I frequent, etc. So maybe it is just a case of needing to expand your horizons?

        • I have never met someone who talks about EQ or Muds who is a well-rounded individual. Fit, eats right, talks right, and has any degree of charisma about them. They all seem to be either shy, ugly (sorry, but it's true), can't speak well, or has about as much charisma as a lepar.

          I recall an early LPmud on our college campus back in 1989. There were players from all over the world, but it was most popular with local students.

          Several of my good friends, almost none of them computer types, got very involved in it for a while. At the bar on Friday night everyone would be chattering about their characters or the new castle that just got added or whatever.

          Today, these people include editors at major metropolitan newspapers, sports agents, on-air TV personalities, elected politicians, and successful musicians. They're all friendly, outgoing, popular, attractive, and "winners" by almost anyone's measure. None is overweight or a shut-in, and to the best of my knowledge their level of computer mastery (and interest) still hovers somewhere around email and MS Office.

          Once in a while, when we get together, we still joke about the mud. It was a strange and interesting thing that intrigued intelligent people, no more, no less.

    • Over at Everything2 [], in the two and a half years it's existed, we've had a few permanent departures or deaths of well-known members of the community. Now, E2 isn't anything like an MMPORG, unless you consider the subjective assembly of a encyclopedia of culture a "game".

      But the community is solid there, and an essential part of E2. A special subset of the "nodespace" is carved out just for that community to recognize itself. Gatherings take place in cities large and small so that regulars and irregulars can meet face-to-face. People who stop contributing to the database entirely sometimes stick around for the friendships.

      So when a regular needs to leave the site for good, or we learn one has died recently, even those who didn't know him or her closely are affected. Homenodes and daylogs suddenly fill with memories of the person, or at the very least an acknowledgement of his or her contributions, both of knowledge and friendship. A "virtual funeral" wouldn't work there, or at least it wouldn't work the same way. It's more like an unofficial wake. I think that if the Slashdot editorial pool suffered a similar loss, we'd all gather in one forum to do the same thing.

      Things like this are good to record, and to pass around. It lets people know that online community is still community, that friends exist in places where we may never meet them. Many will look at things like this and find it disturbing or unnatural; I'd argue that the opposite is true.
    • Actually, if you look at the picture, you can see that there are trolls in attendance.
      • just further proves the depth of the relationships that are kindled through online gaming.

      Hey, I've won Excellent karma in the Slashdot game. Lend me $50. I'm good for it. You can trust the karma.

  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:28AM (#4205324) Journal
    Read the article High-Tech Ways to Handle End-of-Life Issues [] and visit this site [] of a company that organizes (semi) virtual funerals.
  • by juventasone ( 517959 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:29AM (#4205328)
    I'm sure a lot of people would find this disturbing, but I guess it's "the way" of our generation.

    I play in a chat-based RPG known as A Call To Duty []. It's been around for about 6 years and currently stands at 240-something players. We've seen real life marriages and births as the result of players meeting in the game. Inevitably, we've also had players who have passed away. Recently, the passing of one of our game managers was marked by dedicating a ship in his name. His family understood what the game meant to him, and they were happy with what we had done.

    • by DoctorFrog ( 556179 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:55AM (#4205385)
      I can't see that this way of honoring someone is any weirder or more disturbing than placing a dedication to them in a novel or movie, or an RPG for that matter. Compared to making a gemstone [] out of their remains it's positively quaint.

      In any case, it's for the friends and family he left behind to decide what is an appropriate way to celebrate his passing. (Personally I found this gesture rather beautiful.)

  • by valen ( 2689 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:34AM (#4205340) Homepage

    It's nice that in a way his funeral meant something to his friends, rather than a boring sermon from a speaker that didn't really know him.

    A few years back a guy died on the field in the reenactment of the battle of tewksbury (1471).

    I think of a burst aorta, possibly exacerbated by hefting a large sword around a field in 33C heat, wearing plate armour...

    It wasn't until afterwards that people realised that he was really dead. They had a wonderful funeral the next day, in the nearby abbey (where many of the noble dead from the battle were buried). Thousands turned up to pay their respects, most still in kit. He was buried in the same way a respected knight would have been.

