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Gamer Crime: MMO Player Arrested for Typing “I’m going to shoot up my school tomorrow” Online

By Jon Ireson in MMORPG

What you say should always be what you mean, but when it comes to online communication the face of crime is changing. Normal, everyday people succumb to the deep and intriguing role play of games that allows us to enjoy an experience with others in Massive Multiplayer Online gaming. These games like World of Warcraft, DC Universe Online, RuneScape, Defiance, and many others, allow us to come together in a world that we consider more enjoyable than that of the one around us.

Perhaps then it goes hand in hand that in our escape from reality, this home away from home, we may end up feeling more comfortable saying things we don’t even mean just because this is the place we go to vent our frustrations from the real world “holding us down” as we perceive it on a bad day.

Thomas Frongillo has been arrested for typing in an online MMO “I’m going to shoot up my school tomorrow.” and will now have to face the Justice System’s process and decision regarding what that means legally for him. At the young age of 18 years old, a serious crime now exists and is being held against him in court, all for typing on a game some things he might not have even meant.

Jagex (creators of RuneScape) is the company responsible for turning Thomas into police. As they have proven many times in the past they are dedicated to working with law enforcement on a number of issues, despite failing miserably to protect their fanbase privacy and extreme infestation of hackers ongoing for many years. As always-online gaming systems attempt to manifest from myth to reality and online gaming becomes the norm we are likely to see more and more cases like this arise, though they may not all be with as much merit as this particular scenario.

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