7 days around the MMO world / January 3

We unfortunately don’t have a whole lot of news to share with you on this dead New Years week but rather than not doing the MMO update entirely we would like to share an interesting story regarding World of Warcraft and the long arm of the law.

A fellow by the name of Alfred Hightower was a wanted man in Howard County, Indiana for selling controlled substances and marijuana. Unfortunately Hightower fled to Canada to evade police seeking refuge across the seemingly safe zone beyond the border. The Howard County Sheriff’s department was dedicated to catching Hightower however and enlisted the help of the US Marshals and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to help catch the elusive drug dealer.

The Sheriff’s department detectives, Matt Robertson and Steve Rogers, discovered that Hightower was an avid fan and player of World of Warcraft and subpoenaed Blizzard to get information on Hightower’s account and activity. While the subpoena had no bearing on Blizzard as they’re in a different jurisdiction, three months later Blizzard sent over a package to the detectives containing Hightower’s activity and IP address. With that information they were able to pinpoint Hightower’s location and bring him in for extradition.

So criminals ought to beware that playing World of Warcraft while on the run from the law could end up getting you caught. Even fleeing to a different country like Canada doesn’t shield you or give you a pass to be able to play while evading authorities.

In unrelated but related news, Gamasutra named World of Warcraft game of the decade. Most of us here at TVGB have not had the pleasure of playing WoW but there are a few of us who have. However I think all of us can agree that the game’s influence and impact is very significant. At the very least Blizzard has taken the MMO genre out of a niche status and dragged into the mainstream. If not for WoW most people wouldn’t give two licks about MMOs and this MMO update article might not have ever existed. Love it or hate it, WoW has influenced the industry and the entire culture of gaming, and there is no doubting that. There are not many games in the past decade who can make that claim and therefore we think the acclaim is deserved.