Prosecutor: Canadian teen took 'sadistic delight' in harassing, swatting targets

June 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Last month we reported on the Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player (and also reportedly a member of the notorious hacking group Lizard Squad) who pleaded guilty to over 23 charges stemming from his one-man campaign of harassment in North America before he was finally arrested in December of last year.

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Connecticut man pleads guilty for his part in gaming group's 2014 swatting incidents

June 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Wethersfield, Connecticut man has pleaded guilty for his part in a series swatting calls to police in several states in 2014. Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Tollis was arrested on September 10, 2014 by agents from the New Haven, Connecticut division of Federal Bureau of Investigation for his part in participating in a series of swatting incidents that occurred earlier this year in Connecticut and other states. Tollis, along with other members of a gaming group calling themselves TCOD (TeAM CrucifiX or Die), helped coordinate a series of attacks against people.

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Members of 'gaming group' arrested for multiple swatting incidents

June 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to multiple reports, a San Diego, Calif. teen has been arrested for allegedly engaging in multiple swatting attempts throughout the United States and Canada. The 15-year-old (whose name was not released due to his age) was arrested on Wednesday at his Point Loma apartment, according to the San Diego police department. The teen is being charged with three bomb threats aimed at the Point Loma High School on April 5 and 6, police said. 

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GAME to customers: 'truck carrying Splatoon Special Edition hijacked'

May 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Eurogamer report, UK-based retailer GAME is informing customers that a truck carrying copies of the Wii U game Splatoon and various Amiibo figures was hijacked and stolen. According to GAME, the truck, which was coming from Nintendo's European headquarters and going to GAME's UK warehouse, never made it to its destination.

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Bethesda begins deactivating illegally obtained ' Elder Scrolls Online' keys

May 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Bethesda Softworks revealed via this update to the official Elder Scrolls Online site that it has begun deactivating game accounts that were created using "stolen keys." In the post from Bethesda community manager Jason Leavey, the company claims that these keys were likely bought with stolen credit cards via Steam or with customers' credit cards without their permission of knowledge.

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Diablo III gamers steal virtual goods, suffer real life consequences

May 21, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

According to court documents obtained by Fusion.net, back in the summer of 2012, Patrick Nepomuceno of California and Michael Stinger of Maryland, stole a bunch of Diablo III players' virtual weapons and armor then hawked them for north of eight grand. How? They tricked players into downloading a remote access tool (RAT) by disguising it as a link to what they claimed was a pic of a rare in-game item.

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'League of Legends' player admits swatting and stalking multiple victims in the U.S. and Canada

May 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player has plead guilty to 23 different charges related to online stalking, hacking, and swatting incidents in the United States and Canada. According to Tricity News, the 17-year-old male, who can't be identified due to his age, plead guilty last week to 23 counts of extortion, public mischief and criminal harassment.   

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Waupaca, Wisconsin teen gets caught swatting, loses Xbox

May 11, 2015 - James Fudge

A 17-year-old Waupaca, Wisconsin teen had his "Xbox" confiscated by Waupaca County after they determined that he had attempted to "swat" a rival player. According to WeAreGreenBay.com, the teen allegedly called the Waupaca County 911 Communications Center on Sunday afternoon claiming that a woman had been shot in the leg in an apartment on Eight Street (in Waupaca) and the shooter was still in the house. The caller claimed they were making the call while hiding in a closet.

Police responded to the scene and learned quickly that the call was a hoax.

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Missoula, Montana 'Minecraft' player swatted

May 7, 2015 - James Fudge

Jamie Greenwood was enjoying a leisurely game of Minecraft at around 2:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon when suddenly officers from two different police departments - the University of Montana Police and the Missoula Police Department - were at her door.

After the dozen or so police officers from two different departments responded to the scene at an apartment complex on the intersection of South and Maurice Avenues, they determined that the call was a hoax. Police received an emergency call earlier in the day claiming that hostage situation was unfolding at Greenwood's address.

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Interzone CEO faces 120 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering

May 5, 2015 - James Fudge

A recently unsealed federal indictment reveals that Marty Brickey was charged with three counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering related to fundraising activities that generated an estimated $14.5 million for Brickey's numerous game development companies.

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GamerGate D.C. gathering targeted by bomb threat

May 4, 2015 - James Fudge

The social media movement known as GamerGate held its first U.S. meet-up (called #GGinDC) on May 1 at a bar called the Local 16 in Washington, D.C. But in the wee hours of Friday night / Saturday morning as hundreds of people were mingling and having a good time, police converged on the scene and evacuated the building.

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Florida Supreme Court upholds conviction of 'Xbox Murders' defendant

April 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Florida Supreme Court has upheld the 2006 conviction of Jerone Hunter, for his part in what is commonly referred to as the notorious "Xbox Murders." The court heard the case in October of last year. Jerone Hunter, was one of the four men convicted of brutally murdering six people in a Deltona, Florida home in 2004.

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Atlanta teen severely burned in dispute over a stolen PS3

April 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

An Atlanta teen was severely burned by two men because they believed he stole a PlayStation 3. According to Atlanta-based news station WSBTV, 17-year-old Damon Clay was asleep on a relative's couch when 19-year-old Quintavious Barber and 18-year-old Malik Moton (supposedly his friends) attacked him after accusing him of stealing a PlayStation 3. The duo allegedly dumped a boiling hot pot of rice on Clay while he slept.

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Former University of Tennessee defensive lineman charged with stealing Xbox and games

April 23, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A former University of Tennessee defensive lineman has been charged with stealing an Xbox One and three games, according to a report in The Tribune. Former Tennessee defensive lineman Michael Sawyers is was booked on a felony theft charge and released on $1,000 bond.

