Video Games That Actually Ruined People's Lives

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Swatting is a criminal activity, sometimes described as a prank, that often has deadly consequences. To swat someone, an outside party makes a fake police report regarding a nonexistent violent crime to local authorities, intended to elicit a strong police response.

A swatting tragedy struck in 2017 after two Call of Duty players took their feud off the internet and involved the authorities. Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill argued over Twitter after a bad game cost them a wager, which may have been as high as two dollars. Viner threatened to swat Gaskill, who egged him on and provided a fake Wichita address.

Viner passed the address on to Tyler Barriss, who made the fake police report. Barriss claimed he lived at the location, had killed his mother, and was holding the rest of the family hostage. The police tactical team responded in force. When the resident, Andrew Finch, answered the door, he was shot by the police after lowering his hands while being ordered to keep them up.

Viner received 15 months in prison for participating in the swatting call, Barriss was sentenced to 20 years for making the call, and Gaskill was placed on deferred prosecution.

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