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WoW Moviewatch: Serenity Now and the funeral

Mike Schramm

Caution: There is some offensive language in this video.

This weekend was the third anniversary of WoW Insider, and when I was putting together the big list of our top ten stories ever, I noticed there was one missing. Even though it happened in April of 2006 (we started posting in December of 2005), we never really covered the Serenity Now funeral attack. But it is one of the biggest stories in World of Warcraft, whether you think it's atrocious or hilarious or whatever, so during today's Moviewatch, we'll give it its due.

A woman who played WoW passed away in real life, and her guildies decided to hold an ingame funeral for her -- in the contested zone of Wintergrasp Winterspring (of course -- too much Wrath lately, sorry) On a PvP server. And though now, four years into the game, we know exactly what would happen, back then, it came as a surprise -- as you've probably seen in the video (set to some amazing music), the guild Serenity Now crashed the funeral and pretty much decimated everyone who showed up.

Back then, people were shocked (and some still are today), but relatively early in the game's life, this little event was one of the first examples of the differences between the virtual and the real worlds -- if players could do something in a virtual game, no matter how immoral or disrespectful, they probably would. And for a lot of people, it was their first introduction to World of Warcraft -- news of the event spread around message boards and news sites rapidly, and while MMOs and even WoW had already been around for a while, this was one of the first big player-organized events, no matter how shocking, to come out of Azeroth (though Leeroy Jenkins predates this one, and that helped to bring a lot of attention to Warcraft also).

The attacking guild is still active on Illidan, and ever since, funerals and other serious ingame events have been held in cities and non-PvP zones, to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Nowadays it's PvP on a PvP server, and all's fair within reach of a dagger, but back when Serenity Now first crashed the funeral, people were reminded that as much as we act the same in virtual worlds as in real life, there are times when we act very, very differently.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ...

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