#7. The Falador Massacre (Runescape)Runescape is a free MMPORG that anyone can access through a browser. Lowering the barrier to entry means that they have to create conditions to keep their game from devolving into a wasteland of constant murder and anarchy. There are various controls around combat -- players can fight each other, but only in designated places or as part of combat mini-games. The system has worked so well that the only real problem is people trying to pay real money for in-game accomplishments, rather than earning them through good old fashioned hard work. In many ways, Runescape had created a less violent, more honest society than the real world. The Falador Massacre started at a house party that represented everything good about Runescape, proceeded through a wacky accident and ended with the slaughter of hundreds. Like that episode of I Love Lucy where it turns out she's the Boston Strangler.
She's just so clingy they stop breathing.
Player "Cursed You" was celebrating the fact that he'd maxed out on the recently added Construction skill by inviting people to a home he'd built with his hard-won expertise. At this point, you might expect a marauding gang of jealous players to tear his house down, since being constructive is generally not the Internet's thing. But in Runescape, where people apparently celebrate each other's achievements, "Cursed You's" party was the jam of the century. There were even combat mini-games, to provide some controlled ass-kicking to keep everyone entertained. So many players showed up to the party that the server started to buckle. Eventually the lag got so bad that he had to boot everyone back to the peaceful city. As players milled around, presumably gossiping about who was making out with who before the cops busted it up, the players who'd been in the party's combat ring noticed something. They could still kill people, even if they weren't at a combat location or playing a mini-game. They were the only people who had ever had this ability in the history or Runescape. Of course, these were people who were at a party celebrating another player's achievements. Making use of the power would require them to slaughter innocent people who had put hours into the online lives they'd be ending. What happened next says worse things about gamers than Jack Thompson.
Any discovery requires repeated trials.
In a way which makes psychologists cry, and necessary, they immediately began killing innocent bystanders. The evening quickly went from a demonstration of online gaming good will, to a vivid illustration of why Earth can't have superheroes. Random people were gifted with amazing new powers and used them to tear through the world like innocence-fueled combine harvesters. Their victims couldn't fight back even when attacked, and within minutes the supervillains embodied the deadly sins of rage, pride, greed and douchebaggery. Some slaughtered low-level players en masse just to get the biggest bodycount, while others hunted suddenly defenseless high-level players to steal valuable items. The devil signed human nature by having this happen on 6/6/06.
This was one of the most valuable items stolen. We're not joking. It's valued at 1.6 billion gold coins, about $1,416 in real money, and we're still not joking.
They kept murdering for a full hour before they got bored. Oh wait, no. They were still going when moderators arrived to stop it. How psychotic would you have to be to keep clicking on real people for 60 minutes when they can't fight back? We're assuming local police departments found out when a moderator permanently banned everyone who did, unleashing them on the real world.