You never know who’s behind the computer in the game you play. Sometimes, it’s a normal person, an artist, a loving mother of 3 beautiful children, other times it may be a depressed individual, an addict or someone who’s gone completely bonkers. I’ll tell the story of the craziest guy I’ve ever encountered while working in game development.
Picture this – late spring is always a fun time in Poland. Temperature’s warm, weather’s fine and people tend to smile a bit more in the streets. It’s also a really bad time for people with allergies, but that’s not really relevant.
Work proceeds as always and suddenly, one of the colleagues reports that XYZ is back. It’s not the person’s real life nickname, but I’ll call him that for the sake of the story. It displeased my other colleagues, so I asked who’s this guy?
It turns out, that this individual is quite infamous, since he once threatened a fellow employee of mine. He said that he’d kill his wife and son. My colleague, quite rightly, decided to call the police and took this guy to court, where he was found guilty of sending punishable threats and sentenced to perform community jobs.
As you can guess, it wasn’t the last time we heard of XYZ’s endeavours.
For a while he was playing properly, obeying to the rules and not picking a bone with his fellow players. However, over time, XYZ’s behaviour started to be less and less friendly. He started being mean to players and began slandering our team. Of course, he was met with a banhammer.
He decided to make another account and started mentally abusing one of the players, so we decided to keep an eye on his activities and, what we found in his private chat logs, was chilling.
We were soon to have a players’ meeting and he said, that he’ll plant explosives, come armed, blow up the place and start shooting employees of the company as well as innocent bystanders.
Usually, we disregard such threats, but this time it felt differently and the entire office was alarmed, so we decided to notify the authorities. It’s not snitching if someone wants to blow you up because of a game, probably.
The days were passing, summer began and we were closer and closer to holding the event. We were quite anxious, to say the least. Our attorney sent a formal notification of possible terrorist attack to the prosecutor. The boss was called to submit a testimony and, when the day finally came… The event went nicely, everyone had fun and there were no incidents.
We learnt after the event that some authorities had already caught him and temporarily arrested the lad. The case went to court and XYZ was found guilty of the charges and incarcerated for an amount of time I can’t disclose. The individual is also not allowed to play any video games in his lifetime.
The crazy thing is that he was most likely making preparations to actually blow the venue up, since he was found guilty, so there’s a possibility that if we didn’t take this situation seriously, I wouldn’t be writing this post now. Although it’s not the most often thing to occur in a community manager’s personal life, you need to remember that such situations may happen and that you sometimes need to keep an eye out for some odd and, perhaps, dangerous individuals. You never know if someone won’t take your activity too seriously.