Canadian teen sentenced to 18 months in jail for North America swatting spree

July 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

In May we reported on the Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player (and also reportedly a member of the notorious hacking group Lizard Squad) who pleaded guilty to over 23 charges stemming from his one-man campaign of harassment in North America before he was finally arrested in December of last year.

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Prosecutor: Canadian teen took 'sadistic delight' in harassing, swatting targets

June 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Last month we reported on the Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player (and also reportedly a member of the notorious hacking group Lizard Squad) who pleaded guilty to over 23 charges stemming from his one-man campaign of harassment in North America before he was finally arrested in December of last year.

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Parents of rampage killer Elliot Rodger sued by one of his victims

June 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A University of California - Santa Barbara lifeguard injured during Elliott Roger's shooting spree last year is suing the parents of the killer, the university, and the county.  Rodger killed six UC Santa Barbara students (two of the victims were his roommates, who he stabbed to death) and injured 14 others in a May 23, 2014 rampage in Isla Vista, near the college campus.

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'League of Legends' player admits swatting and stalking multiple victims in the U.S. and Canada

May 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player has plead guilty to 23 different charges related to online stalking, hacking, and swatting incidents in the United States and Canada. According to Tricity News, the 17-year-old male, who can't be identified due to his age, plead guilty last week to 23 counts of extortion, public mischief and criminal harassment.   

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How one person sabotaged a crowd-funding campaign

May 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

2Awesome Studio had its dream within its grasp when it just barely hit its Kickstarter goal with a few hours to go yesterday; a backer who went by the name of "Jonathan" made a last-minute donation of a €7,000 to push the funding for its game Dimension Drive a little over the limit. All was good and the team celebrated.

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Interzone CEO faces 120 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering

May 5, 2015 - James Fudge

A recently unsealed federal indictment reveals that Marty Brickey was charged with three counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering related to fundraising activities that generated an estimated $14.5 million for Brickey's numerous game development companies.

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Atlanta teen severely burned in dispute over a stolen PS3

April 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

An Atlanta teen was severely burned by two men because they believed he stole a PlayStation 3. According to Atlanta-based news station WSBTV, 17-year-old Damon Clay was asleep on a relative's couch when 19-year-old Quintavious Barber and 18-year-old Malik Moton (supposedly his friends) attacked him after accusing him of stealing a PlayStation 3. The duo allegedly dumped a boiling hot pot of rice on Clay while he slept.

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Sore loser swats Long Island home after losing a round of 'Call of Duty'

April 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

An emergency call sent 60 police officers and emergency personnel to a home on Laurelton Boulevard in Long Beach, New York (Long Island) on Tuesday, but the whole thing turned out to be a swatting attempt.

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Murder suspect apprehended by his own stupidity

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Thirty-year-old Hubert Wingate of Homewood, Pennsylvania (a Pittsburg suburb) has been charged for the murder of Andre Gray, whose body was found last month after he disappeared from his Lawrenceville home in October. Wingate, who clearly isn't that smart, was tracked down by police after using the victim's PlayStation.

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North Carolina man goes to court for four-week crime spree that included robbing a GameStop

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A North Carolina man will finally have the first of many days in court to answer for a four-week crime spree that included stealing a car and robbing a GameStop in Mecklenburg County, among a litany of other crimes alleged by police in multiple counties throughout the state.

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Minneapolis man steals 8-year-old's video games, gets caught on camera

April 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Minneapolis man has been charged with allegedly stealing more than $1,000 of video games and game systems from an 8-year-old boy who was visiting him while he was a patient at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.

The 43-year-old-man, identified as Dave A. Schmotter, allegedly stole a case containing the video game-related items and hung it on his intravenous stand while the boy and his mother were distracted during a visit in November of last year.

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'Mortal Kombat X' producer leaves Twitter after threats to family

March 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

MCV reports this morning that Mortal Kombat X producer Shaun Himmerick has decided to leave Twitter after his family was threatened by unscrupulous people on the social media network.

In a series of tweets, Himmerick explained why he was leaving Twitter:

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Digital Press Videogames in Clifton, NJ gets swatted

March 29, 2015 - James Fudge

According to several reports (Cliffview Pilot, NorthJersey.com, and New York Daily News), Clifton, New Jersey Police received a 911 call from someone claiming that "men armed with shotguns" had taken hostages at a shopping

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Two men charged for stealing three consoles from a Palo Alto Fry's Electronics at gunpoint

March 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Normally when we report on a robbery at a GameStop or other electronics retailers, the perpetrators manage to escape into the night with their ill-gotten goods, never to be seen again or apprehended by police. But this San Jose Mercury News report details how Palo Alto police finally caught up with two men who allegedly robbed a Fry's Electronics of several consoles at gunpoint on Jan. 28.

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Manchester, NH 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' player gets targeted by swatter

March 17, 2015 - James Fudge

A 27-year-old from Manchester, New Hampshire says he was targeted by someone online after police were sent to his home last Sunday night. Leighton Timmins, a 27-year-old who works in the IT department of a local college, says that police received a call purporting to be him and claiming that he had shot and killed his father in his apartment.

Of course he never called the police and his father was not in the residence (and quite alive somewhere else) when police entered his residence on Sunday evening.

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Congresswoman Katherine Clark Wants FBI and DOJ To Prosecute Online Harassment Cases

March 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Mass) is calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to do a better job of handling cases of online harassment - particularly those that target women. Clark took a particular interest in GamerGate and activities that have been associated with the Twitter hashtag because Boston-based developer Brianna Wu is in the district she represents.

