Hacker given in-game death sentence
A character controlled by a hacker who used exploits to dominate online game Guild Wars 2 has been put to death in the virtual world.
The character, called DarkSide, was stripped then forced to leap to their death from a high bridge.
The death sentence was carried out after players gathered evidence about the trouble the hacker had caused.
This helped the game's security staff find the player, take over their account and kill them off.
Over the past three weeks many players of the popular multi-player game Guild Wars 2 have been complaining about the activities of a character called DarkSide. About four million copies of the game have been sold.
Via a series of exploits the character was able to teleport, deal massive damage, survive co-ordinated attacks by other players and dominate player-versus-player combat.
To spur Guild Wars' creator ArenaNet to react, players gathered videos of DarkSide's antics and posted them on YouTube.
The videos helped ArenaNet's security head Chris Cleary identify the player behind DarkSide, he said in a forum post explaining what action it had taken. Mr Cleary took over the account to carry out the punishment.
The video shows DarkSide being stripped to his underwear then made to leap from a high bridge in one of the game's cities. It also shows the character being deleted by Mr Cleary.
"Oh yah, he's also banned," he wrote. Several other accounts belonging to the same player have also been shut down.
ArenaNet did not reveal any information about how the player behind DarkSide had managed to exploit the game or whether the vulnerabilities used had been patched.
The punishment has sparked comment among Guild Wars players with some welcoming the action saying it felt like "justice".
Others wondered what effect it would have and if it would deter anyone else from seeking out and using exploits in the same way.