Video games. You either love them, hate them, or are indifferent to them, but it is evidently clear that video games are a major part of our society, both personally and economically. You can literally ask anyone if they know who Mario and Luigi is and, most likely, they’ll know even if they aren’t fans.
As a matter of fact, video games have ingrained themselves within our society so much that certain politicians are now blaming the form of entertainment for other societal issues, especially violence. Here on The Inquisitr, we reported how the NSA blamed violent video games for gun violence in the United States. Even Katie Couric has taken a stand against video games blaming them for violence.
However, some gamers do take gaming way too seriously and may take it so far that may have real consequences. The newest revenge trend among online gamers is known as “swatting,” in which a fake emergency call is made to the authorities about how a “gamer” is a “domestic terror threat” that needs to be taken out by SWAT. Who is the person who made the call? Another gamer, specifically one who probably lost to the person they “swatted” in some online match.
This is a major problem, as the official website for the Federal Bureau of Investigation actually has a full article on swatting and its consequences. According to reports, one gamer suffered with his life for swatting… or did he?
According to Code Wit, a 15-year-old boy was convicted as a domestic terrorist and sentenced to 25 years to life in federal prison for swatting a gamer. The sources report that Paul Horner to be the first person in history to be charged for swatting. Prosecutors in the case were able to prove that Horner made multiple false threats against rival online gamers which resulted in SWAT teams raiding their residences.
By what defense lawyers state, Paul Horner was upset for being beaten repeatedly by a fellow gamer in the video game, Battlefield 4. After obtaining the rival gamer’s information, Horner called police and reported murder/hostage situations at their home. SWAT raided the house in which the gamer’s father was critically injured in the process. After further investigation, Horner was charged as an adult and was handed 25 years to life for two accounts of domestic terrorism.
Sounds like a nightmare situation for gamers right? However, what if it turns out that article itself was nothing more than fiction? Well, according to International Business Times, the “swatting” article circulating the internet turned out to be a hoax. First, the original source of the article is by the National Report, a satirical website notorious for publishing fake stories with sensational headlines.
Nevertheless, the satirical website did a fine job tricking everyone, because the news spread like wildfire. The story was even featured on Reddit. Right now, it is known the article is fake, but the issue of swatting is still a major problem. There are legit articles on about the crime, especially by the Daily Mail. Let’s not forget that the FBI had a full article on their official website on the subject!
Now that you know that the swatting article was a hoax, we want to know what you’d think if it wasn’t. Do you think Horner should have gotten life for domestic terrorism, even if it is a prank? Better yet, do you think the satirical article serves a more important purpose besides fiction? Please let us know in the comments below.