Online gaming's dirtiest tricks

And other tales from the dark side of plugged-in playtime

For as long as it's existed, the Internet has been a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The anonymity lets the world's worst people run free pretty much unchallenged and there's always someone trying to scam you – be it stealing your Facebook password or, at its most extreme, tricking you out of thousands of real-world dollars. What follows is a collection of dark tales from the terrifying world of online games.

In gargantuan, open-ended space 'sim' EVE Online, one of its biggest corporations (or clans) The Guiding Hand Social Club scammed their fellow gamers out of almost $16,000 in real world money.

The dedicated crims spent over a year earning the trust of other users, cumulating in a mighty heist where they robbed the hapless victims of items that, in some cases, took months of play to afford. And, to make matters worse, they ended their crime by killing a rival's CEO. In-game, of course.

The scary thing is, this was all within the rules of the game and not seen as unlawful. No hacking or cheating was involved; just perseverance and a keen evil mind.

Above: The EVE Online heist was big news - PC Gamer magazine covered it across four pages. Click the image for scans

Anshe Chung is Second Life's very own Bill Gates – a self-made millionaire whose brand dominates the online world as much as Bill's operating system does almost every populated city on the planet. Of course, by millionaire we mean Linden Dollars, the game's virtual currency. But the thing is, Linden Dollars can become legal tender back here in reality.

And people don't like someone making money. So, at a special interview with Chung organized by website CNET, a gang of griefers sent in a squad of marching penises. They jerked horribly across the stage, hogging up network resources and totally ruining the interview. How offensive. And hilarious.

Warning: The video below features comical cocks.

This little-known MMORPG features a recreation of Britain in Roman times, and it had an interesting way of dealing with griefers. A user called Cynewolf (in real life a 27 year-old electrician) was found guilty of 'ganking' other players – a dirty trick in which passing gits find distracted/weakened players and finish them off, never giving them a fair fight.

As a result, Cynewolf's account was suspended and his avatar was crucified in the virtual world for all to see. If ever there was a deterrent for griefing, this is it. Not only do you get a temporary suspension, but your character is nailed to a cross – literally.