    Though I didn't find out personally, I'm told that the pallbearers had a hard time holding up the coffin, as he was buried in plate.
    • Though I didn't find out personally, I'm told that the pallbearers had a hard time holding up the coffin, as he was buried in plate.

      That should give anthropologists something to think about in a few thousand years when they find his burial site.

      A circa 21st century human buried in full plate armor with a sword. Maybe we should also have buried an explanation along with him.

    • That is a very cool way of handling the situation.
    • Nice troll.

      Obviously this guy is just describing Christopher Guest's next project, a follow-on to the Waiting for Guffman/Best in Show series with Eugene Levy starring as the general at Tewksbury.
    • It's sort of strange reading your message today, because I watched a health program on satellite last night that might be related.

      They were talking about a genetic mutation that causes people to become taller than normal (Abe Lincoln suffered from it). They said about 1 out of every 3000 people has it, but most don't even realize they have it. The biggest problem with it is it causes a weakened aorta that can suddenly burst. (In the past, people didn't usually live past their 30's or 40's if they had this condition, for this reason.) The condition gets passed on from generation to generation, so people who know they have it can get regular checks at the doctor to make sure everything is still in good order.

      They perform a surgery to replace 2 or 3 inches of the aorta with a vinyl substitute at the first sign of it stretching or expanding abnormally - and then the person can go on living a normal life.
  • by kuiken ( 115647 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:41AM (#4205356) Homepage

    the guy died on operating table, all realms united for the funeral and made this movie, quite touching movie brought a tear to my eye
  • BBS days (Score:4, Funny)

    by Troy H Parker ( 600654 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @05:53AM (#4205380)
    Back in the days of BBSing there was this BBS in Rochester, NY, and one of the users of this BBS had a heart attack while online.

    After the incident the welcome screen was modified to read "Welcome to xxxx BBS" and down near the bottom: "Frags: 1"
    • While it's possible that it was in /your/ days of BBSing, the term Frag didn't exist until long past the glory days of BBSes.

      Evan (no reference)

      • frag (Score:3, Informative)

        by rodentia ( 102779 )
        The term frag derives from fragmentation grenade and has been in use since Vietnam when it was coined to denote the killing of one's superior and making it look like an accident.
  • RL Death (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dynamoo ( 527749 )
    I play an RPG called Canon at Evernight Games [] - a few months ago one of our most respected players passed away in Real Life.

    It's a strange thing.. when you play RPGs you're used to the idea of people dying and then coming back. Real Life isn't quite like that, unless you believe in Buddhism. There's a sense of loss, but of that person as a game character, not as a real human, and it often comes as a huge shock to remember that these are flesh-and-blood mortals.

    Of course, its also rare that you find if someone has died.. sometimes people go away and you're often left wondering why. It's only the most prominent players who you tend to find out about when they pass away. sigh.

  • As someone who spends less time on online games than he does on the toilet I get the point here - just because you don't meet in real life doesn't mean you don't know someone. You can get close to people playing games together, be it monopoly or fragUup.

    I'd like to see a /poll looking at %age of social time spent online / onplanet / onTivo. I get the feeling that more and more people are spending a bigger and bigger chunk of their life online. Not a bad thing as such, many people spend nearly all their social time hooked to the TV, the Bar, a SkateBoard.
  • A Story About a Tree (Score:2, Interesting)

    by macragge ( 413964 )
    This [] sort of thing has been happening for years in online worlds. Interesting how games that supposedly degrade a person's civility can harbor such a beutiful testament of pure respect.
  • Too easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dexter77 ( 442723 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @06:51AM (#4205488)
    Even death has become too easy, you can sorrow online and forget it tomorrow.

    You cannot see the grief of the relatives, you cannot see the pain or the sadness, it's all game. Do online gamers really understand that a real person died, not a character. Is the sorrow similar to one you feel when the main character in your favorite book dies?

    My brother died few months ago, he was very active quake player, member of a succesfull clan etc. His clan mates had never met him in real life, but they were as close as someone can be virtually/online. Now six months later they barely remember he ever was in their clan. Instead his real life friends still grief him frequently.

