posted on Jan, 14 2004 @ 10:43 PM
Budding investigative reporter, Peter Ludlow, was recently banished from his town, kicked out of his home, and saw his two cats confiscated. He said
he was only attempting to expose the truth about the city's authorities in his online newspaper. He had regularly reported on thieves and their
scams, teenage prostitution, and connected these vents to city leaders.
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Alphaville is not a real town but a virtual city in an Internet game called The Sims Online, where thousands of paying subscribers log on each day
to assume fictional identities and mingle in cyberspace. Indeed, none of Mr. Ludlow's possessions existed outside the game. But the recent decision
by the game's owner, Electronic Arts, to terminate Mr. Ludlow's account — forever erasing his simulated Sims persona — has set off a debate over
free expression and ethical behavior in online worlds that is reverberating in the real one.
This fascinating story has implications for any online community.
[Edited on 14-1-2004 by SkepticOverlord]