“Anonymity breeds douchebagery” has always been a choice saying of mine. Communicating via voice alone behind your ‘L33tsn1per1637′ gamertag simply seems to bring out the worst in people, earning post-match lobbies in popular FPS’ a pretty bad reputation.
Still…it’s all in good fun, right? I’ll admit to perhaps taunting the odd enemy on my Halo Reach games if I thought them annoying enough. Surely the verbal mud-slinging is all part of the cut and thrust of online warfare and particularly fragile feelings nonwithstanding, it’s an overall harmless affair.
Then you read about how a middle aged man was so very annoyed by the childish quips of a thirteen year old boy he stormed over to his house and attempted to throttle him.
46 year-old Mark Bradford from the UK was getting trashed in an online game of Call of Duty: Black Ops and the subsequent trash talk ohis thirteen year old tormentor pushed him over the edge. Bradford was able to find the boy, who is unable to be identified, as he was a “loosely-connected friend of the family” and the boy lived close to Bradford’s single bedroom flat.
“He was baiting me and baiting me and just would not shut up,” he said, speaking to the Daily Mail. “He went on and on and I just lost it. I hold my hands up, I lost the plot. In a moment of madness I went round to his house. I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
“It’s pathetic that a grown man would attack a defenseless child like this,” said the victims mother. “If you can’t handle losing to a child then you shouldn’t be playing games.”
The child was reportedly left with scratches and reddening around the neck, but nothing of lasting physical damage, though I think there might be something to be said for the mental after effects of that kind of ordeal. Bradford says he has since apologised to the boy and has pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating.
No doubt this incident will be used to slyly insinuate how agressive games such as Call of Duty might actually be the cause of such deplorable outbursts, rather than just a tipping point in an already troubled individual – Bradford has reportedly suffered from mental health issues in the past. The moral of this story? Probably a little bit of “don’t be a dick while your online” and “pay no heed to big-mouthed kids online”.
It’s served me fairly well so far at any rate.Teenage Boy Assaulted Over Black Ops Taunts,