45-year-old Michael Aliperti of Long Island, New York was arrested after threatening to shoot and kill an 11 year old boy he lost to in Fortnite. Aliperti, whose Xbox Live gamertag is TrickedMarker70, threatened to kill the child at both his home and his school, which led to an increase police presence at RJO Intermediate School in Long Island. Fortnite player TrickedMarker70 reportedly sent these messages through both voice chat and Xbox Live's text messaging system.
"I am going to find you with a gun. You dead. I will come to your house tonight and f*** your world up," Aliperti said in one of the messages sent to the 11 year old boy. Police were able to confirm Aliperti's identity by tracking the messages, and arrested him at his home at 1:40am. Upon his arrest, Aliperti was charged with two misdemeanor crimes: aggravated harassment and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Online harassment through games is not an uncommon thing, though it rarely seems to lead to police involvement. However, since Aliperti's threats included potentially shooting a child at his school, it makes sense that police made the effort to arrest him. After all, school shootings are a significant issue in the United States today, and it's best to take every step possible to prevent yet another one from taking place.
In the meantime, Fortnite continues to find itself as the center of controversy, but that should come as no surprise considering it's arguably the biggest game in the world right now. Fortnite has found itself in the mainstream news for a variety of reasons this past year, most recently for being cited as a reason for couples splitting up in over 200 divorce cases in the UK.
The popular battle royale game has also made headlines for the psychological impact it may have on those playing it. There was at least one case where a girl was sent to rehab due to her Fortnite addiction, which was so extreme that she refused to stop playing the game for virtually any reason, including using the bathroom.
Moving forward, Fortnite's popularity will ensure that it stays in the headlines for both positive and negative reasons for the foreseeable future.
Source: NY Daily News