one of those names on the Freedom server of City of Heroes that would just drive everyone nuts. He was a PvPer who would find some of the craziest ways to annoy the heck out of his opponents, such as teleporting them right in front of the Longbow agents at the hero base in PvP zones. A year ago, however, the man behind the keyboard finally drew back his mask to reveal a sociology professor from Loyola University outside New Orleans.
Now his study on City of Heroes/Villains is finally coming forward, revealing a controversial look at how defying the cultural rules of a population can turn a person into a social outcast. The study's goal was to play only by the developer's rules, ignoring any extra rules that might be created by the population. For example, the concept of "kill stealing" and "fair fights" are thrown out the window as they are created by the population, not the game. Think of it like EVE Online -- if the game allows it, he does it.
While the study is intriguing in the fact that it covers the "new frontiers" of virtual worlds, it also brings into question some of the ethics involved with working undercover in a population, such as causing undue stress via what we consider to be griefing.
For a full report, check out the story as reported by The Times-Picayune.
[Thanks Petterm, Scopique!]