By way of an Oct 20 Grimwell Online post, "When Does an Online Game Go Too Far", comes an article from the "mmorpc" group at Yahoo Groups by Tammy O'Sullivan. The following incident was described:
...On Saturday, October 16, 2004, A Tale in the Desert, owned and operated by Andrew Tepper (also known as Teppy and Pharaoh, in-game) of eGenesis, sponsored and condoned a game-wide event that introduced sexual discrimination, upsetting a large portion of female players. The event was known throughout the game as "The Trader Malaki" ...As the event continued, female characters were continually treated to defamatory slurs and sexual discrimination, inciting a riot within the game...
There are a number of important issues embroiled here - including how socially edgy (vs. neutral) should our virtual worlds be, and whether those sharp edges should be mutable against player social norms and player actions. Should "official" world actions (e.g. GM orchestrated ones) be evaluated differently than player ones when it comes to measurement against real world norms? When should real world sensibilities pre-empt in-world, fictional assumptions?
Posed here are hard Terra Novan questions. On the one hand very real people were offended. On the other, I would hate to see all our worlds become antiseptic places without experimentation and distinct points-of-view.