Online game guilds and clans often become something of a second family for devoted players.
But if a WoW gamer unexpectedly dies, how will fellow guildies know?
The Associated Press looks into the issue:
When Jerald Spangenberg collapsed and died in the middle of a quest in an online game, his daughter embarked on a quest of her own: to let her father's gaming friends know that he hadn't just decided to desert them.
It wasn't easy, because she didn't have her father's "World of Warcraft" password and the game's publisher couldn't help her. Eventually, Melissa Allen Spangenberg reached her father's friends by asking around online for the "guild" he belonged to.
The AP notes that some hardcore MMO types are leaving detailed instructions in the event of their demise. There are even online resources that have been created for the purpose:
David Eagleman... set up a site called Deathswitch, where people can set up e-mails that will be sent out automatically if they don't check in at intervals they specify, like once a week...
If Deathswitch sounds morbid, there's an alternative site: Slightly Morbid. It also sends e-mail when a member dies, but doesn't rely on them logging in periodically while they're alive. Instead, members have to give trusted friends or family the information needed to log in to the site and start the notification process...