Yet another gamer has fallen victim to "Swatting" this past week, only this time most of the incident was caught on tape.
The gamer in question, who goes by the username Kootra, was in the midst of a round of Counter-Strike when the local SWAT team burst into his office, guns drawn, and forced him to raise his hands in the air. The police then questioned Kootra ,before eventually retraining his hands behind his back. Watch the video of the incident above.
Swatting, for those who haven't already guessed, is a juvenile practice whereby someone calls in a threat to local police and directs them towards an online opponent's residence. In this case, Twitter user @ScrewPain phoned in a hostage and shooting threat, and pointed the police towards Kootra's place of business, The Creatures LLC.
The Denver Police have told the local ABC affiliate that they will investigate the incident further, and if they find any foul play they will be sure to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. That is, if they can actually nail down a suspect.
There's obviously a clear distinction between playful online pranking and legitimately harmful pranking, and Swatting most definitely falls into the latter category. However, asking police to treat threats like these lightly doesn't help alleviate the issue either. In fact, it's more likely to cause harm.
It's true that what was once a casually competitive hobby has now become serious business, with millions of dollars at stake. But for these gamers it's merely about one-upping the competition not beating your friend in GoldenEye 007. It's reckless, dangerous, and emblematic of the type of blameless society we are slowly creating in this anonymous Internet world.
Our hope is that by putting the spotlight on things like this, we might be able to better pull into view how a small subsection of the gaming community conducts themselves. Death threats, misuse of police assets, or anything that causes undue stress or harm to another gamer or publisher is never okay. It's now, more than ever, that we need to be reminded of this.
Do you think "Swatting" has become a serious problem in video games? Should there be harsher consequences for the action?
Source: ABC Denver