http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/292842

Video gamer hunts down rival who killed his character, stabs him Special

Posted Jun 1, 2010 by Kim I. Hartman
Be careful who you kill in the virtual gaming world, it may inspire someone to attack you in real life. That's what happened when a gamer sought revenge on the guy who stabbed his character in a video game. Except revenge was played out in the real world
Julien Barreaux, 20, told police he wanted to see his rival player "wiped out" after his character in the game Counter-Strike died in a virtual knife fight.
A court in Cambrai, northern France, heard how Barreaux plotted revenge for seven months after the online "killing" last November report The Telegraph.
He then located the victim, named only as Mikhael, several miles from his home.
When the man answered the door, he plunged a kitchen knife into his chest, missing his heart by less than an inch, a police officer told the court.
He added: "Barreaux was arrested within the hour and told us he had wanted to see his rival wiped out for killing off his character."
This type of revenge is not common in massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG). Which is a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world said game owner Jamey Wilson of California.
Wilson owns multiple games including Poopwars.com and Whoreomen.com (undergoing upgrades) as well as being a leader and moderator in many other online role play games. He said he has played games since the days of Dungeons and Dragons and people just do not react with physical violence over a loss in a game.
How is counter-strike played?
Counter-Strike is a first-person shooter game in which players join either the terrorist or counter-terrorist team (or become a spectator). Each team attempts to complete their mission objective and/or eliminate the opposing team.
Once the round has ended, surviving players retain their equipment for use in the next round; players who were killed begin the next round with the basic default starting equipment.
Standard monetary bonuses are awarded for winning a round, losing a round, killing an enemy, being the first to instruct a hostage to follow, rescuing a hostage or planting the bomb.
Barreaux was jailed for two years for causing grievous bodily harm, and ordered to undergo psychiatric tests and anger management therapy.
Judge Alexiane Potel told him: "You are a menace to society. I am frankly terrified of the disproportionate reaction you could have if someone looked at you the wrong way in the street."
Do video games increase violent behaviour?
When asked this question Jamey Wilson replied "the worst thing he could see happening is having someone try to hack you or email you a virus, not stick a knife in your chest."
Overall in his many years of experience as a player and owner what he see's when it comes to revenge is alliances formed to annihlate the opponent in the next round on the battlefield. Which is a common occurance and part of the games. Physcial violence is not an issue outside of the games.
What do researchers say?
According to a study by a researcher at Texas A&M International University, studies that see a connection between video games and violent behavior usually suffer from shoddy research techniques. Dr. Christopher Ferguson studied the results of a number of recent studies linking violent video games to aggressive behavior with an eye not just to individual results, but also to overall trends in the studies as a whole.
Ferguson found that the connection between violence and gaming had more to do with publication bias than it did with any actual correlation. In other words, journals were more likely to publish studies that supported the hypothesis that playing violent games made a subject more prone to violent behavior. Nothing like scientific stacking the deck, eh?
Thus it was concluded that there is little evidence from the current body of literature on violent video games that playing these video games will not incite violence in real life nor is it associated with increases in aggressive behavior.