    In my opinion everything online is a shadow of the same thing in real life - even emotions.
    • Re:Too easy (Score:2, Insightful)

      Exactly how much do you really get to know someone in quake? Are you really typing that much? MMORPG are based on grouping and you tend to type just a little more than in quake. You tend to get to know people a heck of a lot better than a first person shooter. Your brother's IRL friends knew him...IRL. If you don't know someone that much, you're not going to grieve that much. I have great friends online and it'd hurt me imensely to see something to happen to one of them, but you cannot seriously expect me to grieve the same over them as I would one of my real life good buddies. You can't even compare the two. How much can you grieve over a person when you don't even know what they look like? I'm sorry for your loss, but the comparison is bad.

      and for reference, I'm pretty sure that we all understand that it's not just thier character that died...really...
    • Hence the term "Virtual Time". In Virtual Time, there are no seconds and minutes, only the passing of time. One of our website members died in the WTC (he was a fireman). It took us a month to figure the whole thing out. When we posted the obit on the site, it was like it happened a few minutes ago.

      We've lost almost a dozen members. Sometimes you grieve their real names and sometimes their screennames. They can be completely separate. Some left artwork behind as a reminder and some just disappeared. Their posts remain forever (theoretically) and they sometimes appear in resurrected threads. It's like they never die.
    • by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:57AM (#4205837) Homepage Journal
      Some people would like to come to a real funeral, but are too far away. People from across the country or across the world may not be able to fly on the spur of the moment, they may not be able to afford it, or get the time off.

      And maybe they don't know the person as well or don't miss as much as the family of the person who died. So what.

      But don't you dare say they don't have the right to morn at all. Online is a way to bring together people from across the world who would otherwise be left out. It's not as close as in person, but it is much better than nothing.

    • As someone else already pointed out: the relationship one builds in an MMORPG is a lot less tenuous than relations in 1st person shooters. It is surprising to non-players how much one can learn about another player through the game, and many players who meet their close on-line-friends in real life end up being close friends in real life as well. Some even marry. I'd say I am closer to some in-game friends whom I have never met, than I am to some of my real-life friends. I cannot imagine many gamers feeling the death of an in-game friend merely as the death of their character.

      And does one really have to see the grief of the deceased's relatives to make ones own grief more valid or real? At a funeral, one may find comfort in the presence of others that share ones grief. That is the purpose of these virtual funerals. Friends of the deceased gather to share the grief and thereby easing it somewhat, not because it is a k3wl thing to do in-game.

      I have lost 2 friends whom I have met only through an online game (Ultima Online). I personally found much comfort in attending their in-game funeral. (incidently, it usually is the person him/herself who is remembered and "buried", not their character). Oh, these friends died over a year ago but yes, I still remember them.
    • Re:Too easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by j-boo ( 606491 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @09:42AM (#4206031) Homepage Journal
      Well a year ago, my wife was shot and killed at work. She was an active member of an online quake clan known as the purple haze ( For their memorial, ever member of the clan wore the =pHz= tag with the name "in memory" for an extended period of time. Furthermore, they put up a perminant memorial to her on the web site, and my own clan the Dragons Bane ( has dedicated their whole web sit to her memory. They do not forget. They are people too. I still talk to members of both clans regularly and all those that I speak with ask about how my children and I are holding up. All of them are very dear friends and all of them wish that they could have been here for her real life funeral. However, because they didnt have the money to get on an airplane or drive across country, they decided to honor her and give her the one thing that they could. And for that, every member of those two clans as well as the entire comunity of quake players that were a part of her life will forever be my own and my families friends. No, there isnt anything that makes my pain go away, but these people who were friends online are in just as much mourning as everyone else is. The thing is that you cant see their faces and you cant help wipe away their pain. But they hurt too.
  • by danielrm26 ( 567852 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @06:51AM (#4205490) Homepage
    This is the type of story that needs to make it out to the masses. People need to realize that online role-players aren't socially withdrawn like most imagine. In fact, they are actually quite the opposite.
    • Seems to me if CNN did run it, there'd be quite a few people raising their eyebrows in front of their TV's, probably saying to themselves that this was the ultimate in withdrawal from the real world, maybe even convincing themselves that the participants are even more of freaks than they previously thought. Especially considering the spin CNN'd put on it.

      I don't even know myself if I believe online socialization can healthily substitute for real-life contact. But I'd like to think I have an open mind.

