"They show up at your house and they request protection money. `You have to pay me 100,000 simolians if you don't want your house torn down.' It's technically harassment."
[...] "We weren't playing the games as hoodlums, we were playing the game as protectors of the city," said Mathieson.
At least at first. Somewhere along the line, though, the Sims Shadow Government turned from benevolent overseer to a virtual version of La Cosa Nostra. Maybe it was the emergence of a rival family, the Playtime gang. Or maybe it was the Mia impostor, who tarnished the real Mia's reputation by inviting other players to work for her as a prostitute. Perhaps the final straw was when someone hijacked Mathieson's America Online account -- and stole all of his in-game cash and property.
[...] Particularly egregious affronts to the Shadow Government could -- at least until game maker Maxis disabled this feature -- be dealt with by ripping out an opponent's heart. Of course, nobody dies in the "Sims Online." It's just to prove a point.
An underground group known as the Sims Shadow Government has taken over the fantasy world that is "The Sims Online," meting out mob justice.
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