[Air-l] World of Warcraft 'funeral'

Ren Reynolds ren at aldermangroup.com
Wed Dec 14 13:00:52 PST 2005

I just thought I might add, for those that do not look a the world of  
virtual worlds too often, that rituals such as funeral's and  
marriages are common within virtual spaces, so much so that they are  
now part of the tradition and in part an element of the service that  
is offered (in fact I've met at least one researcher specializing in  
ritual in virtual spaces).

I'm thinking here of the Events Team on Sony Online Entertainment's  
Star Wars Galaxies who created a Wedding Guide:

and who, on request, would do things like create Storm Trooper  
guard's of honor at Imperial events.

There is some discussion about the validity of such event as they  
break the notion of virtual worlds as separate spaces. While many  
events can be integrated into the fiction of a world i.e. marrages  
and deaths of warriors etc occur within the fiction of most virtual  
spaces; there are issues when physical world events are commemorated  
in world e.g. 911 or when players 'game' the who notion of the real /  
physical divide such as in the case of 'Who Killed Miss Norway' (see  
some discussion of this here http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/ 

Something that I have not seen that much discussion of in respect of  
current virtual world technology is what one does with the avatar of  
someone that has died and in what way the person might live on  
virtually. We had a brief discssion on this topic on TerraNova  
earlier this year: http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2005/07/ 


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