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Sore loser swats Long Island home after losing a round of 'Call of Duty'

April 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

An emergency call sent 60 police officers and emergency personnel to a home on Laurelton Boulevard in Long Beach, New York (Long Island) on Tuesday, but the whole thing turned out to be a swatting attempt.

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Winnipeg man charged with sexually assaulting teen he met in online game

April 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A 37-year-old Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) man was arrested and charged with allegedly raping a girl from Singapore who he befriended in an unnamed MMORPG.

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NJ lawmaker seeking tougher penalties for swatting gets targeted over the weekend

April 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester) claims that he was recently the victim of a swatting attempt. The name might sound familiar to GamePolitics readers; Assemblyman Moriarty is the New Jersey lawmaker who has been pushing a bill since October of last year in the state that would stiffen the punishment for swatting (or other crimes loosely associated with reporting a "False Public Alarm").

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Murder suspect apprehended by his own stupidity

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Thirty-year-old Hubert Wingate of Homewood, Pennsylvania (a Pittsburg suburb) has been charged for the murder of Andre Gray, whose body was found last month after he disappeared from his Lawrenceville home in October. Wingate, who clearly isn't that smart, was tracked down by police after using the victim's PlayStation.

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North Carolina man goes to court for four-week crime spree that included robbing a GameStop

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A North Carolina man will finally have the first of many days in court to answer for a four-week crime spree that included stealing a car and robbing a GameStop in Mecklenburg County, among a litany of other crimes alleged by police in multiple counties throughout the state.

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Minneapolis man steals 8-year-old's video games, gets caught on camera

April 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Minneapolis man has been charged with allegedly stealing more than $1,000 of video games and game systems from an 8-year-old boy who was visiting him while he was a patient at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul.

The 43-year-old-man, identified as Dave A. Schmotter, allegedly stole a case containing the video game-related items and hung it on his intravenous stand while the boy and his mother were distracted during a visit in November of last year.

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'GGautoblocker' creator and 'Online Abuse Prevention Initiative' founder targeted by swatting attempt

April 6, 2015 - James Fudge

Randi Harper, the founder of Online Abuse Prevention Initiative (OAPI) and the creator of the GGautoblocker tool, was the target of a swatting attempt on April 2, according to what she wrote on her personal web site on Friday and what the Oakland Police Department told GamePolitics this afternoon.

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Princeton, WV game store swatting tied to series of prank calls, police claim

April 2, 2015 - James Fudge

Yesterday we reported on a retro game store in Princeton, West Virginia getting swatted on Monday evening. Today we are learning a little bit more about who might have been behind it.

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Digital Press Videogames in Clifton, NJ gets swatted

March 29, 2015 - James Fudge

According to several reports (Cliffview Pilot, NorthJersey.com, and New York Daily News), Clifton, New Jersey Police received a 911 call from someone claiming that "men armed with shotguns" had taken hostages at a shopping

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Calif. teen arrested for swatting attempts in two states

March 27, 2015 - James Fudge

A thirteen-year-old Camarillo, Calif. boy was arrested on March 17 for allegedly making multiple calls to police departments in Ventura County, Calif., and New Jersey in an attempt to "swat" three different targets. According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the teen (whose name was not released because he is a minor) allegedly made three calls reporting violent crimes in progress between January 15 and 20.

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Two men charged for stealing three consoles from a Palo Alto Fry's Electronics at gunpoint

March 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Normally when we report on a robbery at a GameStop or other electronics retailers, the perpetrators manage to escape into the night with their ill-gotten goods, never to be seen again or apprehended by police. But this San Jose Mercury News report details how Palo Alto police finally caught up with two men who allegedly robbed a Fry's Electronics of several consoles at gunpoint on Jan. 28.

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Manchester, NH 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' player gets targeted by swatter

March 17, 2015 - James Fudge

A 27-year-old from Manchester, New Hampshire says he was targeted by someone online after police were sent to his home last Sunday night. Leighton Timmins, a 27-year-old who works in the IT department of a local college, says that police received a call purporting to be him and claiming that he had shot and killed his father in his apartment.

Of course he never called the police and his father was not in the residence (and quite alive somewhere else) when police entered his residence on Sunday evening.

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Congresswoman Katherine Clark Wants FBI and DOJ To Prosecute Online Harassment Cases

March 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Mass) is calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to do a better job of handling cases of online harassment - particularly those that target women. Clark took a particular interest in GamerGate and activities that have been associated with the Twitter hashtag because Boston-based developer Brianna Wu is in the district she represents.

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Swatting: It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Murdered

March 10, 2015 - James Fudge

It's Just A Harmless Prank...

Some might describe swatting, the act of making an erroneous phone call to a police department in the hopes that they will deploy a SWAT team to a specific location, as an innocuous prank. The "royal they" of the Internet note that, besides the target's pride being hurt and being mildly humiliated, swatting is harmless and funny. 

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A Tale of Two Swattings

March 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

It seems like some police departments are starting to understand what "swatting" is. On the night of March 6, Plymouth, Massachusetts police received a call about an undisclosed act of violence occurring at a home on Carol Boulevard in West Plymouth. Apparently familiar with other instances of fake calls, Plymouth police first dispatched a unit to confirm its suspicions that the call was fake. Checking the residence they quickly confirmed that there was nothing going on at the home.

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Couple Plays 'Call of Duty' While Infant Suffers From Brain Injuries

February 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A couple from South Yorkshire, England are currently on trial for their part in giving their infant son brain damage. According to a report in The Star, the couple (who are not named) played a newly launched "Call of Duty" video game while their four-month-old son lay in his crib with a severe brain injury, according to what the court was told by prosecutors at the couple's ongoing trial.

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Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
 

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