      • I don't think anything can substitute real human contact, but I don't think a mix of real life and online socializing is bad at all. I think we all need actual human contact to be well adjusted. I only hope when my time comes there are as many people at my real funeral as there are at my virtual funeral.

      • "there'd be quite a few people raising their eyebrows in front of their TV's, probably saying to themselves that this was the ultimate in withdrawal from the real world"

        That could be a bit ironic considering what's typically on TV, and many TV watchers!
  • is that, in all the links in the article, I couldn't find out the guy's real name.

    They know how old he is, they know who his sister and girlfriend are and they know how he died, but his name? Nope, not a mention.

    Something about technology being dehumanizing?

    • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @09:54AM (#4206104)
      What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

      Warsinger was his real name to the people he gave that name to. I know several people I've met in real life only by the names they chose for themselves in online games/IRC, etc. Lots of people know me the same way. Warsinger, Fred Jones, the name his parents gave him, or whatever, they all point to the same person. Who cares what his legal name was?
      • Yes, thanks for posting that!
        I absolutely agree. A name is simply a way to refer to a person with minimum confusion.

        When you enter the "online world", you normally choose to carry on conversation under a "nick", "handle", or whatever you'd like to call it. It's every bit as customary as it is to give a child a first, middle, and last name when he/she is born. (Also, don't forget, these assumed names are picked out by each individual when they go online - so they do have meaning. Perhaps, they have more meaning to a person than their real name, which was assigned to them by their parents before they were old enough to have a say-so in it.)

        When I used to go to regular "get-togethers" a local IRC channel organized, the only way we really put faces to the names was to call each other by the "nicks" we knew them as. Sure, eventually, you'd make an effort to learn their real names too. (After all, you're in the real world with them... not just behind a screen any longer, so it seems appropriate.) But ultimately, more people could always recite who was who by their nicks than by their real names.
  • I was there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superid ( 46543 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:20AM (#4205680) Homepage
    Yes, I'm next to "Highlander Warrior" on the right proudly holding my Realm Keepers shield with my helmet removed in tribute. I set my alarm clock to get up unusually early specifically to travel (yes *travel*, its a long and dangerous way from Cornwall to Hadrians Wall)

    I can't believe the number of "pathetic loser" comments that I'm seeing here. Yes, this is a game, but no it does NOT substitute for real life. We are not detatched from reality. DaoC is the very first MMORPG that I've ever played and it did not take me very long to realize that with the gameplay comes a great deal of human interaction, far beyond just "fragging" people in a FPS.

    You truly build and associate with a community of people that you enjoy and care about. One couple in my guild (yes, most of us are over 30, married and have spouses and children that play) just had a baby and we all celebrated. One guild member was just called up to active duty in the reserves and we saluted him when he left (and he is missed already).

    If you had a co-worker die, I hope that you would be touched and saddened. These are people that I know and care about....why is this pathetic?

    Simusid Hawke
    Level 42 Armsman
    • Re:I was there (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
      why is this pathetic? Simusid Hawke, Level 42 Armsman

      I'd taunt you, but you've taken all the sport out of it.

      If you're not getting it, then the hint is that signing yourself "Level 42 Armsman" is a pretty good contradiction of your own assertions. Let me remind you:

      Yes, this is a game, but no it does NOT substitute for real life. We are not detatched from reality.

      I'd recommend that your stop spreading your game persona to "real life" (as far as Slashdot counts in that respect). Doing so is a good indication that you are indeed detached from the reality perceived by people outside your game.

      • Re:I was there (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WotanKhan ( 150429 )
        Uhhh, sorry to break it to ya buddy, but Slashdot is no more "real life" than a MMORPG. Its an online forum for discussing real life, and sometimes, as in this case, fantasy topics. Identifying his online persona is entirely appropriate in this context. Your snide comments about a reality you seem detached from, aren't.
  • In EverQuest too... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Munelight ( 192694 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:26AM (#4205699)
    Not a lot of people know this, but in Sunset Home, the zone in EverQuest reserved for customer service personnel to enjoy between answering petitions, there are a few memorials to guides (players who volunteer their time to help with the customer service) who have passed away while in the program.

    During the training session a senior guide takes you around sunset home showing you the sights, but they're always very serious and sombre around the avatars that exist in memoriam...

