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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » When MMO gamers die in real life?

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31 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/09
Posts: 138

OP  12/09/12 10:03:11 AM#1

     Greetings fellow gamers, I am not sure if this has been discussed here or not but I think it is an interesting thought. We all know that people die, they are murdered, have horrible accidents, get sick. MMOs have been around for many years and those of us that have been around from the start are getting older. So my question is, what happens to our accounts when we die in real life?

     I would love to be able to give my accounts to family and friends that enjoy the games that I have played over the years. I would write it in my will so it would be all legal. I know that the game compnays own their intellectual properties, but would it be legal for us as gamers to leave our accounts to those that we game with?

     Has there been gaming companies that have made statements regarding this issue? I am sure that different companies may view this topic differently. I know most companies frown on selling accounts, but I think this is different than selling an account, as we would not be making money as we would be dead!

     What are your thoughts on this issue? Would you leave your account(s) to family and friends if you were to die? Who would you leave the accounts to? Would you not give your account and just let it lapse? I would leave my Runescape account to my wife, Istaria to my brother in law, WoW to my friend Pam, Rift to my son, Wizard 101 to my daughter, and I would let the others lapse, as I don't know anyone who would want them. I am looking foward to hearing your thoughts on this.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

12/09/12 10:18:17 AM#2

Well as long as you treat whatever you think you "own" as a service, not as a product, I see no problem with it.

Naturally, lifetime accounts should be closed when your life ends.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/09/12 10:21:21 AM#3
Originally posted by Quirhid
Naturally, lifetime accounts should be closed when your life ends.

Does that send a chill up your spine, considering probate suits over in-game loot?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/09
Posts: 138

OP  12/09/12 10:39:47 AM#4
Good point about thet life time subs ending when you die lol. I don't have any lifetime subs though so I don't need to worry about that. :)

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/09/12 10:45:04 AM#5
You don't really need our approval to give someone in your family a password, right?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3618

12/09/12 11:21:10 AM#6

I'd love it if my character could continue in game after my death.  But, I have no kids and since people in my family live into the 90's to 100+ as long as they don't drink or smoke (which I don't) I will probably outlive my wife.


But will I still be playing mmos 60 years from now is the question.  Hopefully we have a good sandbox by then.  (giggles)


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1544

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

12/09/12 12:04:31 PM#7

Game chars are RP for me.  My characters follow me across the interwebs from one game to the next.  I have an artist in the family who does renderings of my main, Daerthe.  If I died it would be like an actor that passes on.   I think it would hurt people to much to try to stand in my shoes.   I wouldn't blame them.

Myself, I own the acct of someone deceased.  I don't play his char.  I look at his char occasionally but it was the person behind the char I remember when I do.  I don't stay there long.  Rather than dwell on the dead who have moved on to their next life I focus on those still stuck in this one.

Best console game: DD Dark Arisen. Best mmo: GW2. Best game series ever: The Sims.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/12
Posts: 125

12/09/12 12:09:51 PM#8
I would like to leave my +4 sword to my daughter, as long as she doesn't marry that jerk she is shacked up with.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/15/06
Posts: 1970

The doctors say his chances are 50/50...but there's only a 10% chance of that.

12/09/12 12:19:19 PM#9

I actually thought this thread would be about the gamers we meet along the way - to have a character suddenly disappear.  Sometimes we never know if they got bored, or if something else happened.  Sometimes we do find out, such as in Vile Rat's case.


To address the OP though, I personally would not like to leave my accounts to my family.  I'd be ok with them having the password to cancel the subscriptions of course.  The characters are mine though - I made them into who they are.  They did their actions because of me.  The people my characters have in game as friends are because of my actions as well.  So it would be unfair to have all that changed when someone else takes over.

As far as items - such as if a family member wouldn't actually play the character, but perhaps scoop the gold or items to help themselves out, I think this is also bad.  It isn't like an inheritance really.  In a game it is best, in my opinion, to earn things.  This gives a greater sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goals.  To suddenly be innundated with items or in game currency would weaken the experience for those left behind.


So to summarize, I'd give my family the passwords to accounts for two reasons - first so they can cancel subscriptions, and second so they can perhaps let the gamers left behind that I had died.

