The border between the real and the virtual is increasingly fading away these days. For many members of younger (and not so younger) generations, the artificially created existence is the true fascinating reality, while the true world is just an illusion, where nothing is in our control.
As video games are enormously popular and increasingly present in our lives, the gaming subculture is gradually talking over the “real” culture. The clash of the two civilizations is becoming inevitable. The war is already rampant in the minds of the video game addicts and is threatening to explode on to the real world. Here we present 10 incidents when the ever-raging war spilled out with tragic consequences.
1. The Youngest “Pensioner”
On a long rainy day, 14-year-old Dominic Patrick decided to embark on a video game marathon and spent ten hours kneeling down with the games console. At the end, he felt pins and needles in his legs and one of his calves swelled up, prompting his alarmed father took him in the hospital.
Diagnosis: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), something typical for old people. The youngest pensioner is given a long course of thinning drug Warfarin to prevent any recurrence. It is not known if he is still playing video games.
2. Virtual and Real Daughter
They shocked South Korea. Known only as Kims, the couple, who originally met at a gaming café, spent up to 12 hours gaming daily. In 2009, they had a baby daughter but both were unemployed and continued to play video games with the same tempo.
One morning, they came home after a gaming session and found their 3-month-old daughter dead. The autopsy showed malnourishment and starvation. The Kims also confessed that had been feeding rotten milk and had often spanked their starving baby. Their favorite game was “PRIUS” where they were raising a “virtual daughter”.
3. The Ultimate Betrayal
In November 2008, 28-year-old Ami Pollard divorced her husband David after she caught him having sex as a virtual character with another virtual character (a 3-dimensional busty woman) at the virtual reality game Second Life. She hired an online detective to follow the tracks of the virtual Romeo. He was busted having sex on the sofa in the game and had also asked his virtual lover to become his wife. During the divorce proceedings, Ami stated that it was the “ultimate betrayal”. By the way, Amy and David met at Yahoo chat room six years ago.
4. Grand Theft Killing
Polwat Chino was such big fan of Grand Theft Auto video game that he decided to check it in reality — by robbing a taxi as in the game. During the act, the 18-year-old Thai student fatally stabbed a 54-year-old taxi driver. The police reported that he showed no signs of mental problems and his parents described him as polite and diligent. As such, he is now facing death by lethal injection and the incident prompted Rockstar North to pull the game from sale. In a related incident in 2005 in Alabama, a fanatic GTA fan killed two police officers and a 911 dispatcher.
5. Family Gaming
In October 2009, Ofelio Otero, 40, killed his son Ignatio, 17, after a family row over a missing video game. Otero, who was drunk, started to argue with his wife over the whereabouts of the game. His son got involved in the argument prompting Otero to load his gun. Ignatio tried to knock the gun away and started to run but the drunken video-game-dad shot him in the neck. The boy died at the scene and the murderous father escape, only to be arrested after three hours. The name of the videogame which prompted the fatal conflict in not known.
6. Without a Call of Duty
British tennis player Andy Murray was No.4 in the world when his girlfriend Kim Sears dumped him for spending 7 hours daily playing video games (Video Tennis, Play Station 3 games, and Call of Duty). As Kim is very attractive, it is strange why Andy was spending so much time in front of the computer instead of being in the bed with her. He was obviously feeling no real call of duty, so Kim decided she had enough of Andy cheating on her with a gaming console.
7. Welcome to the Hotel Habbo
In a brilliant illustration of the real and virtual words getting interwoven, the real police arrested a real Dutch teenager for robbing virtual furniture in the social online gamenamed Habbo Hotel in 2007.The virtual furniture was reportedly worth over 6,000 USD.
Habbo Hotel has around 500K+ unique visitors every month. The teenager was getting passwords by using phishing scams but didn’t make any real money and was just moving the furniture into his virtual room. The sentence handed out to him is not known.
8. The Champion, the Girl, and the Gang
In July 2010, Brazilian Police arrested four members of the Rio Janeiro’s gang “La Firma” for kidnapping the champion of the video game GunBound. They forced him to transfer his score to them, and then released it for sale for $8,000.
Previously, the gang had unsuccessfully tried to transfer the gamer’s points a whopping twenty three times. Finally, they used the classic bait, setting up a girl to meet the champion at a chatroom. She succeeded in arranging a date, but instead of her, a man with a handgun appeared and forced the naïve gamer to transfer the points. The police have also uncovered a black market selling scores from this game.
9. The Raging Bull (Troubles with World of Warcraft Part One)
Occasionally, one does encounter the good side of playing video games. A 12-year-old Norwegian boy saved his sister and himself from a moose attack using tricks he learned playing the game World of Warcraft. When the beast attacked his sister, he taunted the beast, like characters in the game do when some of less armed team members are under attack.
His ruckus managed to distract the animal from his sister and he instead charged the boy. Displaying remarkable composure, he feigned death, a skill he had picked up at Level 30 of the game. The moose, who was not a video gamer, gave the boy up for dead and moved on.
10. Instant Fame (Troubles with World of Warcraft Part Two)
Here is a classic example of the dangerous life altering abilities of World of Warcraft. Trying to purchase an epic flying mount in the game, a woman posted an add at Craigslist stating that anyone who will transfer 5000 points to her account can “mount” her. She also asked candidates to send her a photo to evaluate their perspective.
Well, she instantly became famous and gamers posted her picture in thousands of messages far and wide. Getting nervous, she scolded the players the very next day on Craigslist for making a mountain out of a molehill and declared that she just wanted a mount for her character and herself.