Actually he was not if you RTA. He was exploiting zone mechanics to deliberately annoy other players.
He wasn't fighting villains as the game designers intended... the real problem here is the game's moderators allowed the behavior because they could not prevent it without breaking the game. They could however protect him from all those mean nasty taunts and threats.
This kind of behavior is not news. Other MMORPGs have had similar issues. Everquest had the "Bard charm-the-dragon to kill the other dragon (or players)" exploits. World of Warcraft had the "lead the dragon to X major city to kill all the players" exploits. City of Heroes was never originally designed to allow Heros to fight other players as Villains. It was the addition of the PvP after City of Villains was released (2006?) that introduced the "exploit" mentioned.
All three examples above came as a result of the game designers releasing expansions with changes that had unforeseen consequences.
This so called "gaming professor" could have researched his paper entirely by reading other older games forums. Just like hunting whales provides very little new scientific insight - this guy didn't have to grief a server to get his name in lights. I would even go as far as to suggest the paper was entirely secondary.
The most important early product on the way to developing a good product is an imperfect version.