A case of gamer “swatting” in the U.S. has led to the death of an innocent father of two in Kansas earlier this week.
According to reports, a Call of Duty player angry over an online wager put in a false hostage call to Wichita police in the hopes of bringing down an embarrassing and potentially deadly police response on another gamer. Tragically, the call targeted the wrong home, and when 28-year-old Andrew Finch opened his door, a SWAT member shot him dead.
The police officer who fired is being investigated, and the gamer who called the police with the lie, Tyler Barriss, has been arrested in Los Angeles. Prior to his arrest, Barriss allegedly tweeted his innocence: “I didn’t get anyone killed because I didn’t discharge a weapon and being a SWAT member isn’t my profession.” His Twitter account was subsequently disabled.
And while we’re visiting the intersection of gaming and death, Newsweek reported on an incident in which a Russian player using virtual reality goggles lost touch with his surroundings. Apparently, he slipped and fell on a glass table while using VR, fatally cutting himself in the process.