El Psy Congroo


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/27/05
Posts: 619

Shit Happens!!

12/09/12 12:21:47 PM#10

   My brother in-law died in Iraq, I used to play SWG with him and my sister. After his death my sister would never play anymore. I took over both of there accounts. I wanted to transfer some items from one account to another, but my account was in my name, and the other two were in his name. I explained all this to SOE to see what they could do for me, but since the names on the accounts were different they wouldn't do it. Then they proceeded to ban all three accounts, I couldn't play at all. That is why I will never play another SOE game again.



Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/08/12
Posts: 106

12/09/12 12:24:44 PM#11
Originally posted by Terranah

I'd love it if my character could continue in game after my death.  But, I have no kids and since people in my family live into the 90's to 100+ as long as they don't drink or smoke (which I don't) I will probably outlive my wife.


But will I still be playing mmos 60 years from now is the question.  Hopefully we have a good sandbox by then.  (giggles)

It's funny you would say this. Back in the early days, in the first years of Ultima Online, a player had died on our Shard. (Lake Superior), well, the Origin staff went out of their way to do something nice for this player. They put up a memorial stone with a book that could be signed by players and then they created a dolphin with the players name. I have a screenshot of the memorial and used to have one of the dolphin, but I can't seem to find it. I don't think any MMO's would do something like this anymore, this was back before there were millions of players.

I also seem to remember EQ doing something like this in the early years.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/26/05
Posts: 182

12/09/12 12:25:21 PM#12
I would never give mine to my little brother. Everytime I see him play the way he manages his inventory bugs the hell out of me. No order! My characters would have a mental breakdown. Better for them to stay in the inn where they go to drink beers when I'm not online.

Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/05
Posts: 2506

12/09/12 12:34:18 PM#13
Originally posted by Blazer6992

   My brother in-law died in Iraq, I used to play SWG with him and my sister. After his death my sister would never play anymore. I took over both of there accounts. I wanted to transfer some items from one account to another, but my account was in my name, and the other two were in his name. I explained all this to SOE to see what they could do for me, but since the names on the accounts were different they wouldn't do it. Then they proceeded to ban all three accounts, I couldn't play at all. That is why I will never play another SOE game again.


Well you (or rather your sister) broke the EULA so it was not a impropper action.


Apart from that i am sure that once you die.. either you pass the account on (and thus break the EULA) or it fall in to dissuse.


I do not think any company will have a "death-service"


Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4723

I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.

12/09/12 12:41:50 PM#14

I'm hoping to take mine with me.  Laptop with a 4G dongle and a very large battery.

I could just imagine the puzzled look on an archeologist's face ten thousand years from now...

"Joe, we've got a find!  Look at these markings.  Another reference to World of Warcraft."


But seriously, that's an interesting question.  The recipient would need to be someone who has played with me and knows my toons.  Otherwise they're just empty shells with no emotional attachment.


Realm Lords 2 - October 1st, 2015 - Retro-Styled Old-School Graphical MUD with Public Dungeons


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/24/06
Posts: 3340

12/09/12 12:44:35 PM#15

In older MMOs there are statues are NPCs that are in memoriam of fallen players.  Ashen Empires was good about this.  There have been several players that have died over the years, and There are a number of statues of thier characters, and even a few NPCs named after thier character.  The first one happened back when the game was still in Beta, some of the players in the guild asked Lothgar to make it happen, and he did.  Ever since then the game has done it for several others.  In Nevewinter Nights, we held funerals for fallen players as well.  A GM would get a character of the same name and we put them to rest (not sure if they got into thier account or if they just copied the character). 