    On the server where I was a guide for a brief time one of the guides had recently passed away so they made a special point of telling us about him and his avatar. When they would passed by they would always find time for a quick /salute and /hug.
  • I don't know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:29AM (#4205708) Homepage Journal
    Ok I'm trying not to troll or be flamebait here but there is something unsettling about this (and it seems that a lot of other modded down posters feel the same way) although I don't know why. I guess it was that the entire thing was carried on in his hobby and not a job or anything "normal" (but what's normal nowadays). There was that other post about the reenactor being buried in full plate by his reenactment buddies. It all goes along the same lines I guess.

    In one way both of these people were "playing someone else" and, to memorialize them this way almost seems to say that they are "playing dead" and everyone else is "playing funeral" (kind of like the childrens' game). From this perspective it seems like a trivialization of the event. Sure, the people taking part were close friends, but to outsiders it all seems like an act.

    Of course, if I die, it would be neat to have a 12 Arctic Weapon Head Shot Salute... maybe not.
    • Don't think of it as a "play funeral". Even when gaming online "in character", people can really get to know you, and feel loss when they learn of your real death. I find this ceremony extremely touching, it's almost better IMO to have friends you've never met in person mourn you in a manner you would appreciate, than to have your relatives and "meat-space" friends mourn you in a manner you might not (eg. a grotesque modern open-casket funeral). This guy got a warrior's remembrance, and from the sounds of it, one that he deserved. It might have "just been a game", but it was important to him.
    • But what's real once we're all dead? What's playing and what's not?

      From my Christian perspective (eternal life/death, finite world): The world doesn't really matter in the end, the people do.

      Virtual world, real world, whatever. The thoughts count, the people are real.

      Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22
      21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

      Matt 5:27-28
      27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      This concept is becoming even more applicable nowadays as the lines between thought, speech and deed are getting blurrier. Good or bad deeds can be done with just a few keystrokes or mouse clicks. Soon you just need to think it to do it, and what is done is just changing a bunch of numbers in computers - just numbers controlling money, ownership, ID, lives, the fate of nations etc.
  • It's amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StringBlade ( 557322 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @08:43AM (#4205764) Journal
    I find both the online organization and mourning for this individual as well as the outrageous insensitivity for our fellow human beings that some of the Score: 0 posters have quite amazing.

    Understandably some of those posts are intended to be trolls and flamebait, but even those intentions in this topic are incredibly thoughtless and a sad indicator of the mentality of too many people in my generation.

    This person's death was mourned in a fairly uncommon way and seems worthy of some attention and respect. At the same time, I'm not suggesting that death has to be completely serious and solemn -- I hope when I die my friends and family will hold a party in my honor with laughter and lots of food. But even in a light-hearted situation as that may be, thoughtless comments still do not have any place.

    I feel sorry for those that feel this person has wasted his life simply because he found it easier to make friends online than in real life. Having had many online friendships, some still exist today, I can say from experience that I have not forgotten these individuals in as much as they revealed to me.

    Certainly knowing someone in real life is more conducive to creating much stronger bonds among people, but it did say his sister and girlfriend were online in the middle of the heart, so that suggests he did indeed have some sort of life beyond the game.

  • by jhines0042 ( 184217 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @09:16AM (#4205912) Journal
    Online Communities are not just made up of people who have met online. Sometimes real life friends organize to get together online to enjoy a game together.

    I don't know Warsinger or his player. Never met him in real life or in DaoC.

    But I find that this gesture is a very nice one, and probably not the only gesture to commemorate this individual's passing. I'm sure his face to face friends met face to face to lay him to rest. His online gaming friends met online to commemorate his passing.

    This is no weirder than running a marathon to remember someone who ran marathon's or launching Gene Roddenberry's ashes into space [].

    If you know someone in a certain context you tend to want to memorialize them in that context.

    Rest in Peace
  • by Zech Harvey ( 604609 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @09:37AM (#4206006)

    Recently (within the past 2 years) I lost a very good friend of mine. I only knew him by his handle until his death, dethvader. Unlike most of the other posts, I did not know him from a game, just an IRC channel. He had been dead for months before we heard the news. We thought he moved away. A blood-clot a doctor missed travelled from his leg and deposited itself in such a place as to kill him. He was gone for months before we knew. One of our mutual friends saw him connect to ICQ. But it wasn't him, it was his mother. Our friend told us the news. She stayed online for the next few days receiving our condolences and prayers that the rest of the family would make it though ok.

