W-Hat was a relatively large group of people, calling themselves Goons, who originate from the Something Awful forums. They were based in the sims Baku and What, and periodically rebuilt their sims to reflect whatever theme the mood striked them to. Although there were two distinct groups of 'goons' - W-Hat and the more inflammatory Voted-5 - much of the ill happening within Second Life are often blamed on members of W-hat, but not without some reason.
Initially, W-Hat was known for the frequent griefing of Second Life's furry population. After several incidents which resulted in the banning of W-Hat members, an overwhelming majority of them decided to simply, as they put it, 'keep their noses clean.' At this point, there are actually several members of W-Hat who are former furries. W-hat is not welcoming of furries, despite W-Hat rules claiming otherwise.
From their website: "W-Hat is the non-griefing Something Awful goon group in Second Life. It was created on April 27th, 2004, to get away from the bad reputation of the original SA Goons group. W-Hat is for people who actually want to play Second Life, not people who want to see how fast they can get banned."
In 2010, W-hat moved back to Baku and sold their sim What, after the owner Masakazu Kojima was suspended from Second Life over an offensive build in the estate. Masakazu claimed he hadn't logged on in weeks and had no knowledge of the build's existence.
In May of 2011, Masakazu Kojima the sole owner of the group was banned from Second Life, It's unknown why his account was terminated. He later sent in a ticket asking for the W-hat group to be deleted inworld.
Some of the most familiar and long-standing names within W-hat include:
- Masakazu Kojima
- Loksr Mysterio
- Gala Phoenix
- King Frederick
- Howie Lament
- Huns Valen
Among many others.
Involuntary Thinning of the Herd
The following is a quote from a member of the Something Awful forums:
"On Tuesday September 19th, about half an hour before that days town hall, LL executed an order to remove V5 from SL. They banned about 60 of the more active users, reclaimed the land and returned all our objects, and made Satyr group only access (owned by Governor Linden and set to Maintenance). At the start of Philip Linden's town hall, he announced that they just cleaned up a group of "griefers" and banned about 60 people.
They did this because of grid attacks a few days prior done by a goon who was told he wouldn't be allowed in Voted 5 if he was going to steal money and crash the grid because we didn't want to be associated with him. LL didn't want to ban the person responsible for the grid attack, they wanted to pin the blame on SA goons as a political move to make residents think that LL are actually doing something about grid attacks."
While there has been no official statement outside of Philip Linden's mentioning of "banning around 60 people in response to the grid attacks" in the aforementioned Town Hall to the effect of specifically targeting the members of Voted-5 and/or W-Hat, it is worth noting that a fairly large portion of those 60 were:
- Members of Voted-5 and/or W-hat
- Accounts that had been inactive as long as 3 months, including during said grid attacks.
- Users that had not openly participated in any wrong-doing other than simply being in the wrong group at the wrong time.
Many believe this action was unfair and, in many respects, a chilling vision of what can happen to any group that another group can unjustly pin blame on.
Despite their reputation, W-Hat expects its members to uphold a very high standard, as seen in their mission statement:
"We aim to be a global organization that constantly stays a step ahead in dealing with change, creates new value, and contributes broadly to society."
- To achieve prosperity and realize dreams through sound business activities.
- To place prime importance on integrity and sound management with utmost respect for the individual.
- To foster a corporate culture full of vitality and conductive to innovation.