Video games have been unjustly blamed for many crimes ever since they first became a highly popular entertainment medium. Their power of simulating reality in some of the most accurate ways is both their blessing and their demise, this unique trait becoming the first culprit when it comes to finding a scape goat in cases that broke the law. In what follows we’ll be showcasing 10 videogames that have been blamed for real life crimes even though there was no official position to enforce this presumption. As some of the details presented are highly disturbing, viewer discretion is advised!
It seems that during a Ghost Recon session on his Xbox, a 28 year old father got so annoyed that his 17 month old daughter broke his console that he burst into a fit of rage, repeatedly hitting the toddler over the head and ultimately killing her. Being characterized as “obsessed with video games”, this unlikely father justified his act by saying that he got angry because the $600 console was his brother’s and he didn’t have the money to pay for a new one.
A 17 year old teen from Philippines was playing DotA at the local internet café when his 68 years old grandmother interrupted his heated match and took him home. What happened next is truly atrocious: after the teenager was scolded by his grandma, he claimed that he blacked out and couldn’t remember the fact that he started attacking her and ultimately killed his grandmother in a fit of uncontrollable rage. A bloody vase was later found by his aunt and it has been identified by the authorities as the murder weapon.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
The name of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is tightly linked to the murder spree committed by the infamous Anders Breivik. He publicly admitted to “training” for the attacks using the “holographic aiming device” featured in the war simulation game. Breivik stated that Call of Duty is a game used by many soldiers to train for real-life battles, the missions you partake in-game becoming a highly useful way of developing your reflexes when you aim and shoot.
Who would have thought that a game as inoffensive as Farmville could awake murderous instincts? The terrifyingly sad truth is that a young mother was very engaged in a virtual farming session when her 3-month old baby interrupted her with his crying. When she saw that the boy wouldn’t stop, the mother started shaking him frantically until he hit his head and became unconscious. After calling 911, the child was taken to the hospital were the doctors confirmed the head injuries as the cause of his sad and untimely death.
Legend of Mir 3
Two hardcore players of Legend of Mir jointly earned an extraordinarily rare Dragon Sabre. When Zhu decided to sell the sword on eBay without having the consent of his friend Qiu, things went awry. Earning around $870 for this priceless virtual items, the two gamers couldn’t come to an agreement when it came to splitting the money, so Qiu broke into his friend’s house one night and stabbed him to death in his sleep. This horrible crime was punished with life in prison.
World of Warcraft
MMORPGS possess the unique ability of making people get obsessed over completing one quest after another and losing track of time in the process. This is exactly what happened when a World of Warcraft addicted mother spent 15 hours continuously playing the game and completely forgot to feed her three-year old daughter, leaving her to starve to death. She did call 911 when she realized that the little girl was unresponsive, but unfortunately nobody managed to save her.
Slender: The Arrival
In May 2014, a 12 year old girl was stabbed 19 times and left for dead in a remote wooden area. She miraculously survived and managed to crawl to a path where a bicyclist found her and alerted an ambulance. This dreadful deed was carried out by two of the girl’s classmates who believed that they had to pay tribute to Slenderman to keep their families safe from the dark and mysterious online character whom they thought was real. The two culprits of this horrendous attempted murder are on the verge of being tried as adults.
Much in the same vein as the World of Warcraft incident presented earlier, this case tells the unfortunate story of how two South Korean parents neglected their 3-month old infant to play Prius Online. They were in the habit of going to an internet café on a daily basis so that they could raise a virtual child together and they actually forgot to feed their own real-life baby. It seems they found an alternate life in the video game, feeling overwhelmed by the cruel reality where they were unemployed and their child was born prematurely.
Grand Theft Auto
The Grand Theft Auto game series has been linked to numerous felonies but the one we are going to be discussing now involves a 16 year old who shot and killed two police officers after being taken to the station for driving a stolen vehicle. After his appalling action he took off in a patrol car but was shortly apprehended and put to trial, the blunt answer he gave when asked about his shocking behavior being: “Life is a video game. You’ve got to die sometime.”
The highly popular and extremely violent game, Manhunt, was blamed to be the inspiration behind the unspeakable murder committed by a 17 year old. Using a claw hammer he bludgeoned his friend to death, claiming that he wanted to rob him of some money but the modus operandi of the murder contradicted this theory, showing a high degree of rage. Even though the judged didn’t blame the game for the teenager’s behavior, the bad publicity made around the subject got Manhunt banned.