    I never knew what he looked like. I had to ask her. It' interesting feeling to confide in someone you trust and appreciate and go through their entire short life (he wasn't even 20) not knowing what they look like. Perhaps there is something to be said for a race of beings that can seperate friendship and companionship from a corporal body -- that we can still connect even if we can't ever see each other. Something about our passions and intellect can allow us to comfort each other and help those in need without ever being there.

    I know my friend is gone now, but there is much to remember him by. When we all heard the news, we had a wake where we each perused our logs for any of his quotes or conversations we had. Many of us still have those logs. There is even a website dedicated to his memory, one he frequented often. The community back then was in its height...but now..well it's not like the good ole days. But those of us still in the community will always remember him and what he contributed.

    I know alot of people might find this lame, but there is alot to be said about how we express our feelings through media. Be it art, poetry, music, or even fellowship. There is still humanity in all we create, even the internet. Even if we choose not to use it, notice it, or even laugh at the people who do, it is still there. It is there for those of us who don't have to let physical boundries seperate friends and who aren't concerned about what the internet should and should not be used for. It is here for us to express ourselves --- sometimes, is our grief.

  • ...where the two main characters of the story, who have been working together to solve a mystery involving an illegal virtual gaming universe created from a book whose author had specifically forbade such adaptation, get married--virtually, of course. I guess it's a bit like how Creative Anachronist types will celebrate personal liaisons by getting themselves up in period dress and drinking mead--only at least _they're_ wearing real clothes and drinking real alcohol.

    It's sweet, I guess...but really creepy, too, if you ask me.

  • by Spyritus ( 606674 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @09:52AM (#4206090) Journal
    I see a lot of posts here discussing why, or why not, this act is a problem. Why are "virtual funerals" a problem? This was not In place of his funeral. It was not organised to be "the first Virtual funeral" or anything.

    In real life if a student of a school dies, or an employee of a company, or a member of a sporting team dies do we not hod a memorial to that person IN the place we know him? Do we not stop the sports game and have a moments silence? Do we not pause or work and remember that person? These people knew this guy in his game. This is how they meet him, talked to him, interacted with him. THIS is the place where they will miss him, this is where they have spent time with the person, building a relationship and getting to know him. So what if they have never seen his picture? So what if they what if they only know him from a game? How is this different to knowing someone from a sporting club? Do we not stop the game and have a moments silence anyway?

    Nobody thinks anything when a former great of a sporting club dies of that club holding a memorial to him before their next game, even though most of the people don't know the person. Just the image, just the story. Just the media.

    I too got a tear to the eye when I heard this story. This person meant a lot too his clan. The fact that other players showed the humanity to the other players to allow them to hold a memorial to their fallen comrade says great things about the community spirit that the games has, and should be let to stand as the monument it is.

    A memorial to a fallen friend by his comrades and those that WILL miss him.

    As a monument to the humanity of man.

    As a monument to the potential of the internet to allow people from all over the world to contact each other. Build a community of the whole and to develop friendships with people who we would otherwise never have meet.

    Please detractors, leave it alone. Respect the wishes and the morning of these people and allow them the genuineness of their grief without debate.

    Tomorrow their will be a new topic for debate. Now we have the chance to foster that community. I urge detractors to read the logs of linked at the top. After reading them I have no doubt that the feelings where genuine, and the symbolism of this memorial a powerfully healing experience for those suffering lose at his death.

  • Why do some folks on this board feel the need to criticize how a group of people honored the loss of a casual friend? It's not as if he didn't have a real life funeral for close friends and family. Would it be better if they hadn't done it at all? These are people who othewise wouldn't have known the guy and wouldn't have cared if he dies. But they did care and that's significant.

    Would it be more humane if the opposing clans stuck to character and celebrated the death of a sworn enemy? No, because even mortal enemies know when to take a moment of silence.

    The conservative part of the media industry has made many arguments that FPS and hack'n'slash games dull people's sensitivity to violence and death, but this proves that gamers know the difference.

