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Old 09-09-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
Threshold
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Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

A lot of us run forums for our games and may have dealt with players making wild claims about things they do in their real life. This guy (a player on City of Heroes) seems to have taken it a bit too far:

Jail worker investigated

Quote:
Multnomah County sheriff’s office investigators are scrutinizing a corrections officer at the downtown jail for Internet postings made from his work computer in which he gloats about how fun it is to Taser people and brags about having crushed one inmate’s eye socket.
The story itself is pretty shocking, and certainly raises a lot of real life questions.

But in addition to those questions, I think it also gives us something MUD related to think about. Specifically:
  • How game operators police their own community and forums.

  • The fact that players should be careful what they say on game forums - especially when they decide to talk about their real lives.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:33 PM   #2
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

Personally, I think that not policing the forum in question helped provide a look into this law enforcement officer's TRUE behavior.

Without the forum, how would his behavior have gotten out? The other cops know, and the inmate who he beat knows what he's really like, but without this little nugget from the forum we probably wouldn't have gotten this article.

Having been in jail myself before, I can say with experience that this is not a rare occurrence. I can almost GUARANTEE you that the policeman in question was white and that the inmate whose eye socket he crushed was black. While that may not seem very pertinent to this topic, I just wanted to let you know that this happens all the time.

His unbridled post on the forum helped expose his actions to the public eye, and personally, I'm happy about that.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:58 PM   #3
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

People need to realise that these days, the Internet is part of the "real world". This isn't the first time (though it is a very serious one, if true) - people have lost their jobs over what they've written on blogs, even if they didn't use an office computer to do it. Posting in a public forum that you've committed a crime is really no different from standing on a street corner and yelling that you've committed a crime. It seems like so often, people think that just because you do something online or on a computer, it becomes part of a mystical second life that no one is allowed to connect to your first life in any way, that anonymity is a right in cyberspace. In reality, I'm sure that anyone who really wanted to link the two, could do so fairly easily. I for one don't think it's a bad thing that people have to think twice about what they say and do online, and are held responsible for what they do in a similar manner to how the world works outside of the Internet.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:38 AM   #4
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

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Originally Posted by Muirdach View Post
It seems like so often, people think that just because you do something online or on a computer, it becomes part of a mystical second life that no one is allowed to connect to your first life in any way, that anonymity is a right in cyberspace.
That is a really good point and well phrased.

The sooner people realize that anonymity on the internet is not absolute (nor should it be), the better off we will all be. Anonymity is nice in some situations, but accountability is better.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:22 AM   #5
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

What I find scary is when you consider what kind of people might be playing your games. Not all people are nice. You can only have faith that perhaps your games inspire people to act good and open their eyes.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

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Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
What I find scary is when you consider what kind of people might be playing your games. Not all people are nice. You can only have faith that perhaps your games inspire people to act good and open their eyes.
That is another interesting point. Gaming is becoming more and more popular, which means the people playing them will become more of a cross section of society instead of a small niche. That means all the various ugly things people are capable of will be present in our player bases. So it is indeed something to be aware of.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
That is another interesting point. Gaming is becoming more and more popular, which means the people playing them will become more of a cross section of society instead of a small niche. That means all the various ugly things people are capable of will be present in our player bases. So it is indeed something to be aware of.
Well, that's assuming that MUD players are/were somehow "less tainted" than the average joe in the wider population. I think you could probably argue it either way. Most likely they're just as good/bad, just having different characteristics. You could even argue that the ideas that come out on the Internet are more twisted/antisocial than in the wider population, because of the same thing - people feel anonymous, they feel free to say and do whatever they'd like without any of the responsibility that would come with it in "real life". Of course, saying is different from doing, but I would imagine that gamers are as capable of just as many ugly things as non-gamers. I agree that it is/was a niche, just not necessarily a "better" niche.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:15 PM   #8
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Re: Jail Worker Brags About Beatings on Game Forum

It'd be interesting to find out if this guy was just bragging about the extreme nature of his behavior or if he really did all of what he posted. I know that a lot of people make up their persona on the internet, and they basically invent a life for themselves that doesn't exist.

In this case, I think that I'm inclined to believe he was fully engaged in the behavior he was describing on his CoH posts. Still, I wonder if anyone's ever made up something, bragged about it, and caused themselves a whole load of trouble for making up stuff on the internet.
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