It was early 1998, and I had been playing Ultima Online only a few short months. A male character with an offensive name approached me and began harassing my toon, using a quick succession of emotes to simulate something that I suppose to him looked like pelvic thrusts as he informed everyone at Serpent's Hold bank, including my not-at-all-amused guildies, that he was "raping" me. I think I was too astonished to be upset, and my guildies immediately called a GM, who arrived swiftly, renamed the miscreant "George," and whisked him off to prison. It didn't scar me for life or anything; I was already accustomed to rampant murder and thievery and espionage. But it was a brutal introduction to online behavior (and probably a brutal introduction to online justice for the character suddenly known as George).

Curiously, that lame attempt at faux "rape" paled in comparison to the extreme psychological warfare and character defamation that I saw presumably much more mature roleplayers employ in later games. That, I found far more emotionally disturbing.

How about you guys -- do you have a memory of a really nasty display of online behavior in an MMO? What's the worst you've ever seen?

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