Most Memorable Experience
One poignant narrative described how a role-played funeral took on a great deal of meaning for those who attended due to its proximity to 9/11.
This happened on a text-based game with a player base of over 300 or so people (FiranMux). On it, my character's brother, played by a serviceman overseas, was poisoned by the enemies of the main race. The character was, like his counterpart, a soldier and a heroic type. This happened sometime in September 2001, after the Tower attacks. His character's funeral turned out to be an outpouring of real grief translated into character views. People were commenting OOC that they were crying RL and finding ways to put their deepest held views and emotions into words for the sake of the catharsis onscreen. His IC death became a way for a lot of strangers to express their hate, hope, love, fear, grief, sorrow, and regret through a fictitious character and thus get it off of their real soul. [WoW, F, 26]
RL Death of Player
And finally, some players talked about the RL death of a player they knew.
The most memorable events, sadly, would be those that involved the death of fellow friends and companions. I've known several people who have died, way before their time. Most were through terminal illnesses. For these people, I believe the MMO environment allowed them to do things they could not do in the real world, due to the illnesses. The social environment was definitely a positive influence, and they got to know many people they might have never otherwise known. After these people passed away, the closest of close friends lived their character(s) on to get them to the highest level, in honor of their late friend. [Guild Wars, M, 24]
At one point a man whose screenname was Ry became a member of my (former) guild. Through time, I got to know him as a very amiable fellow. He was a 58 year old man from Canada (I can't remember which province). He was one of the most generous and helpful people I had even met on any online environment. He was also one of the most entertaining people to talk to over Ventrilo during downtime. Not to mention the huge moral boosts he constantly gave the guild as a whole. He came to be known as 'guild grandpa'. The dark side to this is that he had previously had 4 or 5 pulmonary embolisms. Well, one day when I was playing an alt with him on his main farming me a few pieces of gear from a lower instance, he complained of a sudden pain when he went to pick up his mail. As it turns out, he had another embolism, and another guildie who was online with us actually called his family for him and got him some assistance. A few months later he told everyone what had exactly happened, and that he had basically been given 6 months to live. Ry passed away just under a month ago. It was personally astounding to me how profoundly the death of a man I have never met (or even been in the same country as) could devastate me as much as it did. He passed peacefully in the presence of his entire family, ending his life with smiles and jokes, as was always his nature. He had asked his son to update everyone online about his condition and how he was doing. Despite all that he was going through, he was thinking about his friends he made online to the end. RIP Ry. [WoW, M, 21]
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