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Swatting: It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Murdered

March 10, 2015 - James Fudge

It's Just A Harmless Prank...

Some might describe swatting, the act of making an erroneous phone call to a police department in the hopes that they will deploy a SWAT team to a specific location, as an innocuous prank. The "royal they" of the Internet note that, besides the target's pride being hurt and being mildly humiliated, swatting is harmless and funny. 

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A Tale of Two Swattings

March 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

It seems like some police departments are starting to understand what "swatting" is. On the night of March 6, Plymouth, Massachusetts police received a call about an undisclosed act of violence occurring at a home on Carol Boulevard in West Plymouth. Apparently familiar with other instances of fake calls, Plymouth police first dispatched a unit to confirm its suspicions that the call was fake. Checking the residence they quickly confirmed that there was nothing going on at the home.

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'Darkest Dungeon' Developer Warns Users Not To Buy Fake 'Windows 8 Store' Version of Game

February 23, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The developer of Darkest Dungeon is urging players not to buy the Windows 8 version of the game, according to Eurogamer. Why? Because he and his company didn't put it on the platform. Red Hook Studios co-president and Darkest Dungeon designer Tyler Sigman sent out a tweet warning buyers that the Windows 8 app version available on the Windows Game Store is not an official version.

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Couple Plays 'Call of Duty' While Infant Suffers From Brain Injuries

February 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A couple from South Yorkshire, England are currently on trial for their part in giving their infant son brain damage. According to a report in The Star, the couple (who are not named) played a newly launched "Call of Duty" video game while their four-month-old son lay in his crib with a severe brain injury, according to what the court was told by prosecutors at the couple's ongoing trial.

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Minnesota Man Swatted While Streaming 'RuneScape'

February 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

St. Cloud, Minnesota resident Joshua Peters was swatted while running a RuneScape stream on Twitch, according to an ABC News report. Peters, a U.S. Air Force veteran was playing the browser-based MMORPG on Wednesday when he fell victim to an apparent "swatting" prank. St. Cloud Chief of Police William Anderson confirmed the incident to ABC News and said that it was currently under investigation.

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Is The Party Almost Over For Bad Actors On Twitter?

February 5, 2015 - James Fudge

In an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo doesn't mince words when asked by an employee about the company's efforts to get rid of trolls and serial harassers from the social media platform:

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Wrestling With Crime And Punishment In 'Elite: Dangerous'

January 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Frontier Developments is wrestling with an age old question about crime and punishment as it relates to its online-focused space simulation, Elite: Dangerous. As chronicled by Kotaku, the developers of the crowd-funded game are wrestling with the best way to punish players who commit acts of murder against their fellow space traveling peers.

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Peter Moore Rails Against Twitter For How It Handles Abuse

December 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore has called out social media network Twitter for the way it handles harassment and threats after finding himself the target of some pretty egregious threats himself. It all started with a tweet from a user named "xbox_gamer87" with the profile name "Robertclarke." He tweeted at Moore:

"Hope your wife gets raped." He followed that tweet up with more of the same:

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Boston Man Sentenced for Attempted Murder of UK Girlfriend He Met in 'RuneScape'

November 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Twenty-year-old Boston man Shane Coffey has been sentenced in the UK for attempting to kill his online girlfriend and her brother in their Hook Road, Epsom, Surrey home on April 18. Coffey met 19-year-old Farha Dowlut in the online MMORPG Runescape when she was 13-years-old. They became close friends and later began dating online. Over the years they spent time gaming and chatting online. Dowlut eventually broke off the relationship because she feared that her Muslim family would not approve (because Coffey was not a Muslim).

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Unnamed Bungie Executive 'Swatted'

November 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to news station KOMO, a Bungie executive found himself in the crosshairs of police in the early hours of November 6. A call (which later turned out be an attempt at "swatting" the Bungie executive) to Sammamish, Washington Police Department from an armed gunman claiming to have taken the residents of the Bungie executive's home hostage and demanding a ransom sent law enforcement into action.

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'Creepy Murderer on GTA V' Video is Pretty Creepy

October 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This is mildly funny in a creepy sort of way, but it works very well for Halloween. YouTuber MrKreepyKoala decided to dress up like a serial killer and silently hunt and kill Grand Theft auto Online players. Here's the description of a short video he created called "Creepy Murderer on GTA V!"

"In this video I went into lobbies on GTA around 3 AM and started playing creepy lullaby's sung by women and children. I then went into passive mode with my radar turned off so they thought I was invincible and unaware of me being in passive mode!"

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Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Utah State University Lecture After School Receives Death Threats

October 15, 2014 - James Fudge

Feminist Frequency founder and Tropes v. Women in Video Games series creator Anita Sarkeesian was forced to cancel a talk at Utah State University scheduled for this evening, after University officials confirmed that it had received a death threat via email.

24 comments | Read more

Report: Jefferson Parish Men Steal Credit Cards, Buy Video Games

October 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Jefferson Parish (the greater New Orleans, Louisiana) authorities are searching for two men who held a Woodmere resident at gunpoint and stole that person's debit and credit cards. The two young men (pictured, left) were later captured on surveillance cameras trying to buy games at a local video game store, according to authorities.

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Gearbox Targeted By Fake Bomb Threat

October 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On October 3rd Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford sent out a series of tweets - with photos - showing that someone called in a bomb threat to the company's headquarters in Dallas, Texas. While the call turned out to be a hoax, the Dallas police made sure that the areas was clear and safe before letting employees get back into the building or to their nearby vehicles.

The police department has not released details on where the call might have emanated from.

Below are Pitchford's tweets:

 

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MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
 

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