How 'Call of Duty' gaming dispute spilled into real world conflict
Published Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:30AM EST
B.C. police believe two teens' online gaming battle spilled into the real world, escalating with crank calls to cops and claims of a hacking attack.
RCMP in Langley, B.C. are investigating after a local 17-year-old and a 19-year-old gamer in Vancouver who were playing the first-person shooter videogame Call of Duty: Ghosts got in a heated argument.
Trash-talk is common when gamers chat with one another as they play online. But the Mounties believe the argument went beyond trading insults.
As Langley Mountie Cpl. Holly Marks explained to CTV British Columbia, police believe the 19-year-old put a call in to police in Ontario.
"We actually got our first call from Peel Regional Police who took a call from an individual suggesting that there were bombs and hostages at a residence in the Aldergrove area." Marks said.
When five police officers arrived at the address, they were greeted by a surprised family and no sign of a bomb threat or hostage situation.
Police also tracked down the Vancouver gamer, known online as "Yolandas," who they believe placed the crank call.
Marks said the police are now investigating further whether the Vancouver suspect is their man, and whether his claim he also hacked the Langley RCMP website is true.
"We can't say for certain, first of all, that our suspect is Yolandas, we have to confirm that through the investigation," she said.
"And secondly, we can't say for certain that the website went down as a result of being hacked."
In Langley, the targeted gamer's father did not want to be identified, to reduce the risk of being attacked again.
With the same aim in mind, he told CTV that he's cutting off Internet access at their house.
In general, videogamers who play online are advised to use public servers, and avoid disclosing information that could identify them or their precise location.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward