A few nights ago I was minding my own business in Elder Scrolls Online when I stumbled upon a bunch of corpses laid out in a shape. Confused, I zoomed out and saw the bodies were part of that video game mainstay, a giant penis—a piece of art created by one player.
I wasn’t the only player who’d stopped to admire the artwork, comprised of about 30 corpses laid out on a pathway in the middle of Daggerfell. It seems a giant penis made of dead NPCs is not something you see every day in ESO. Many folks had come by to offer their compliments and thoughts to Catscratch-Fever, a khajiit warrior and the artist responsible for all this.
Catscratch-Fever never named the art piece or explained its true purpose or meaning; it seemed they were happy to let the art speak for itself. But they did provide some insight into their creation via the in-game chat. At one point they walked towards a corpse at the top of their work and told me in chat, “This man here has great honor being the pee-pee hole.”
I was curious how Catscratch-Fever created this artwork, but before I could even ask, the artist demonstrated. Catscratch-Fever punched a nearby NPC villager and then led them to a specific spot. Once in position, they proceeded to beat the living shit out of them. If the NPC moved too much during the punching, Catscratch-Fever would stop and move back to where they needed the NPC to be, then they would start punching some more. The NPC’s pre-canned death animation triggered, and because this animation is predictable and the same among all NPC townsfolk, Catscratch-Fever could manipulate their death location to create art.
Eventually, the corpses vanish, a quirk of creating artwork inside an MMORPG. So to keep their artwork viewable for an extended period of time, Catscratch-Fever had to keep killing NPCs. When they needed a new one they would talk to the NPC in chat. There is no gameplay reason to do this, but it did add another element to this complex piece of artwork.
Catscratch-Fever promised to make some different body parts, but before they got the chance, they seemed to change their mind, walking into the middle of their creation and simply saying “Bye-bye.” Then they vanished into the ether, and minutes later their artwork vanished along with them.
Someone ran up to where their masterpiece had been and asked in zone chat, “Where’s the big *****??!” They had come to this spot because others in the chat had hyped it up to those in the zone.
“You’re too late, sir,” I said to the player. “You missed it.”
Maybe Catscratch-Fever will recreate their work somewhere else? But before I logged off to eat dinner, I noticed a player had killed a couple of NPCs near where the penis had been and seemed to be forming some sort of shape. It was too early to tell what it was, but it seems Catscratch-Fever had inspired someone to create more weird, dead body art. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”