Online Chat: Be Careful What You Say

It’s probably fair to say that every gamer who has ever played online has at some point encountered some less than savoury characters. Being abusive whilst playing online is never welcomed and can get you banned, but a story from across the pond has highlighted the fact that it can lead to even more serious consequences.

On this particular occasion it wasn’t abuse that landed a 16 year old from Texas in trouble.

During an online game of Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live, a Canadian gamer was alarmed by certain comments that he was hearing; the aforementioned Texan was planning an attack on his school. It started as an innocent conversation about the troubles he was experiencing at John Marshall High School but soon turned disturbing as he detailed plans to attack. He even went as far as naming his targets, which included his best friend and a pregnant girl.

The Canadian gamer raised the alarm with his local police who in turn contacted Microsoft. They were soon pointed in the direction of San Antonio, Texas, and the 16 year old was arrested and suspended from school “indefinitely”.

San Antonio police officers visited the campus but believed that the teenager was making empty threats as they found nothing that indicated serious intentions. But threats of that nature don’t go unpunished as the boy was charged with making a false alarm or report.

Praise has to go to the Canadian gamer, Canadian Police, Microsoft and the San Antonio Police who acted quickly to prevent a possibly horrendous crime.

Even if the kid wasn’t serious about his intentions to attack his school, it just goes to show that what you say whilst enjoying an online game does get noticed and will affect different people in different ways. It also goes to show that you aren’t as anonymous as you may think.

You can read the full story about the foiled shootings here.