    Have we seen this much positive human emotion and respect in Israel or Palestine when an 'enemy' is shot, gassed, or brutally blown apart on a bus? No.

    I'm proud to be a part of a community that values human life.
  • players from the three realms of Camelot, who normally kill each other gleefully on sight, stood in the shape of a heart

    So what happened at the end of the funeral? Did everyone slaughter each other? Seems like a great opportunity to miss. It could be like one of those mafia family funerals where someone gets whacked as they're leaving.

    In all seriousness. this is a very nice gesture. It may be perceived as a bit sad, but it's a fitting tribute.

  • by greygent ( 523713 )
    why is this pathetic?

    Because you spend enough time away from real life on a computer to develop these "close" relationships and become a "Level 42 Armsman".

    You can say these are "close" relationships, but in fact they are just typical schizoid-type interactions.

    These people can be whoever they want online, and you have no REAL idea of who they are, how often they neglect their spouses and/or children due to some silly game.

    The mere fact that people attempt to intimate that it's more than a game suggests a problem. When you neglect your responsibilities (kids, wife, job, personal hygiene, personal fitness), there's a problem.

    I spent years on the early Internet, wasting time on MUDs and other such crap. Sure they were fun for a while, but it became apparent that I was accomplishing nothing useful.

    Note that these comments may or may not be directed at you, specifically. I'm using educated generalizations based on personal experience, acquaintances, and observations.

    You have to ask yourself:
    - Will I look back years from now, and be happy with all this time spent on online games?
    - Am I neglecting my wife and kids? ... Are you sure?
    - Do I smell bad? Is my place in shambles?
    - Do I ever plan my real life events AROUND the game?
    - Am I proud of how much time and energy I spend playing these games?

    If the honest answer to any of these is "no" or "maybe", it's time to quit.

    There are probably enough "realms" to waste 30 human lives exploring, but why?

    Enjoy reality, instead. It's so much more fascinating, I assure you...
  • I have seen many comments on the perceived shallowness of an on-line gamer's life.. the "get a life" syndrom. But what if an on-line life is the only life you have access to?

    Many people who are physically restricted in their movements find that on-line life is vastly superior to having only doctors and nurses for "friends". Warsinger, with a heart problem, may not have had access to a girlfriend in the "real world" but in a gamer's world he did.

    There are lots of reasons people move to on-line life for therapy. I had a young IRC friend who used her on-line life to recover from years of sexual abuse. In my case an on-line life helped me recover from a terrible accident that left me unable to walk at all for a year, and without help for a decade.

    Under these circumstances, any friends at all, even "virtual" friends are a step up from what they've got now. And enough of them find their way out of whatever darkness they're in now because of their friends on line.

    The expression of sorrow on the part of these gamers for a friend touched me deeply. Some of us have to make our community where we can get the access. And heroic hearts often dwell in unlikely bodies.
  • Dang. It might be a virtual gesture, but there's around 100 characters in that screen shot. Each one represents a real person -- that's 100 real people moved enough to logon and gather for the ceremony.

    And then, there's the girlfriend and sister.


  • This wasn't a gathering of online "characters," it was a gathering of players. A character is a fictional creation designed to have certain traits and idiosyncracies. Consider the difference between the characters in a novel and the actual human being who wrote it.

    Saying that this was an online gathering of "characters," mere ones and zeros, is completely incomprehensible. If it had been videoconference or teleconference instead, would you have said the same thing? At what point does it become "real enough" for you people? What is so special about physical nearness? Why does it become less meaningful if it just so happens that the big bunch of atoms I call "my body" is far away from that big bunch of atoms you call "your body?"

    Do I suddenly become nothing more than an electrical wave if I speak over the telephone? No, I don't. Don't reduce these people to "characters" simply because they met over the Internet.

  • Do you also think it is lame when professional athletes wear black armbands during games after someone significant to the sport dies? Is it lame for soldiers to fire guns at a veteran's funeral? Is it lame for someone to have their ashes spread at a place they loved in life?

    The parallel I'm drawing, before someone flames me for comparing a veteran to a video game addict, is the idea that it's normal for people to remember someone through something important in that person's life. You may think having a video game be so key to one's life is pathetic, but if that's what he loved, so be it, let him be remembered through it.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.