Idol Chatter

If you’ve ever wanted to witness a crucifixion with your own eyes, well, now you can, thanks to the online computer game Roma-Victor. The multiplayer game is designed to be an authentic recreation of the British Empire in Roman times, in which players live virtual lives as slaves and citizens. However, for players who attempt to abuse the game or cheat in any way (called “ganking”), Roma-Victor has decided only one punishment is brutal enough–crucifixion.

The first crucifixion of a player was held just last week. Cynewulf–who is actually some guy from Flint, Mich.–was the first player within Roma Victor to be crucified. He was hung on a cross for a full seven days through digital reconstruction at the provincial town of Corstopitum (modern day Corbridge in Northumberland, England).

Kerry Fraser-Robinson, the CEO of the game’s publisher, said in a statement on the Roma-Victor website that while crucifixion in present-day society carries with it religious overtones, game-makers added crucifixion as a punishment simply as a way to make the game historically accurate. The game is currently in the final stages of testing and will officially launch on July 1, after which thousands of players will be able to live out their own virtual lives in ancient Britain. However, Roma-Victor has–so far, anyway –decided not to add to its arsenal of tricks either virtual penance or virtual forgiveness for virtual sins. Too bad. That might make for a truly fresh addition to the world of gaming.

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