One of the most memorable moments in my MMO expirience over the years was in FFXI.  My wife (in-game, not real life) and close friend to alot of people died in a car wreck, and we sent her Mithra soul to the sea off the Kazham Harbor.  Alot of people showed up to honor her, even those who didn't know and were just passing by, stopped to pay respects to someone they didn't know.  Instead of the peppy normal Kazham music a GM was there and changed the music played for everyone to a much more appropiate one.  The entire chat was silent while the eulogy and sermon was given.  Although we didn't have a character to actually push out to sea, it was very well done.  I happened to be one of the people to push her out to sea (too bad we didn't have an actual boat to push, but it was still nice).  I'll admit it, I cried, along with over 100 other players that was there.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 580

12/09/12 1:09:03 PM#16

My husband died February 22nd of this year after a ten year battle with cancer. Among the many other things I've had to deal with was his rather extensive online presence -- not only had he been online for a long time, we actually met on a service called GEnie a good decade before most people had even heard of such a thing, but also had been house/hospital bound for a long time and the net provided some outlet. So I've had e-mail addresses to deal with, more e-mail lists than I even knew existed (and I still get mail from some of them, unsub doesn't always work), various sites I've had to guess at passwords for (fortunately I know most of the ones he used), two different web sites I have to decide what to do with by Friday as their hosting contract is up then, and multiple MMOs we played together.

The latter is primarily made up of GW1, WoW, and Rift, I'm sure there were others but those were the only ones he played extensively. And I'm sure those respective companies probably consider those accounts to be theirs, or null and void, or whatever, considering the original owner is deceased. Don't really care, to be honest, and for the most part I don't have much use for any of the accounts since I have my own. I log into his GW1 account every once in a great while to check for birthday pets, and that's about it. He never did instances (contrary to what people around here think, not everyone who plays WoW sits in Org waiting for the LFG, in fact in reality very few do), raids, or really any group activities aside from with myself and a couple of other good friends, so it's not like any of his characters would be of use to anyone save me for old memory's sake. Though he played GW1 (probably his favorite online game) for a two years, WoW for a good four or so, and Rift for maybe six months, he was never a big gamer, never nearly as obsessive or competitive about it as I tend to be. Still, those accounts matter to me, and even if I never log into any of them again, they are part of his legacy.

Fortunately this was something we talked about, both being techies, but I fear many people do not. As our online lives become more extensive the consequences to them of our departure become broader and it becomes more important that our loved ones have some idea what is where and what our desires are regarding whatever it is we may leave behind.

Food for thought.

Oh, and further food for thought, the next person to bring up Eulas and game company's claims of ownership should keep in mind that a company and Eula can say whatever the hell it wants... That don't make it law.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

12/09/12 1:49:05 PM#17
Originally posted by Quirhid

Naturally, lifetime accounts should be closed when your life ends.

Note to self: create an immortal holding corporation for opening lifetime accounts.

At the end of each year, I create a list of all my online presences and passwords to set aside with my will. Although I see it as unlikely that any relative would want to continue on the games I've started, I leave them enough information to have that option.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 135

12/09/12 2:49:39 PM#18

 I've always found this an intersting subject. Most but not all EULA's that a player accepts when creating an account are very clear that the account is for one person only and may not be shared, transfered or sold. But the enforcement of this is entirely up to the Company. Are they philosophically oppossed to sharing or transfering characters because of the roleplay associated with the character -- or do they just not want to have to deal with accounts or characters that get sabotaged by shared use? 

  The most amazing thing to me is by couples who think cause they are married the are not covered the same as friends or acquaintances would be.

  Most companies probably just look the other way for the most part, I've seen public posts made that characters and accounts where being shared and seen no action taken. Most companies have payment methods where they are not getting details on where the money comes from. So as long as you just change the payment method and change the e-mail address associated with an account  -- i would think no one would really notice or care in most instances -- a paying account is a paying account.

  Personally I just don't see where i would want to play someone else's account even a deceased loved ones account. However, I wouldn't have any problem with someone else doing so myself.




Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14684

12/09/12 2:53:27 PM#19

While I haven't been in this situation, I doubt that if I were faced with dying soon, what happens to my online game accounts would be a particularly high priority for me.

That said, nothing stops you from giving your account information to someone else if so inclined.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 163

Famous Last Words: "Trust ME!!"

12/09/12 2:56:14 PM#20

When I die.. I guess all my MMO chars will die with me. My family is not into MMO's at all (am sad Panda)..

But ....

To all frends & family that have lost ones they loved & cherished, my wish for them all is  - they are in "Gamer Heaven" somewhere & having a blast!!

/bows in respect to all the fallen ones..


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