People with the last name O’Driscoll have found that their new name is mud on social media thanks to a hugely popular video game. Multiple people with this name have reported experiencing real-life harassment thanks to the way their last name is prominently featured inside the gaming world of Red Dead Redemption 2.
Comicbook reports that a real-life Colm O’Driscoll has been receiving hate mail, even death threats, since the game debuted on October 26. Colm O’Driscoll is the name of the leader of the main rival gang in the virtual world of RDR2.
— Afro Saiyan (@GordonHammsey) November 5, 2018
soon as I see an O'Driscoll in RDR2, its fading ON SIGHT
— Daniel (@AgentZanahoria) November 2, 2018
The real Colm O’Driscoll, an Irish resident who has never played the game, has attempted to take it all in stride.
“I find the whole thing kinda funny, but the messages are starting to get annoying,” he said.
“A little part of me worries that some of these people are so emotionally invested in the game that they’re starting to lose perception of what’s real and what isn’t.”
His fear may not be totally unrealistic. RDR2 has been highly praised for its immersive game environment, but it’s also made headlines for causing real human beings to lose all track of time and neglect eating, sleeping, and grooming as a result.
Red Dead Redemption 2 puts players in an 1890s landscape featuring multiple types of environments. There are many different ways to play the game, but one thing is pretty static: the rival O’Driscolls are everywhere.
Even a produce company named Driscoll has become a target. People on Reddit and other social sites are sharing pictures of themselves flipping off delivery trucks and various company products.
— DJMegaHurtz (@DJMegaHurtz) November 5, 2018
The name O’Driscoll dates to Ireland, and the earliest known mention of the name was in 1103. There are 3,000 census records on the Ancestry website with the name O’Driscoll.
The real Colm O’Driscoll has started blocking people to avoid the harassment.
“I’m hoping they’re all just joking and having fun,” he said of the online bullies.
Red Dead Redemption 2 had an enormous opening weekend, earning over $700 million in just three days when it was released.
Rockstar Games, the developers behind the game, also created Grand Theft Auto V, which has sold more than 100 million copies as of this week, as reported by Inquisitr.
More than 17 million copies of RDR2 have already been sold, according to The Guardian. In fact, the game already sold more copies in its first eight days than its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption, sold in eight years.
That’s a lot of people learning to hate everyone named O’Driscoll.