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Forum drama leads to legal threats

Thanks to tipster Rick for sending us a bit of strange forum drama that deserves some attention. A user over on the Anvilmar-US server, Demetreus, was accused of stealing from the guild bank and gquitting (along with his friend Morph). Zaknafaine, a member of his former guild HaVoK, said in a post "its just a game...its not like one of us are going to show up at your doorstep and throw you a beatin." [sic]

Demetreus took this as a threat, and claims to have contacted his lawyer. Of course, his lawyer agrees with him, and he's now posted as much as he tries to defend himself.

Who knows who is right and who is wrong with regards to the bank stealing, that's not what's interesting here per se. What I find out of the ordinary here is that Demetreus took what someone said as a threat and felt it necessary to call an attorney. In my opinion, it wasn't. The alleged threat was actually just the opposite – a statement that none of this mattered – that it was just a game.

Further, I have unfortunately been involved in some legal posturing that took place over some in-game turned out-of-game harassment, and in that case the number one thing that was told to us by the attorneys was "don't make a big deal about this, just keep it private, don't expose yourself." I've heard that advice before on a number of legal issues, so part of me wonders if Demetreus was told the same thing, and then why he isn't following that (of course, the underlying context here is that he could be making it all up). It is quite surprising to see legal action threatened over forum drama, and for it to be brought up in this way.

However I gather I shouldn't really be surprised by this, given the propensity for the WoW community to create and sustain itself on dramatic forum posts, but nonetheless I find myself thinking, "Really? Over a forum comment?"

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds

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