Mystere incident

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The Mystere incident was an EverQuest controversy revolving around a virtual player named "Mystere", banned from the game by Verant, (EverQuest's developer) over a controversial role-playing story. Mystere, a male player on the Brell Serilis server who roleplayed and posted both as the female dark elf "Mystere" and, less frequently, a male Iksar character "Vhasst", wrote a fan fiction story which depicted the rape of a dark elf girl of "barely 14 seasons". This story was posted under the name "Vhasst" on July 11, 2000 to third-party Brell Serilis server boards not affiliated with Verant or Sony;

At some point afterwards, an anonymous party contacted Verant complaining about Mystere's story. On October 4, 2000, Mystere was abruptly kicked out of EverQuest, and the story was soon after removed from the IGN message board where it was originally posted. Upon contacting Mystere, George Scotto, head of customer service, informed him that he had been banned. According to Mystere:

This incident was discussed in two GameSpot articles under News and Features about the EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark expansion. The first, on October 6, 2000,[2] was a mention of the incident and the stir it had caused in the EverQuest gaming community. The second, on October 10, 2000,[3] being a Q&A with Sony / Verant's John Smedley to get the publisher's perspective on what had occurred.

The incident also led to the removal of a quest in the game which requires the player to murder a pregnant halfling (due to criticism that the quest was as violent as anything in Mystere's story), became the subject of academic papers,[4] and inspired a Penny Arcade cartoon[5] as well as a week-long story arc in the PvP webcomic.[6]

Some years later, on February 16, 2006, John Smedley brought up the incident again on his blog.[7] In his post, he claims that Verant took the heat silently over the debacle because the full story could not be disclosed to the public, and involved allegations of criminal behavior:


  1. ^ Archived October 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Google cache: "Player, Pirate or Conducer? A Consideration of the Rights of Online Gamers"
  5. ^ "An Official Accident". Penny Arcade!. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  6. ^ "Archive " Mon Oct 09". PvPonline. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  7. ^ a b "Virtual Jail". Archived from the original on July 16, 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 

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