24
Jun
0

Munchhausen by Internet

When I first read this blog post early this week, I felt like crying. It describes a group of online gamers who encountered what seemed to be a heart-breaking story…

About halfway through the instance, our new friend says that she is sorry but will have to go AFK because the “doctor has come to my room”. … After the run, one of our group members (and our kin leader) continues a private conversation with her and learns that she is 20 years old, her mother died when she was young, her father is not involved in her life, she has no other close friends or family, and is a hospice patient with Stage 4 bone cancer.  Her doctor tells her that she has maybe two months left. …

… Now, let me confess something right now.  Although I am not proud of the fact, I am quite often cynical of new people, particularly those with hard-luck stories.  Surely, someone wouldn’t lie about something as grave as this.

Unfortunately, it turns out that this is exactly what happened in this case…

UPDATE 06/23/09:

Good news and bad news.  The good news is “Gynnie” didn’t die after all.  The bad news is my cynicism about people has again been vindicated.  …  Therefore I have removed all references to her from this blog post.  I have chosen to leave this blog post largely intact because it’s purpose is to chronicle my adventures in LOTRO, and that means both good and bad.

Munchhausen by Internet is a type of disorder where a sufferer fakes an illness while participating in an online community to gain attention and sympathy.

I hope the person who perpetrated this particular fraud gets help, if that’s what they need. (Or gets the snot kicked out of them if they do this just for kicks. Karma’s a bitch.)

However, I think the blog’s author and the other members of his player guild seem to have handled this disturbing situation with a great deal of grace and class. Grats!

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