INFO TECHNOLOGY: This has to be a first. The Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) Star Wars Galaxies, was the site of civil unrest, protest, and finally civil disobedience recently. Since the reports are only on message boards and in highly localized language, here's my synopsis:
A few players found an exploit that allowed them to forge game currency (called 'credits'). After making a lot of cash, the players started distributing it to other players that didn't know it was forged. After catching on to the whole affair, Sony (the company who manages the game) decided to make a rash decision and ban all players with forged credits, regardless of whether they knew they were forged or not. Of course, this pissed the community off, so a bunch of friends of the banned players gathered and formed a protest which consisted of large groups of people gathered in an area, spamming the console with all caps messages demanding justice from Sony.
So how does Sony respond? They threaten to shut the whole server off. After unsuccessfully trying to stop the madness by teleporting the protestors to other areas (or possibly purgatory areas, I'm not sure), they made good on their threat and cut off the entire server.
Find the message boards surrounding the incident here, here, here, here, and view a screen shot of a consol here.
In other MMOG news, check out Wired News' article about gamers outsourcing their gaming to poorer countries.
For example, entrepreneur Valery Markarov said he pays workers in Russia a base salary of about $100 per week to earn in-game money, which Markarov then sells to Internet Gaming Entertainment, or IGE, the major seller of virtual goods. Workers get paid more as they're more productive, though, and could make up to $500 a week, he said.
"It's very good money for them, especially for Russia," Markarov said.
(via Terra Nova)